Money  Down  the  Drain

It is a challenge for most people to pay the bills, buy a house, put the kids through college, or generally make ends meet.  People expect to see a certain amount of money deducted from their paychecks for a pension plan, health insurance, or 401(k).  (You will probably never see that Social Security money again.)  But it really hurts to see huge sums of money taken out of a check to pay federal income tax, especially when you know that a lot of that money will be wasted on some of the nonsense shown below.

Additionally, some of your money will be given to people who are too lazy to work.  In 2002, the federal government spent $522 billion on low-income assistance programs.*  That's half a trillion dollars per year.  But the issues of poverty and perpetual dependency in America are discussed on another page.

Related subjects discussed on separate pages:

Wind and solar power
Farm subsidies
High-speed rail
Head Start
The Welfare State
Electric cars
Sports stadiums and arenas
Fluorescent light bulbs
The National Endowment for the Arts
Planned Parenthood
Unionized government workers
The United Nations
National Public Radio and PBS
Pork products in the stimulus bill
President Obama spends our money on himself
Cash for Clunkers
Green jobs
Wasteful Wartime Spending
The Big Dig in Boston
Wasteful Spending in Public Education
Pork Barrel Projects, one of the biggest of which is NASA.
The Endless and Ineffective War on Poverty

Federal court rules transgender surgeries must be covered by Medicaid.  A federal judge ruled this week that the state of West Virginia must allow transgender patients covered by Medicaid to receive gender transforming surgeries, reasoning that individuals with a gender dysphoria diagnosis must be treated the same as those suffering from other medical conditions.  U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers for the Southern District of West Virginia said it was discriminatory for the state to ban such procedures from Medicaid recipients while allowing others who do not have a gender dysphoria diagnosis to get the same surgeries, such as a mastectomy or vaginoplasty.  Under the state's policy, a woman with a cancer-related diagnosis could have a mastectomy, but a transgender man with gender dysphoria desiring to have breasts removed could not do so under Medicaid coverage.

Biden [is] Sending Another $550 Million In 'Security Assistance' To Ukraine.  On Monday, the Biden administration announced that it would be sending another round of support worth $550 million to Ukraine to help the war-torn nation defeat Russian President Vladimir Putin.  White House National Security spokesman John Kirby said the Department of Defense (DOD) would send more "security assistance" to Ukraine, including ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System alongside ammunition for 155 mm artillery, The Hill reported.  "In total, the United States has committed approximately $8.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration," the DOD said in a statement Monday.  "Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $10 billion in security assistance to Ukraine."

Why is the CDC shelling out $55,000 on credibility training for Dr. Rochelle Walensky?  Apparently, Centers for Disease Control director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has been embarrassing the Biden administration.  As if such a thing were possible. [...] The characters chosen to coach Walensky weren't plain-vanilla pros at this "art," but Clinton political operatives, such as Mandy Grunewald, and a couple of other blasts from the past, which rather smells of some kind of favoritism or payoff, particularly given their $500/an hour rates.  The government couldn't find anyone cheaper to clean up ol' Rochelle for the cameras?  Politico notes that the government actually employs and pays for an in-house shop of public relations professionals, but somehow, the Clinton characters got the large payouts.  And, umm — their results were meager.  We know this isn't a bank-breaker in terms of government spending.  But it obviously didn't represent value to the taxpayers, either.  It was a snoot at the trough for Clinton operatives, and it shows the extent to which the old Clinton crew are directing Bidenites at a pretty penny for themselves.

$1.8 Billion Jackpot for NYC Teachers of Color Who Failed.  Even as students pass through public schools without learning to read and write, taxpayers are bled white by the looting spree that is public education:  ["]Thousands of former Black and Latino teachers in New York City stand to collect an astonishing $1.8 billion in damages after the city stopped fighting a decades-long discrimination lawsuit which alleged that a licensing test that teachers were formerly required to pass was biased.["]  When leftists sue a government run by leftists, jackpot justice is a foregone conclusion.  ["]Between 1990 and 2014, New York State required all public school teachers to pass a Liberal Arts and Sciences Test in order to maintain their teaching license.  In 1996, a group of minority teachers and prospective educators filed a lawsuit to abolish the testing requirement, citing a disparity in passage rates between white and minority test-takers.["]  According to liberal ideology, if whites do better on a test, then the test is racist.  To suggest that those who score poorly are less qualified would be — you guessed it — racist.

Long-stalled bill to boost U.S. microchip manufacturing heads for crucial Senate vote.  Senate Democrats plan to forge ahead with a test vote Tuesday on long-stalled legislation intended to jolt the U.S. production of semiconductor chips that are vital for everything from automobiles to washing machines to military weapons systems.  Known as "Chips-plus," the bipartisan bill includes more than $50 billion over the next five years for chip manufacturing and a 25% tax credit through 2026 for new chip production.  Proponents of the bill say it will reduce America's dependence on China and resolve a major supply chain issue that has contributed to high inflation.  Opponents, including some Republicans and far-left icon Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, labeled as "corporate welfare" the bill's $50 billion of funding for the chip manufacturing industry.

Feds Pay LGBT Magazine $77K To Advertise for Minnesota National Guard.  The Minnesota Army National Guard paid tens of thousands of dollars to advertise in an LGBT publication that has promoted transgenderism and "queer" identities among children.  The National Guard, which operates through the Department of Defense, between 2019 and 2022 awarded $76,951 to Minneapolis-based Lavender magazine, paying for advertising campaigns in an effort to "reach the LGBTQ community" and "lend credibility to the National Guard."  Between May 2021 and May 2022 alone, it paid $22,224 to the LGBT magazine, according to a federal government contract disclosure.  The advertising campaign appears to be related to the Minnesota National Guard's "LGBT Special Emphasis Council."  The magazine focuses on LGBT issues, and has published multiple profiles on children who identify as transgender.

Army tests electric Humvee for future battlefield use.  The Army picked General Motors to provide them with a GMC Hummer EV for a test drive as the service looks to fill a requirement for a light- to heavy-duty battery electric vehicle to reduce the military's reliance on fossil fuels in garrison and in the field.  GM's all-electric pickup-model Hummer features 1,000 horsepower with a 24-module, double-stacked Ultium battery pack.  It offers almost 330 miles of combined driving range with its first edition and can go from 0-to-60 mph in as little as 3 seconds, according to the company.

The Editor says...
[#1] Zero-to-60 in three seconds isn't very useful in Army work, is it?  Let's hear about the range of the truck between charges.  How many times can the truck make a zero-to-60 start before the battery dies?  [#2] Let's hope there are plenty of diesel-powered charging stations on the battlefield.  [#3] I wouldn't want to be a sitting-duck soldier waiting for the truck to recharge.  [#4] Nobody seems to have any questions about how much this will cost, and what problem is being solved by making this change.  [#5] The battlefield is no place to experiment with white elephant technology.  The fellas at Fort Hood will figure out how useless electric vehicles are, and all the research and development money will go down the drain.

Fauci's Pension Will Be Bigger Than Biden's Annual Salary, Largest In Federal History.  Dr. Anthony Fauci is set to earn a pension larger than President Joe Biden's salary upon his retirement, further rendering him the highest-paid federal employee in American history, according to a Thursday report from Open The Books.  The government transparency nonprofit calculated that Fauci, who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and works as Chief Medical Advisor to the president, will receive a $414,667 annual pension payout upon his retirement after Biden's first term concludes.  Because Fauci received a 5% salary increase from 2020 to 2021 and a 5.4% increase from 2021 to 2022, a conservative estimate of two more 5% increases leave him with a final salary of over $530,000.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams shares plan to house 3,000 illegal immigrants in hotels.  NYC Mayor Eric Adams mooted housing 3,000 illegal immigrants who've overwhelmed homeless shelters in hotels — and said he wants taxpayer cash from Joe Biden to do so.  During a press conference on Thursday, Adams told a room of reporters that in order to house those who cross the border illegally: 'If we have to get hotel rooms, we get hotel rooms.'  Adams also said 'our team has been in constant contact with the White House' and added that he wants the federal government to release funds in order 'to deal with this unprecedented surge' of migrants.

'The Department Of Education Should Not Exist:' Former DOE Secretary Betsy DeVos Slams Federal Agency.  Former U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Secretary Betsy DeVos spoke during the Moms For Liberty National Summit in Tampa, Florida, on Saturday and called on abolishing the federal agency she once served.  "I personally think the Department of Education should not exist," DeVos said during the summit, according to the Florida Phoenix.  DeVos, who ran the education department during the Trump Administration, has continued advocating for school choice for American children.  In an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation, DeVos said Republicans have talked about shrinking or eliminating the department for "many, many years."  However, she said taking practical steps like block grants to the states — a proposal recently introduced to Congress — could turn the tides and create a feasible option to make the idea a reality.

The Editor says...
That's not such an outlandish idea.  The Department of Education should not exist, and neither should the Department of Energy, the Department of Labor, and about half of the USDA, HUD, HHS, the Department of Interior, the Department of Transportation, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.  It is not unreasonable to believe that most of the federal government's employees accomplish nothing in a typical work week.

Inflation Has Now Devoured All Biden's COVID 'Rescue' Checks.  When he signed the "American Rescue Plan" into law in March 2021, President Joe Biden bragged about how it would put "$1,400 checks into the pockets of millions of Americans; help to keep folks in their homes; help to put food on the table."  A family of four was in line to get $5,600, he said.  What he didn't tell the public was that the rampant inflation his "rescue" plan would unleash would cost Americans more than the $1,400 Biden was handing out.  Much more.  Biden's $2 trillion "rescue" came after the Trump administration had already rushed through two massive COVID relief bills and at a time when the economy was already roaring back from the COVID lockdowns.  Which is why many economists, including liberal economists like Larry Summers, warned that Biden's "rescue" would spark runaway inflation.  And, despite repeated promises from the White House that such a thing would never happen, the Consumer Price Index shot up 8.3% in the first half of this year.

It doesn't cost $100 million to train 30 Ukrainian fighter pilots.  Representative Adam Kinzinger (Rino-IL) introduced an amendment to H.R. 7900, the National Defense Authorization Act ("NDAA") for fiscal year 2023, that reduces by $100,000,000 operations and maintenance funding to the U.S. Air Force's Flying Hour Program.  That funding will instead go to a program touted as training Ukrainian pilots to fly our F-16s.  The House passed the NDAA on Friday.  I'm sure OpEds are in draft right now discussing both why this is crucial to our safety and security and why it's a really bad idea.  I would just like Congress to acknowledge the truth: that this is, de facto, their agreement to declare our full participation in the Ukraine war.  Yes, Ukraine has about 30 fighter pilots with sufficient English language skills to be trained to operate our military jets.

Left-Wing Nonprofit Scores $171.7 Million [or greater] Government Contract To Help Illegal Immigrants Avoid Authorities.  A liberal non-profit group has been given a taxpayer-funded government contract worth at least $171.7 million — which could potentially reach just under $1 billion — for assisting illegal immigrant minors in avoiding capture or incarceration by U.S. Border Patrol and state officials.  The Department of the Interior was the awarding agency and "The Vera Institute of Justice," based out of New York — which supports the "defund the police" movement and has lax views on immigration enforcement — was the beneficiary.  Health and Human Services (HHS) had initially funded the contract back in March, Fox News Digital discovered, to "provide legal assistance to unaccompanied minors, according to a federal database."

Sen. Braun on 'Fox & Friends': Americans would be shocked if they knew where COVID funds went.  Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., joined "Fox & Friends" to react to $15 million in COVID recovery funds being spent on "anti-racism" and other woke education programs.  Braun said Americans would be "shocked" if they knew where the money has been going and how much of it is unspent.

The Editor says...
I'm not an economist, but I don't see why unspent money is a problem.  Just find out where the unspent money is, and rescind the payments.

Biden Admin Spends $1.5 Million on 'Transgender Programming' for Inmates.  The left is becoming more aggressive at pushing their transgender agenda on society, and it doesn't seem like they're going to stop forcing their woke narrative any time soon.  In fact, prisoners will now have luxurious options when it comes to "transitioning," and all paid for by the American people, of course.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) entered a $1.5 million contract with a private company to develop a "transgender programming curriculum" to be used in prisons across the U.S.

The U.S. Has Now Spent More in Ukraine Than in the First 5 Years in Afghanistan.  The United States is fighting a proxy war in Ukraine against Russian aggression, and we're not doing it on the cheap.  The Biden administration announced on Friday [7/8/2022] that we were sending another $400 million in military aid to Ukraine.  This comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory over the eastern Luhansk region last week.  Putin jumped the gun a little, although Russian troops hold the upper hand throughout most of the region.  The problem for Putin is that those pesky Ukrainians refuse to surrender.  And the United States is making their continuing resistance possible by giving Kyiv high-powered weapons to fight with.  To date, we've spent $8 billion in military assistance to the Ukrainian army with tens of billions of dollars in military hardware in the pipeline.  Congress authorized $54 billion in military and other aid to Ukraine — some of which went to our NATO allies to help us defend Kyiv.

Sanctuary State New Jersey Creates $60M 'Slush Fund' for Illegal Aliens.  [Scroll down]  Elected Republicans have called the plan a "slush fund" intended to transfer New Jersey taxpayer dollars to illegal aliens.  "The Democrats who control the legislature know that Gov. Murphy's program giving big cash payments to illegal immigrants is so unpopular with most New Jerseyans that they were afraid to fund it directly in the state budget," State Sen. Jim Holzapfel (R) said.  "Instead, they created a slush fund that Gov. Murphy controls that appears to have been designed specifically to continue making these ridiculous payments," Holzapfel continued.

Are the military service academies wasting taxpayer dollars?  I miss Senator Proxmire of Wisconsin, and you should, too!  Even though he was a Democrat, I enjoyed how he poked fun at the outlandish spending that emanates from Capitol Hill. [...] If there is anyone in government like Senator Proxmire still interested in cutting costs, the academies are ripe for trimming.  Here are some cost-cutting questions.
  •   Why do we have three separate sea service academies?  (Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy)
  •   Why do we have vice admirals in charge of the academies when a colonel or a captain (06) could do the job?
  •   If OCS and ROTC produce officers more cost-effectively, why do we keep packing the service academies, where the costs per graduate are much higher?

The Army Thinks Printers Cost Over $1 Million.  The Army failed to properly account for tens of millions of dollars' worth of equipment, according to the Department of Defense's (DOD) internal watchdog.  A report released last week by the DOD Office of the Inspector General detailed the results of a recent audit of military bases in Kuwait.  Specifically, the audit intended "to determine whether the Army effectively accounted for Government-furnished property (GFP)."  The audit focused on two bases, Camp Arifjan and Camp Buehring.  In 2010, a contractor (not named in the report) was awarded a $75 million contract to provide operations and security support to both bases, including "food and housing, payroll support, fire protection, security protection, law enforcement, and transportation."  The contract was extended multiple times, totaling more than $5 billion over more than a decade.

California announces it will become the first state to give health insurance to undocumented immigrants.  Governor Gavin Newsom released attack ads on Monday urging Florida residents to move to California in the days after it became the first state to move to offer all illegal immigrants state-subsidized health insurance.  Newsom bought $105,000 worth of ad spots that started airing on Fox News in Florida, which is sparking speculation that he could mount a presidential run in 2024.  The ads urge Sunshine State residents who are fed up with their Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to head west.  DeSantis is rumored to be considering a 2024 run as well[,] despite former President Donald Trump likely to seek the nomination.

Buttigieg Launches $1 Billion 'Anti-Racist Roads' Project.  On Thursday [6/30/2022], Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that the Department of Transportation would be spending at least $1 billion to address so-called "racism" in America's public roads.  As reported by the Daily Caller, the program will be called Reconnecting Communities, which the Transportation Department calls the "first of its kind."  The new initiative says it will focus on rebuilding communities that were "racially segregated or divided by road projects."  Claiming, with no evidence, that the design of the interstate highway system in the 1950s was specifically meant to negatively impact African-American areas, Buttigieg said that the program will provide financial handouts over the course of five years to predominantly African-American communities across the country.

The Fed Is Quietly Handing Out $250 Million To A Handful Of Happy Recipients Every Single Day.  The Fed's QE may be over, and QT may be just starting (it won't last long), but don't think the Fed free money giveaway is ending any time soon.  In fact, for a handful of happy, mostly anonymous counterparties, the real free-money bonanza has just begun!  Case in point:  the Fed's reverse repo facility.  While one can debate for hours why there is a record $2.330 trillion in cash parked at the Fed's overnight facility and what it means for systemic plumbing problems, the fact is that there is a record $2.33 trillion in cash parked at the Fed's overnight facility, doing nothing.

US FED is Quietly Handing Out $250 Million in Interest Payments PER DAY to [a] Small Group of Nameless Beneficiaries.  With all of the money laundering schemes currently in the works — 'stimulus' money, billions in aid to Ukraine, executive orders for... solar panels, endless money for experimental vaccines, etc. — it seems as if the powers at be are literally 'cashing out' while they can as they burn the economy down in preparation for the great reset.  In response to the record inflation, which is being caused by reckless and destructive spending by the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve, the FED raised interest rates by 75 basis points last month — the largest increase since 1994 — in an effort to slow the Bidenflation tidal wave.

Woke West Hollywood leader blew $85,000 of taxpayers' money updating LGBT crosswalk to make it more trans and BIPOC friendly.  The woke West Hollywood officials who proposed the city defund their sheriff's department to save money had agreed to spend $85,000 to updating the city's LGBT crosswalk to make it more inclusive.  Sepi Shyne, the city's first LGBTQ councilmember, led a 3-2 vote to cut the current force of around 60 sheriff's deputies by four, while also hiring 30 unarmed 'security ambassadors' under a scheme called Block By Block.  The woke councilmember said the officers cost too much — and the Block by Block program represented more 'bang for the buck.'

G-7 to throw out another $200 billion for third world 'green' boondoggles.  Amid all the partying and gladhanding and making Vladimir Putin a figure of fun, the G-7 summit in Germany managed to avoid the important topics, such as where [...] greenie Germany is going to get energy from, and just what it means when it says it's going to support Ukraine forever.  Instead, it moved into its comfort zone, which was "infrastructure" and greenie energy for the third world, as if the third world needed more corruption and energy shortages, as greenie Germany is experiencing.  Naturally, its idea was to throw money — mostly American money — at the problem.  Doddering Joe Biden was all in for this idiocy and has touted this bad idea as some kind of success story.

U.S. Bureau of Prisons provides free cosmetic sex change surgery to a pro-Nazi male bank robber.  This comes in the midst of a poor global economy in which many can barely feed their families, and no relief is in sight.  This case represents yet another absurdity, in a constant stream of similar absurdities.  The woke movement advances daily, testing the waters to gauge if there will be any significant blowback or consequences to its actions.  The far-leftist agenda, no matter how ridiculous, will continue to gain ground in every and any sphere in which it is tolerated.

Why the trillions in COVID-19 relief money led to billions in fraud.  Raise your hand if you're surprised that the trillions of dollars spent on COVID-19 relief gave way to billions of dollars in government waste, fraud and abuses.  I'm not, but based on recent reporting, you might think this type of carelessness with taxpayers' money has never before happened.  Sadly, such waste and fraud are normal byproducts of most government programs.  Too much focus on waste and fraud misses a more important problem:  Lots of the COVID-19 spending that doesn't qualify as wasteful or fraudulent was nonetheless misspent.  When the pandemic hit the United States in March 2020, people all over the country panicked.  Everyone seemed to agree that the right thing to do was pump the nation full of as much money as possible, as fast as possible.  As a result, nearly everyone — married, unmarried, employed, unemployed, through businesses small and large — got cash through the $2 trillion CARES Act.

EPA spends millions from Biden's COVID bill on climate change programs, EV Rideshares, 'pruning workshops'.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spent $4.3 million in funds from President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package on environmental justice and climate change programs promoting activities like tree planting, "pruning workshops," and achieving "greater acceptance of trees" in cities.  Last April, the EPA announced it was awarding $200,000 each to dozens of projects "focusing on COVID-19 impacts, as well as climate and disaster resiliency" in "underserved communities" through its Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program.  The program awarded a total of 34 organizations using $4.3 million in funds from Biden's American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, as well as $2.5 million from the EPA's annual appropriation for environmental justice.

Here's more evidence that the COVID pandemic was a massive vacation for hundreds of thousands of federal workers.  The United States government takes in so much money, is so massive, and so bloated that there literally is hardly any effort at all to make employees accountable.  That fact was laid bare again recently by a report in the Washington Free Beacon pertaining to federal worker behaviors during the years-long COVID-19 'pandemic' which, for hundreds of thousands of them turned out to be a massive paid vacation.  "In the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, a quarter of employees at the federal government's top health agency failed to even check their emails as they worked remotely, according to internal documents" obtained by the outlet.  And if this occurred at one federal agency, you can be sure it occurred at nearly all of them (of which there are currently 432).

Mark Cuban's New Drug Company Is Already Exposing Billions In Government Overspending.  Billionaire Mark Cuban's new drug company has shown how the U.S. government could have saved billions of dollars in just a few months.  Cuban's newest venture, Cost Plus Drugs, sells over 100 generic prescription medications at the cost of production, plus a 15% margin and $8 pharmacy dispensing and shipping fee.  Medicare could have saved as much as $3.6 billion per year if it purchased the maximum quantity of generic drugs from Cost Plus Drugs, according to new research from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

How New Jersey Mollycoddles Illegals.  According to the nonpartisan New Jersey Office of Legislative Services (OLS), Governor Phil Murphy has once again slipped the ethical leash.  Not to be outdone in progressive circles and to burnish his credentials for the 2024 presidential election, Murphy is playing patty fingers with federal COVID monies to pay thousands of dollars to each illegal immigrant household, wherever they may be hiding out in the state.  Murphy's inner circle knew this bit of fiscal hijinks would be baked into the tenure of his second term.  It was hidden from voters in order to sidestep an issue sure to hinder the 2021 re-election of a governor with a five-star rating as a liberal spendthrift and COVID authoritarian.

Mozambique: Islamic State raids six Christian villages, murders eight people.  Biden's handlers are giving $140,000,000 of U.S. taxpayer money to rebuild Mozambique after the devastation the Islamic State has wrought.  But the Islamic State is still there.  So what will become of all that money?

A Quarter of Federal Health Workers Failed To Check Email Amid Pandemic, Report Reveals.  In the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, a quarter of employees at the federal government's top health agency failed to even check their emails as they worked remotely, according to internal documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.  An estimated 25 percent of Department of Health and Human Services employees neglected to log on to the agency's software suite, which includes their email, work files, video conference calls, and other applications needed to perform remote work, according to the internal documents.  The report, commissioned by then-HHS chief of staff Brian Harrison, measured employees' inactivity on a day-to-day basis between March 2020 and December 2020.

Queens DA Melinda Katz uses security detail 'as her personal car service': sources.  Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz used members of her taxpayer-funded security detail to help her move to her new million-dollar digs — potentially running afoul of ethics rules, The [New York] Post has learned.  The borough's top prosecutor was spotted wearing her gold DA's badge on her hip last week as she carried four boxes of belongings to a black Ford Expedition parked outside the Forest Hills house where she's been temporarily living since selling her former childhood home for $1.05 million in February.  She then climbed into the official vehicle and was driven about 1.2 miles by a pair of plainclothes NYPD cops to her new three-bedroom, 2-1/2 bathroom Colonial-style house, which city records show she bought late last month for $1.1 million.  The trip was one of four that The Post saw Katz, 56, and her detail make between her old and new homes Tuesday morning.

New York Spent More Than $200,000 on Drag Queens — at Public Schools.  When you think of school, do you remember all the drag queens?  A growing number of graduates will do exactly that.  According to the New York Post, colossal amounts of cash have been funneled into cultural education.  Since 2018, the state's Council on the Arts has contributed $50,000, while $157,000 has come courtesy of the city's Departments of Education, Cultural Affairs, Youth and Community Development, and the Department of Transportation.  Such taxpayer funds have covered the cost of drag performers making the rounds at the Big Apple's public schools.  Might the $200,000+ meet a more pressing educational need?  Apparently, no:  ["]New York City Council has allocated $80,000 for Drag Story Hour NYC this year alone, more than triple the 2020 funding.["]

Drag queens are coming for the kids — and you're paying for it.  A friend reminded me that, just last year, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus created a "light-hearted" take on the heterosexual paranoia that the LGBTQ+++ cadre is coming for our children.  Except that, this year, it seems less like paranoia and more like an accurate take on the situation.  On the same day the New York Post reported about the money taxpayers have spent in New York City on drag queen performances in schools, Twitchy reported on a drag queen explicitly saying that the point is to normalize LGBTQ+++, especially for kids.

Border czar Kamala to announce $1.9 billion for Central America to address the 'root causes' of migration.  Kamala Harris unveiled Tuesday morning [6/7/2022] an additional $1.9 billion investment from the private sector to tackle economic issues in Central America that drive its citizens to migrate to the U.S.  The vice president will tout these investments during a meeting and remarks at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California on Tuesday evening as she attempts to prove she is doing something to address 'root causes' of migration in her role as 'border czar.'  The new $1.9 billion investments, including from Visa and Gap Inc., build on the $1.2 billion promised by private sector companies in December and will allow Harris to tout a massive $3.2 billion investment aimed at stemming Central American migration.

Hunter Biden's Favorite Las Vegas Hooker Got $20,000 Federal PPP Loan for 'Female-Owned Sole Proprietorship' After Joe Biden Took Office.  A Las Vegas prostitute who bought crack for and had orgies with Hunter Biden got a $20,000 federal PPP loan right after Joe Biden took office.  Cheryl Deboves received $20,207 in a PPP loan for a 'female-owned sole proprietorship,' according to the Daily Wire.  The hooker's loan was listed under "Independent Artists, Writers and Performers."

U.S. investigators probe theft of millions from Afghan government during Taliban takeover.  Afghanistan's president didn't make off with oodles of cash as he fled the country last summer, but someone seems to have, according to a new inspector general's report Monday that says a key security account was drained of funds the day before the Taliban took over.  Allegations that former President Ashraf Ghani made off with $169 million in his helicopter can't be true, America's Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said.  The chopper simply couldn't have concealed and carried what would have amounted to nearly two tons of cash, investigators said.  But someone did manage to get to "tens of millions of dollars" that were in a vault at the National Directorate of Security.  The money disappeared on Aug. 14, a day before Mr. Ghani fled and the Taliban arrived in Kabul.

Hochul blows $2 Million on new office in building of campaign donor.  Gov. Kathy Hochul had the state shell out $2 million to provide herself a spacious state-of-the-art executive office in a Buffalo building whose landlord is a big campaign contributor, according to documents obtained by The [New York] Post.  Hochul's ramped-up new digs in her hometown include access to a balcony, a snazzy mural called "Go!" painted on one side of the building and a rooftop garden, published reports have said.  "When she became governor, she ordered that her office be made bigger by taking down a wall and that she be given access to a balcony," said a source familiar with the office expansion.

$40B Ukraine bill reportedly full of pork, includes $500 million for electric vehicle development.  President Joe Biden has the pedal pressed to the metal and it's full speed ahead as his administration continues its intense push to radically transform America into a new green utopia in which electric cars will be the only vehicles on the road, including half a billion dollars for battery materials tucked inside of the controversial $40 billion Ukraine aid package.  The $500 million that's included in the massive foreign giveaway, at a time when conditions on the domestic front are deteriorating by the day, is to "expand funds available under the Defense Production Act to obtain critical battery minerals like nickel, cobalt, lithium and graphite," according to Bloomberg.

Outside study finds 'critical flaws' in MTA's $90M bus command boondoggle.  The MTA's $90 million boondoggle bus dispatch war-room has "critical design and execution flaws" that could render it useless in the event of an emergency power outage, The [New York] Post has learned.  An outside engineering assessment obtained by The Post found several "single points of failure" in the back-up power system of the NASA-like command center, which has sat mostly empty for three years since former Transit President Andy Byford and other bigwigs held a celebratory ribbon-cutting there in June 2019.  Several features of the building's back-up generators could shut down the MTA's entire bus dispatching operation were they to fail, according to the report by energy consultant SKAE Power Solutions.  Such a catastrophe is not improbable — and one actually occurred at the "old" bus command center when ConEdison experienced a city-wide power surge last summer, MTA internal documents show.

No Way Out but War.  The United States, as the near unanimous vote to provide nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine illustrates, is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism.  No high speed trains.  No universal health care.  No viable Covid relief program.  No respite from 8.3 percent inflation. [...] The proposed budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in fiscal year 2023 is $10.675 billion.  The proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is $11.881 billion.  Ukraine alone gets more than double that amount.  Pandemics and the climate emergency are afterthoughts.  War is all that matters.  This is a recipe for collective suicide.

The Truth About the $40 Billion in US Aid Ostensibly Being spent to arm Ukraine.  Once you take time to parse the details you quickly realize the media is misleading the American public on the reality of the $40 billion dollars ostensibly designated to buy weapons and equip Ukraine with a cornucopia of lethality.  Mark Cancian at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (aka CSIS) provides an excellent breakdown of what was actually appropriated.

ICE blew $17M on 'largely unused' beds at border in sole source award to inapt contractor:  DHS IG.  This week's Golden Horseshoe is awarded to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for wasting $17 million on 1,239 hotel rooms for migrants which were largely unused, according to public spending transparency watchdogs  ICE signed an $87 million contract with nonprofit social service agency Family Endeavors without soliciting competing bids, according to an inspection report by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General.  "ICE did not adequately justify the need for the sole source contract to house migrant families and spent approximately $17 million for hotel space and services at six hotels that went largely unused between April and June 2021," the inspection found.  "ICE's sole source contract with Endeavors resulted in millions of dollars being spent on unused hotel space."

Kamala Harris, EPA unveil $500 million to ditch diesel school buses for electric models.  The Biden administration is making $500 million available to school districts to transition the nation's gas-guzzling diesel school bus fleets to zero-emission electric busses.  The bucket of money is part of a broader tranche of $5 billion set aside in last year's infrastructure spending for low- and zero-emission school buses over the next five years.  This is the first time that the administration has tapped into those funds to help schools go green.

No help at our border, but Biden announces $5 billion going to bike paths, wider sidewalks.  In the world of Democrat delusion, they think $5 billion is necessary, at this point in time, to make bike paths and widen side walks.  You cannot make this up.  They have approved $40 billion in aide to Ukraine in a heartbeat under President Biden, while having rejected former President Trump's request for a mere $5 billion to secure our border.  The news also comes as fentanyl and the drug overdoses are the number one cause of death in the U.S. There's also an increase in human smuggling and extortion to pay to cross the border.  But no; let's make some bike paths and widen sidewalks.  That is an immediate emergency.

Hawley says 'astronomical' $40B Ukraine aid bill is evidence of Biden's 'misplaced priorities' and hurts US.  Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is warning that a measure by Congress to give Ukraine $40 billion additional funding in its war against Russia is evidence of the Biden administration's "misplaced priorities" and will be detrimental to the security of the U.S.  The Senate advanced a $40 billion Ukraine aid bill on Monday evening, despite opposition from a handful of Republican senators, in a vote tallying 81-11.  Hawley told Fox News Digital Tuesday during an exclusive interview that the reason why he voted "no" to advance the aid package is due to the fact that it will harm the United States' standing domestically as well as on the world stage and doesn't represent a "nationalist" foreign policy view.

A climate change class action lawsuit.  The UN IPCC and associated green activist groups; Federal, state, and local entities; universities; foundations; non-profit groups; and many corporations argue that the world will be destroyed without policies designed to turn on their heads the current energy system and American economy.  However, the green agenda that is designed to eradicate fossil fuels will inflict enormous economic damage on America's ordinary citizens and overall economy — and will do the same to other countries as well.  This is true even though the "climate change" models have never been fully and objectively vetted, so there is no solid evidence to justify these upheavals.  Nevertheless, American Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and, indeed, almost every federal agency and their federally funded cohorts in many state agencies are committed to decarbonization.  This is true for a commitment that they admit that they do not know how to implement, as to which they cannot ascertain the final cost, and they're unable to determined the overall consequences of their policies.

US Navy scraps nine anti-submarine warships that cost $3.2 billion to make — some under three years old — because their technology is already obsolete.  The US Navy will scrap nine warships worth $3.2 billion — despite some being just three years old — because their technology is already obsolete.  Anti-submarine systems on the Freedom-class combat warships, four of which were commissioned in 2019 and 2020, 'did not work out technically', the Navy's operations chief said.  Admiral Michael Gilday asked Congress to sign off on the scrapping, which will save the Navy $391 million.

Yes, Safe Smoking Kits Include Free Crack Pipes.  We Know Because We Got Them.  Crack pipes are distributed in safe-smoking kits up and down the East Coast, raising questions about the Biden administration's assertion that its multimillion-dollar harm reduction grant program wouldn't funnel taxpayer dollars to drug paraphernalia.  The findings are the result of Washington Free Beacon visits to five harm-reduction organizations and calls to over two dozen more.  In fact, every organization we visited — facilities in Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Richmond, Va. — included crack pipes in the kits.  The kits became the subject of national attention in the wake of a Free Beacon report in February indicating that a $30 million harm-reduction program was set to fund the distribution of free crack pipes in "safe-smoking kits."  Pressed on the matter in a Feb. 9 press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a full-throated denial.

Pelosi's Reason Why Americans Should Support $40 Billion for Ukraine Defies Belief.  The House passed a bill for $40 billion in weapons and other aid to Ukraine and the war effort on Tuesday.  That was $7 billion on top of what Joe Biden had asked for and on top of the $13.6 billion that was passed last month.  Joe Biden said they needed more because they had already spent everything.  While 57 Republicans voted against the new bill for $40 billion, most voted for it.  It still has to go through the Senate.  Congress had already passed a bill that gave Joe Biden the right to provide virtually anything out of our own stockpiles to Ukraine.  Meanwhile, officials are raising questions about how our own stockpiles are being depleted with this effort.  There are also big questions about whether they are ensuring the weapons are getting to where they're supposed to go.

N.J. budget fight brewing after Murphy grabbed power to spend $3 billion in federal COVID relief funds.  New Jersey lawmakers have less than eight weeks to negotiate a state budget, and one glaring question lingers:  Will Gov. Phil Murphy give the state Legislature a say in spending billions in federal coronavirus relief money?  The Garden State received $6.24 billion through the American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden in March 2021.  Most of that money remains unspent, and the Murphy administration has yet to release a detailed plan for more than $3 billion that is still unallocated.

Pelosi proudly announces new minimum wage of $45,000 per year for House staffers.  Congressional Democrats take care of their own with Speaker Nancy Pelosi proudly announcing that House staffers will be compensated at a minimum pay rate of $45,000 per year, a figure that will be a significant bump for many young staff members who work long hours.  On Friday, Madame Speaker sent out a "Dear Colleague" letter with the good news, "I am pleased to announce that, pursuant to the statutory authority of the Speaker in 2 U.S.C. 4532, the House will for the first time ever set the minimum annual pay for staff at $45,000."

Joe Biden Asks Congress for $33 Billion More for Ukraine to Fund Their Government Salaries, Pensions and Budget Obligations.  This is getting seriously out of hand.  On top of the $14 billion already appropriated for Ukraine assistance, Joe Biden is now asking for a supplemental budget allocation of an additional $33 billion for Ukraine.  [Indeed], that's almost $50 billion in aid, plus the billions in distributed weapons.  Biden is asking for U.S. taxpayers to fund the budget, salaries and pension obligations of the Ukraine government.

Biden asks Congress for $33 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid to help Ukraine fight Russia.  President Joe Biden on Thursday asked Congress for an additional $33 billion in military and humanitarian assistance for the Ukraine, which officials say could fund the war there for the next five months.  Biden said the previous money allocated for the Ukrainians has been spent.  'Basically we're out of money,' he said in remarks at the White House.

Blue States Used Democrat-Passed Coronavirus Relief Funds to Implement CRT in Schools.  Blue states, including New York and California, used Democrat-passed coronavirus relief funds to usher in the Marxist ideology Critical Race Theory (CRT) into schools, according to reports.  Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act in March 2021, which President Biden signed into law shortly after.  Republicans did not support the measure, but it passed in both chambers, as Democrats hold a majority.  It included billions supposedly allocated to "safely" reopen schools.  In August, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said New York's plan to use the funds to "support K-12 schools and students" laid "the groundwork for the ways in which an unprecedented infusion of federal resources will be used to address the urgent needs of America's children and Build Back Better." However, using the funds for CRT went far beyond just blue New York.

How opportunists got rich off COVID-19 pandemic by stealing our money.  On Saturday, April 26, 2020, Robert Stewart Jr., a 33-year-old contractor from Virginia, invited an investigative reporter to take a trip on his private jet.  "I'm talking with you against the advice of my attorney," Stewart laughed, before bringing J. David McSwane aboard a luxury Legacy 450 Flexjet, which he'd rented to deliver six million N95 masks during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Stewart had recently landed a $34.5 million contract with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, which operates the nation's largest network of hospitals, promising to provide them with enough of the medical-grade (and at the time, scarce) masks to meet the overwhelming demand.  Problem was, there were no masks aboard the plane.

The Times Gaslights America About Biden's 'Rescue Plan' Boondoggle.  [Scroll down]  The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has been tracking the nearly $6 trillion in COVID relief money approved over the past two years and finds that more than $800 billion of it still hasn't even been committed or dispersed.  To put that in perspective, Obama's entire stimulus bill was priced at $831 billion.  Burns goes on to point out that even when state and local governments get the money, they can't spend it very fast because "the money must make its way through city councils and contract-bidding processes."  Then there's the fact that state and local governments didn't need Biden's "rescue" money because the economy had already rebounded so quickly, leaving them awash in tax revenues.

Erroneous Payments In New York Medicaid Program Just Shy Of $1 Billion.  An audit released Tuesday [4/19/2022] by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that the state's Medicaid program paid $965.1 million in claims over a five-year span to medical professionals not enrolled in the health insurance program.  The audit claimed that most of those errors took place during the first three years of the review.  The errors were tied to eMedNY, the claims processing system utilized by the state Department of Health to handle Medicaid payments to providers.  The system continued to pay claims to providers not certified to care for Medicaid enrollees.  Auditors found nearly $6 million in claims processed for providers that had been debarred from New York's Medicaid program.

Illinois [is] offering free health care to undocumented immigrants ages 55 to 64.  The State of Illinois has launched a new program that will provide free health care to undocumented immigrant adults ages 55 to 64.  The free health care program was approved by lawmakers in Spring 2021.  It is an expansion of Illinois' program to provide health benefits for immigrant seniors.  Covered services include doctor and hospital visits, lab tests, physical and occupational therapy, mental health, substance abuse disorder services, dental and vision services, and prescription drugs.

Queens principal booted for fraud will get nice paycheck for 7 years.  A Queens principal accused of using fraudulent schemes to boost his school's graduation rate can never again work with city students — but will get a $1.8 million desk job, The Post has learned.  Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir, who was removed as principal of Maspeth High School last July, won't return to any city school as a principal, according to a settlement of misconduct charges.  But he can stay on the Department of Education payroll for another seven years.  Under Abdul-Mutakabbir, Maspeth HS created fake classes, awarded credits to failing students, and fixed grades to push kids out the door, the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools found, confirming exposés by The Post.

ICE blew $17M on unused hotel rooms for migrants, DHS watchdog finds.  Immigration officials wasted $17 million dollars on unused hotels for migrants last year, after hiring a politically connected contractor that failed to meet COVID-19 protocols, a government watchdog found.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement entered into the $87 million contract with the nonprofit company Endeavors to provide services for the surge of migrants at the southern border, the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General said in a Tuesday [4/12/2022] report.  ICE should have sought multiple bids for the work, instead of signing onto the "sole source" deal with Endeavors, which required the agency to pay for a block of more than 1,200 hotel rooms, no matter how many were used, the watchdog found.

Conn. Superior Court Judge Alice Bruno hasn't been to work in two years but still banked $400,000.  Where else could you be a judge, never set foot in your courtroom, never hear a case nor decide a fate yet pull in more than $400,000?  Unfortunately, it's no joke and the citizens of Connecticut, where Alice Bruno supposedly holds a job as a Superior Court judge, deserve a little justice by way of an explanation and possibly Bruno's removal or suspension.

'Biggest fraud in a generation': The looting of the Covid relief plan known as PPP.  Many who participated in what prosecutors are calling the largest fraud in U.S. history — the theft of hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money intended to help those harmed by the coronavirus pandemic — couldn't resist purchasing luxury automobiles.  Also mansions, private jet flights and swanky vacations.  They came into their riches by participating in what experts say is the theft of as much as $80 billion — or about 10 percent — of the $800 billion handed out in a Covid relief plan known as the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.  That's on top of the $90 billion to $400 billion believed to have been stolen from the $900 billion Covid unemployment relief program — at least half taken by international fraudsters — as NBC News reported last year.  And another $80 billion potentially pilfered from a separate Covid disaster relief program.  The prevalence of Covid relief fraud has been known for some time, but the enormous scope and its disturbing implications are only now becoming clear.

Senator Ron Johnson SLAMS President's son for running up Secret Service costs.  Senator Ron Johnson has slammed Hunter Biden for his Secret Service detail's $30,000-per-month Malibu mansion and the agency's costs for his wife's trip to Brazil.  This week revealed exclusive pictures of a $6.2 million mansion next door to Hunter's Malibu sea-view home currently housing his USSS detail — who are reportedly paying $30,000 per month in rent.  The news followed Hunter's wife Melissa Cohen's solo trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last month where she was photographed on Ipanema Beach with a full Secret Service escort consisting of six SUVS, six Secret Service agents and seven Brazilian federal officers, costing thousands.

Ever Get The Feeling You've Been Cheated?  The Detroit Free Press ran a disturbing, though not surprising, story this week about the absolute waste of $6 billion federal dollars in just Michigan's schools under the guise of "COVID relief."  That money is not needed, but is supposed to be used, according to Joe Biden's "American Rescue Plan," to handled COVID-related issues at schools — things like ventilation or HVAC system upgrades.  The problem is, most schools either didn't need it or want it.  Unlike real life, where the money not being used for the purpose it was sent for would mean it would be returned to the federal government, in Democrat circles it means a free-for-all spending spree on whatever you can, with a straight face, claim is related somehow to COVID.  "The River Rouge School District proposed at least $340,000 in athletics, playground and wellness spending out of the roughly $16 million the district received.  About $10,000 would go to a nutrition room to make smoothies, according to River Rouge's plan," the Free Press reported, uncritically.

NYers buy Medicaid for illegal migrants in Gov. Hochul, Dems' $220B budget.  Illegal immigrants aged 65 and over will be able to obtain taxpayer-financed health care in the record-breaking $220 billion state budget signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul and passed by the legislature — a move critics say will incentivize the undocumented to flood New York for the benefits.  A provision in the budget allows up to 20,000 elderly residents living here illegally to apply for Medicaid, the public health insurance program for the needy that served more than 7 million residents during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.  An individual would just need to have income of less than $18,754 to qualify.  Medicaid is largely funded by the federal government with contributions from the state and local governments.  But US law bars using federal dollars for illegal immigrants, so New York will have to foot the entire $220 million cost to cover senior undocumented immigrants.

Dislike, Thumbs Down, Unfollow: [The] FBI [is] Spending $27M on Social Media Tracking.  Here's an update to share on your preferred social media platform:  the FBI is watching.  According to a new report from the Washington Post, the FBI is going all in on social media monitoring, spending nearly $30 million dollars to prevent another January 6.  Privacy watchdogs and civil liberties advocates are concerned — and they should be.  This is crazy.  The FBI has purchased 5,000 licenses to use Babel X; a supercharged web crawler made by a company called Babel Street.  "The Justice Department has previously [used] Babel X... but the new contract appears to be by far the most the agency has ever shelled out for the software, and is one of the largest contracts for the software by a civilian agency," WaPo reports.  So what does the FBI get for $30 mil and 5,000 licenses?  Access to 40 online sources, including no-brainers like Instagram, fringe Korean social media platforms, and "dark web" monitoring.

Psaki says no to free smartphones, paid monthly plans for US citizens, only for illegal immigrants.  White House press secretary Jen Psaki deflected from answering a question by Fox News reporter Peter Doocy during her press briefing on Friday [4/8/2022] when he asked her if the Biden administration will give Americans smartphones since they are providing them to illegal immigrants in order to track them.  Doocy asked if the administration had a "plan to give free smartphones to U.S. citizens" as they have reportedly been freely handing them out to those illegally entering the U.S.  "Should we not be tracking migrants who irregularly cross the border?" Psaki asked, expertly avoiding the question.  "Well, it'd be great if anybody that wanted a free phone and a free monthly plan could get one," Doocy sarcastically told her.  "So is that going to be an offer for everybody or just people that walk into the country illegally?"

The Biden Admin is Giving Cell Phones to Illegal Immigrants In Order to 'Track' Them.  White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed today a report that the Biden Administration is giving cell phones to illegal immigrants in order to "track" and "check in" with them.  Fox News' Bill Melugin first reported on the situation yesterday as he said in a two-part tweet.  In the first part, Melugin shared a video where a line of people were walking and reported, "NEW: We are in Brownsville, TX where we are once again witnessing the mass release of single adult migrants from federal custody."  "This group was dropped off on a bus 2 hours ago and just left a NGO.  I'm told several hundred are released here every day, mostly via parole," Melugin explained.

California Sent Pandemic Food Stamps to Affluent Families.  News of the strange COVID payments started circulating quietly among neighbors and friends last year in several affluent beachside communities of North County San Diego.  Food stamp cards carrying as much as $1,700 were arriving in the mailboxes of all students, even those living in multi-million-dollar homes at two local public high schools serving neighborhoods with some of the highest household incomes in the state.  The cards were addressed to the students themselves, and some families with more than one child attending the same school received double the amount or more, at least $3,400 worth of cards.  As more people discovered the government-issued largesse, local community online chatrooms were sprinkled with questions on whether the cards were illegal and should be sent back, along with complaints of teens buying sushi and other expensive fare from Whole Foods and other pricey organic markets or using the unexpected funds to throw cookouts and graduation parties.

Taxpayer-funded boss of San Fran's open-air drugs market is accused by health chiefs of exaggerating number of addicts site has helped.  The taxpayer-funded boss of San Francisco's squalid open-air drugs market has been accused of exaggerating the number of people it helped — with city officials then covering up for him.  Gary McCoy, the vice president of public affairs and policy at non-profit HealthRIGHT 360, which runs the controversial Tenderloin Linkage Center, was accused of fiddling the figures by San Francisco public health bosses in newly-released emails.  Dr Rob Hoffman, special project manager with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, wrote an email to colleagues on February 8 saying: 'I think Gary is just making up random numbers.'

San Francisco Supervised Drug Use Site Operator Fabricated Data And Then City Officials Lied About It.  The operator of San Francisco's supervised drug use site fabricated the number of people who the site allegedly served, according to a San Francisco Department of Public Health executive, whose emails were released as part of California's Public Records Act.  "I think Gary is just making up random #s," wrote Dr. Rob Hoffman, Special Project Manager with the San Francisco Department of Health, in a February 8 email to other city employees including ones with the Department of Emergency Management and city homeless service agencies.  Gina McDonald, co-founder of Mothers Against Drug Deaths, filed the public records request, and was the first to report that of the 23,367 drug users who have visited the Tenderloin Linkage Center, just 18 have received drug treatment.

Understanding the Progressive Mind.  The money progressives rob from the nation's bank will be redistributed according to the dictates of "social justice" — a measure based on their social whims.  In the name of social justice, for example, the Biden regime has allocated $7.5 billion to put a black female astronaut on the moon because she is black and female.  This is a preposterous virtue signal that violates the very spirit of America's color- and gender-blind Constitution.  But a government that has no respect for the Constitution or the nation's laws needn't be bothered by that.

Biden budget proposes $100 million for 'racial' diversity in schools.  President Joe Biden administration's newly proposed $5.8 trillion federal budget includes massive spending increases for the Department of Education to promote "racial" diversity.  The new education allocations for fiscal year 2023 include "$100 million for a new Fostering Diverse Schools program" which will use grants to help communities "develop and implement strategies that will build more racially and socioeconomically diverse schools and classrooms," according to the Department of Education's (DOE) budget summary.  The program is part of an attempt to "address the well-documented, persistent negative effects of racial isolation and concentrated poverty" through "efforts to increase school racial and socioeconomic diversity in preschool through grade 12."

We are paying for our own destruction.  Just yesterday, Biden laid out a proposed budget for 2023.  His expected cost to fund the government?  Five point six trillion dollars (which also included tax hikes).  Bureaucrats neither produce wealth nor participate in work, so their financial illiteracy and ineptitude are not surprising.  Members of Washington's aristocracy have long abandoned their oaths to uphold the Constitution and serve as a faithful representation of their constituency.

Solving problems we don't have:
Biden proposes nearly $82B to prepare for future pandemics.  President Biden released Monday [3/28/2022] a budget that includes nearly $82 billion over five years to maintain preparations for future pandemics through better data collection and equal access to vaccines.  The Department of Health and Human Services said its blueprint for fiscal 2023 creates a Vaccines for Adults program that would provide uninsured adults with any shots recommended by advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  It is modeled on an existing vaccine program for children.  Among other provisions, the budget includes $200 million for the CDC's data-modernization efforts amid complaints that data about the coronavirus is often incomplete or outdated.

How local governments wasted some of the $350 billion in COVID relief from Biden's American Rescue Plan.  A shocking new report details just how much of the $350 billion given to states and localities to fight coronavirus went toward unrelated projects.  Democrats pumped $1.9 trillion into the economy through the American Rescue Plan to bring back jobs lost during the pandemic, help those short on cash due to job loss, reopen schools and launch a nationwide vaccination campaign.  Of that $350 billion in emergency funding was made available to states, local and tribal governments, with little restriction on how they put it to use.  President Biden has already requested another $22.5 billion, his administration warning that without it they won't be able to keep up their supply of vaccines and coronavirus therapeutics.

A Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier is nanny-state government writ large.  A report about the endlessly rising costs of a suicide barrier for the Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin perfectly illustrates why it's questionable whether the government should take it upon itself to swaddle its citizens in an effort to protect them from all physical harm. [...] And while every suicide is a tragedy, taxpayers must ask, in a dangerous world and one in which human nature assures that some people will make bad, sad decisions, should taxpayers have been forced to pay $213.5 million to save an average of 23 people per year?

The Editor says...
If someone leaps off the bridge and gets snagged in the suicide-prevention nets, will that person get mental health treatment, or will he or she just be released to try it somewhere else?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to give tax breaks and up to $800 debit cards to all Golden State drivers as gas hits $5.88 a gallon.  California drivers shouldering the highest gas prices in the nation could soon get a tax break, free public transportation and up to $800 debit cards to help pay for fuel — but economics experts warn it'll drive up inflation even more.  The proposal was revealed Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, as gas prices have continued to soar in recent weeks from pandemic-induced inflation and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.  'That direct relief will address the issue that we are all struggling to address and that is the issue of gas prices,' Newsom said in a video posted on Twitter this week.

US offering $1 million to report on Israeli human rights violations.  The US State Department has offered a grant of up to $987,654 for projects that include reporting human rights violations by Israel, raising concern about the potential for abuse by organizations seeking boycotts, sanctions and international law tribunals against Israel.  The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announced "an open competition for projects that strengthen accountability and human rights in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza" last month, thought to be the first of its kind from Washington.  The proposals are meant to "collect, archive and maintain human rights documentation to support justice and accountability and civil society-led advocacy efforts, which may include documentation of legal or security sector violations and housing, land and property rights."

Free stuff for the homeless doesn't work out the way Oakland's 'tiny houses' advocates thought it would.  Seems the idea of "free homes" for the homeless, touted as a panacea to end the problem, isn't quite working out the way its advocates said it would.  In Oakland, at a concentrated community of "tiny homes," given out by the city to the homeless, the result was this, according to The Oaklandside:  ["]A fire Monday morning incinerated three tiny-home shelters at a city-run transitional-housing site at E. 12th Street and 2nd Avenue, across from Lake Merritt.  Nobody was injured, according to authorities, but five people who were living in the scorched shelters were displaced.  A fourth tiny-home was damaged as well.["] [...] The press accounts state that the buildings, which were built cheaply as a sort of transitional housing for the homeless, were in themselves a fire hazard, flaming up fast when someone inside one does something dangerous enough to start a house fire.  And it didn't take too long for this to happen, given that the encampment was just opened last December.  Some activists blamed the proximity of the homes to one another.  Others blamed the fact that the buildings were not sufficiently fireproof.

COVID Proves Politicizing Everything Breaks Everything.  While Democrats and "health officials" united to impose vaccine mandates, mask mandates, and numerous restrictions, nothing stopped the pandemic from getting worse.  Everything got worse even after we did everything the Left wanted.  This taps a common thread that passes through so much of the Left's agenda.  As the Left hypes an emotional response to a problem, the rush to action skips over a fundamental question that should precede any mandate or expenditure of public funds:  Does the proposed solution work?  Does the Left's prescription for climate change have any effect on climate?  Does the Left's intervention in education improve educational outcomes?  Does the Left's response to homelessness improve the homelessness problem?  Does funding for drug treatment programs help reduce drug abuse?  Does the Left's foreign policy lead to more peace?  Does borrowing trillions of dollars to "invest in people" lead to more productivity?  Has the Left's stewardship of universities resulted in better-educated graduates? [...] The Left's prescriptions for virtually every social problem always have two things in common.  First, they're expensive.  Second, they don't work.

Insulting WH Talking Point:  We Are Running Out of COVID Relief Money, So Congress Needs to Spend More.  Since the beginning of the pandemic, Congress has authorized approximately $6 trillion in federal funding related to — or said to be related to — COVID relief.  We know that an astounding amount of that money went to con men and grifters, and the feds are trying to chase down perpetrators.  But the overwhelming majority of the cash hasn't been stolen.  The White House is now trying to claim that COVID funding is running dry, and essential related services and supplies will be slashed unless Congress spends billions more. [...] In 2019, before the pandemic, the US government spent more than $4 trillion, total.  On everything.  Over the last two years, it has spent roughly one-and-a-half times that on COVID alone, with other spending still happening.  It's a gargantuan sum of money.  It's far greater than the New Deal.  It is absolutely preposterous that anyone would even attempt to cry poverty on behalf of the federal government in this realm.

There is no need for more COVID money.  In the interest of providing much-needed aid to Ukraine, avoiding a government shutdown, and sending as much pork home to their home districts as possible, members of Congress acted on a bipartisan basis this month and passed an omnibus spending bill six months into the fiscal year.  As badly as they behaved in doing this, they at least had the good sense to purge from this 2,700-page monstrosity President Joe Biden's request for $22.5 billion (later $15.6 billion) in additional funds for COVID relief.  The only danger at this point is that members might go back and decide that it's worth wasting this money.  It isn't.  The feds have failed, despite being pressed repeatedly, to show what happened to all the hundreds of billions spent on COVID already.  It is known at this point that a large amount of that money is not being used.  In a time when inflation is setting multidecadal records, there is no reason to make things even worse by spending even more money on a situation that is no longer an economic or health emergency.

Exactly how much of your money is the government blowing?  "Only in government could such calamitous neglect be considered business as usual."  This statement comes from an amazing Bloomberg News editorial slamming $200 billion or more in suspected COVID-19 assistance fraud.  It's fraud detected in unemployment benefits, Payment Protection Act loans, and charitable assistance.  It's fraud that Congress knew was going to happen... and, as Bloomberg's editors noted, didn't really do a whole lot about, because shoveling money out the door was the first priority, not making sure that the money was actually used as intended.  Some might excuse this as the result of responding to a worldwide pandemic that shut down the world's economy.  But Medicare and Medicaid are nearly 60 years old and may lose at least $100 billion annually to fraud, if one 2012 estimate holds true today.  Taxpayers were and are defrauded in Iraq and Afghanistan, during the Great Recession's bailouts, and when the IRS sends earned income tax credits to illegal aliens.  Taxpayers should be outraged, because the costs of fraud don't end with stolen money.

Feds have recovered less than 1% of $163 billion in bogus unemployment benefits.  The federal government blew at least $163 billion on bogus pandemic unemployment benefit payments and has recaptured less than $1 billion of it, the program's inspector general told Congress on Thursday [3/17/2022].  Labor Department Inspector General Larry D. Turner said the states that doled out the federal money weren't prepared for the massive infusion of cash in their unemployment systems and relied on outdated networks that fraudsters easily exploited.  The result was that of $872.5 billion in federal unemployment money, at least 18.71% — or about $163 billion — was misspent.  Mr. Turner said he expects further data will increase that number.

Congress Gives Itself [a] Double-Digit Raise.  Amid economic turmoil for the American people, their representatives in Washington gave their offices a double-digit raise this month even as the average American worker finds their real wages decreasing due to inflation that outpaces wages at new.  If you missed Congress giving itself a little pat on the back, that's understandable — members aren't likely to tout outside the beltway how they're filling their own office coffers, plus the funding increase for congressional offices was just one part of the 2,700+ page omnibus bill that funded the U.S. government to the tune of some $1.5 trillion.

Finally, DoJ pursues COVID-19 relief fraudsters.  Making good on President Biden's State of the Union promise to crack down on COVID-19 relief fraudsters, the Department of Justice announced last week the appointment of associate deputy attorney general Kevin Chambers as the director of COVID-19 fraud enforcement.  To date, the DoJ has brought criminal charges against more than 1,000 individuals, alleging the theft of more than $1 billion.  What's more, total losses are expected to top $8 billion thanks to groups and individuals who stole money from the federal government's multi-trillion COVID-19 relief bonanza.  That $8 billion may be just the tip of the iceberg of fraud and loss from the $5 trillion sent to Americans in the form of so-called "pandemic assistance."  State legislators should know that constituents may not be satisfied to see a few greedy hucksters locked up if billions in COVID-19 relief funds are being poured down a rat hole.

Taxpayers [are] footing [the] bill for these questionable provisions in [a] $1.5T spending law.  President Joe Biden has signed the omnibus spending law, which funds the federal government for another six-plus months.  But it also includes plenty of provisions tucked in by lawmakers in the wee hours before passage in the House and Senate that benefits lawmakers' states and districts and not necessarily U.S. taxpayers as a whole. [...] Some of the bacon congressional Democrats brought home include:
  •   $496,000 for YMCA swimming pool improvements in Yonkers, New York, a project "essential for minimizing disparities in access to swimming lessons and aerobics, promoting health equity," according to Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a first-term New York Democrat affiliated with the far-left "Squad."
  •   $160,000 to study the sustainability of astronaut food at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, requested by Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.
  •   $110,000 for a food truck and refrigerated van to serve the Spanish American Center in Massachusetts, requested by Rep. Jim McGovern, a Democrat who chairs the House Rules Committee.
  •   $1.6 million for the "development of equitable growth of shellfish aquaculture in Rhode Island," requested by Democratic Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse.
  •   $2 million for an electric vehicle-based ferry in Alaska, requested by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
  •   $3 million for a Gandhi museum in Houston, requested by Democratic Rep. Al Green.

The Editor says...
Of all the government White Elephants, bottomless money pits, and boondoggles in the history of pork barrel spending, "an electric vehicle-based ferry in Alaska" sounds like the worst idea ever.  If I'm not mistaken, Alaska is cold, electric vehicles don't hold a charge too well in cold weather, and nobody wants to be on a battery-powered boat when a storm erupts halfway to ... wherever the ferry goes.  Presumably the route taken by the ferry is too long to justify a bridge.  I'd be very interested to see where this ferry is so badly needed, and how Alaska is currently getting by without it.  And since Alaska is practically floating on oil, what explains the attraction to electric vehicles?

Look How Washington is Spending Your Money.  While the media is focused on the conflict in Ukraine, Congress has been occupied debating another massive $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill.  This is perhaps the last of attempts by the Democrats to push their agenda through before the GOP is expected to take over early next year.  The bill they have got in front of them is divided into two sections: [...] Within these bills, the GOP was able to retain $2 billion of previously-allocated border wall construction funds.  The bill also dedicates an additional $370 million to "enhanced border security."  Did the GOP compel the Democrats to spend more on the U.S. border?  Was this a moment of triumph?  Before you leap with joy to celebrate, the borders being fortified are those of Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Oman, Nepal, and Pakistan.

John Kerry Promises U.N. $10 Billion in U.S. Taxpayer Dollars Annually for 'Climate Crisis'.  Climate czar John Kerry told an informal U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday that President Joe Biden is committed to increasing U.S. funding to developing countries by upwards of $10 billion annually to help combat the "climate crisis."  Kerry told the meeting on "Climate Finance for Sustaining Peace and Security" U.S. taxpayer dollars will be forthcoming and placed at the disposal of the globalist body to help redistribute wealth in a time of crisis to poorer countries that need it most.

The Editor says...
[#1] No "combat" is necessary, for indeed there is no climate crisis.  [#2] Where did either Kerry or Biden get the authority to give an extra $10 billion to the U.N. — every year?

Tens of millions of doses [are] being trashed as demand for COVID vaccines collapses.  Coronavirus vaccines that were paid for to go into the arms of Americans are going down the drain — or into a landfill — now that many places in America have more doses than people who want them.  About 9.5 percent of the doses shipped from the federal government have been wasted, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  That amounts to about 65 million doses, according to the Associated Press.  The numbers vary by state, with nearly 1.5 million doses in Michigan, 1.45 million in North Carolina, 1 million in Illinois and almost 725,000 doses in Washington going to waste.

Sorry, Mr. President, But Inflation Isn't Due To 'Greed'.  We listened carefully to President Joe Biden's Tuesday night [3/1/2022] State of the Union speech for what he plans to do about our growing inflation disaster.  We were not impressed. [...] To begin with, he blamed corporate "greed" for inflation, which is scapegoating of the worst sort.  To fix this, he proposed price controls and government subsidies on "computer chips, prescription drugs, health care premiums, weatherization projects, renewable energy, electric vehicles and child care" to get companies to boost output.  Corporations don't suddenly get "greedy."  And greed isn't the cause of inflation, as Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman noted in perhaps his most famous pronouncement:  "Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon."  Many others have said the same thing.  Despite being in Washington when the last great inflation occurred, Biden is about to make the same mistakes made by multiple presidents that let the inflation problem go from being a brushfire to an all-out conflagration.

Crack Pipe Distributors Received More Than $5 Million In Federal COVID Loans.  Several non-profit organizations that distribute crack pipes as part of smoking kits received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Daily Caller analysis of loan filings found.  The Daily Caller identified eight organizations that received PPP loans and distribute kits with pipe components or a fully assembled smoking device.  Those organizations received more than $5 million in PPP loans during the pandemic, including two organizations that received more than $1 million each.  The federal government distributed $800 billion in PPP loans during the pandemic, with the majority going to business owners, shareholders, creditors, and suppliers, according to Investopedia.  Seattle's Downtown Emergency Service Center, a nonprofit organization that conducts outreach to the city's homeless population, received $1,900,000 in PPP loans in 2021.

Nearly half of Biden's 500M free COVID tests [are] still unclaimed.  Nearly half of the 500 million free COVID-19 tests the Biden administration recently made available to the public still have not been claimed as virus cases plummet and people feel less urgency to test.  Wild demand swings have been a subplot in the pandemic, from vaccines to hand sanitizer, along with tests.  On the first day of the White House test giveaway in January, received over 45 million orders.  Now officials say fewer than 100,000 orders a day are coming in for the packages of four free rapid tests per household, delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

East Harlem restaurants ask state to fund food program.  Cases and spread might be going down across the state, but restaurants in the city are still struggling to make it through the pandemic.  Some owners from eateries in East Harlem organized a petition to ask the state to fund a program that's supported local businesses and fed hungry people. [...] The "Restaurant Resiliency Program" distributed $25 million through to participating locations.  They also made the meals, which were distributed to local community groups that feed the hungry.

The Editor says...
[#1] Maybe the demand for restaurants would increase if nobody was giving away free food.  [#2] The restaurants are apparently asking the state to pay for food that the restaurants themselves will distribute.  In other words, the restaurants want the state to pay for the restaurants' products, to keep the restaurants afloat, with out without paying customers.  Just put $25 million in the tip jar.  It's the same thing.

Los Angeles is Spending Up To $837,000 for [Each] Housing Unit for the Homeless.  In 2016, voters in California approved a $1.2 billion program to build housing for the homeless. [...] Californians should be applauded for their compassion and generosity.  But six years later, only 1,200 units have been built out of the 10,300 that have been paid for.  One project under development would cost $837,000 for each housing unit, according to a report published by Los Angeles city controller Ron Galperin.  Another 14% of units exceeded $700,000 in cost.

N.J. spent more than $90M on COVID vaccine hotline in 2021, records show.  When COVID vaccines first became available in January of last year to more than 4 million people, there was a stampede for appointments.  Frustrated residents spent hours scouring dozens of vaccine provider websites, trying to secure a coveted slot.  Some would wake up in the middle of the night to forage for new listings.  The lack of a streamlined or centralized system was especially disconcerting to seniors, who said they had trouble booking appointments online as demand greatly outweighed supply.  The state launched its "NJ Vaccine Scheduling System" website on Jan. 5 and even though hundreds of thousands of people signed up, the site was not actually helping people get appointments.  It only notified residents when they were eligible and provided a list of vaccine sites.

Gretchen Whitmer's Failed Covid Response.  In a recent Detroit News opinion piece, Governor Gretchen Whitmer opined that she released her Fiscal Year 2023 budget — a budget bolstered by nearly $5 billion in federal funds left over from prior COVID relief.  Despite her political talking points, Governor Whitmer's budget isn't a reflection of savvy negotiations or sound business principles — she's merely playing Santa Claus with federal giveaway dollars in an attempt to salvage Michigan's economy after her policies devastated our small businesses and workers.  As she touts her spending spree, it is important to remember what Governor Whitmer has done before and during the pandemic to undermine Michigan's economy and target businesses.

Nearly one-third of NYC bus riders aren't paying the fare.  Nearly 30 percent of NYC bus riders aren't paying their fare — costing the transit authority $56 million in the last three months of 2021 alone, according to the MTA's latest fare evasion survey.  Transit number-crunchers estimated some 29.3 percent of riders on local bus routes did not pay the fare in the final three months of 2021 — up from 25.2 percent in the three months before that, the report showed.  The troubling spike brings the reported local bus fare evasion to the highest it's been in at least a decade, according to a source familiar with the agency's survey methodology.  "The high rate is mostly being driven by [an approximately] 50 percent non-payment rate in the Bronx, and a jump in non-payment on Staten Island," the source said.

A scam run from a California prison highlights government inefficiency.  One of the benefits to society from imprisoning criminals is that, while they're imprisoned, they cease committing crimes.  However, when it comes to the government's failure to take good care of taxpayer money, two men's stints in California's prisons gave them the time to engage in a massive fraud netting them $5 million in both state and federal unemployment funds.  Think about that:  our governments are so inefficient that they hand out COVID unemployment funds to nonexistent people created by prisoners.

Feds steer $200M in COVID-19 relief to left-wing nonprofit to aid illegal entrants.  This week's Golden Horseshoe is awarded to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) for $200.5 million in contracts awarded to a George Soros-funded, progressive nonprofit in the past year for legal services for illegal immigrants.  Last year, according to watchdog group Open the Books, HHS awarded a $158 million contract for legal services for unaccompanied, undocumented minors to the Vera Institute of Justice, a left-wing advocacy organization that backs defunding the police, criminal justice and bail reform, and releasing illegal aliens from ICE detention.  The contract is now at $164 million, as an additional $6 million was obligated by HHS in just the last week, according to the federal government's website.  The contract amount could potentially reach $198 million.

Biden's Latest Proposal Would Force Insurers to Pay for Gender 'Transition'.  President Joe Biden has sought to inject gender ideology into our laws since his first day in office.  He might prefer a massive bill like the Equality Act that elevates the categories of "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to status of race and sex.  But that effort has stalled in the Senate.  So, for now, his administration is looking for ways to insert sexual orientation and gender identity concepts into existing law.  The latest?  In January, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed a rule that would add sexual orientation and gender identity language to the 2010 Affordable Care Act.  According to the department, these amendments will ensure that those who identify as LGBT receive "medically necessary" care.  This includes "gender-affirming" surgeries and hormone "therapy."  In fact, the department's proposed rule circumvents the law and treats dubious treatments as essential health benefits in qualified health plans.  This not only contradicts the best science and medicine, it's a disaster for insurers, for medical providers, and, most of all, for those struggling with gender dysphoria.

Investigation finds Illinois politicians packed extra pork into $45 billion plan.  An investigation into Illinois' largest-ever capital projects bill found nearly $4 billion in discretionary funds set aside for politicians' pork projects, including $2 billion for Gov. J.B. Pritzker to spend as he saw fit — including on needs he saw driving around during his campaign.  There was also $144 million for constituents with close ties to former House Speaker Michael Madigan, according to the Better Government Association analysis.  Some of the recipients never asked for the money, with one who did ask getting over $29 million more than they sought.  The earmarks included $2 billion for the governor's office, $368 million for House Democrats and $326 million for Senate Democrats.  The remaining $1.2 billion was identified only as "leadership additions."

Another Bridge To Nowhere.  You see, the bridge in Pittsburgh that collapsed last week was known to be failing.  It was one of those projects that the Obama/Biden administration touted as a "shovel ready job" that the nearly trillion dollar "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" was intended to fix.  So why didn't it?  Why was this rusted out bridge, first identified as a shovel ready job during Obama's first term and scheduled to be rebuilt in 2016, left to fall down?  Well, that's an interesting question with an interesting answer.  According to Monica Showalter's post (via Instapundit) it was because Democrats have a proclivity for redirecting funding intended to fix failing infrastructure to Green Weenie projects.  How is it a surprise that the first Brandon Administration, that wasted billions of tax payer dollars on bogus solar projects like Solyndra, would fund a bill that ended up diverting funds intended for highways and bridges to bike paths, dedicated self driving lanes and other green-boondoggles?

Navy's New $13B Aircraft Carrier Fails Testing.  The USS Gerald R. Ford is the world's largest aircraft carrier.  It's almost four football fields long and cost $13 billion dollars to build.  Formally commissioned by President Donald Trump on 22 July 2017, the ship is a sight to behold — a behemoth of a thing.  According to the ship's website (yes, it has a website) "the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is a first-in-class aircraft carrier, and the first new aircraft carrier designed in over 40 years.  The Sailors who serve aboard Ford are tasked with ensuring the ship is able to execute national tasking for decades to come."  There's just one problem:  it doesn't work very well.  "Mixed performance by missile interceptors, radar and data dissemination systems on a testing vessel limited the ability to destroy replicas of incoming weapons even though sensor systems 'satisfactorily detected, tracked and engaged the targets,'" according to the report obtained by Bloomberg News.

Forget Biden:  We Just Parked a Telescope a Million Miles in Space to Peer Deep Into the Origins of Time.  At its launch on Christmas Day, the James Webb Space Telescope cost $10 billion.  That seemed like a lot until a year ago when a certain political party took over Washington and began spending several trillion dollars, with trillions more planned.  Since its launch, the 14,300-pound observatory has been traveling a million miles out to its reserved parking spot, there to orbit the Sun alongside Earth. [...] The Webb telescope is 100 times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, that has delivered for study over the ensuing years thousands of stunning images of distant galaxies, clouds of space dust and gases, and star nurseries where new stars are forever forming.

The Editor says...
For a Godless humanist, trying to disprove the first chapter of the Bible, by using elaborate instruments like this, is all very exciting.  Who else benefits from this project?  Nobody!  For the rest of us, it's ten billion dollars down the drain.

Fraudsters cash in as Dems shovel out billions and billions in COVID relief.  If a few billion dollars get carted off by bandits, or chewed into confetti by squirrels, or blown into the nearest river, after a brief chastened look, the Democrats always come back with:  "Hey, we think we have a new solution:  Spend more money again!"  Their latest idea is to upchuck $1.9 trillion (not $2 trillion — they're not crazy or anything) on yet another COVID relief package.  They've already appropriated some $6 trillion in fighting COVID, though.  That's more than we spent fighting WWII, which cost about $4.1 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars.  Unlike in the '40s, though, we've pretty clearly lost World War C.  COVID has killed way more people than Hitler and Hirohito did, and unlike the Third Reich, it's never going to go away.  So while we're getting used to the Forever Virus, we might as well pause for a sec and wonder:  What [...] did all that spending buy us?  So far, $100 billion of it has been straight-up stolen, "resulting in the arrest of more than 100 suspects who span the spectrum from individuals to organized groups," according to a CNBC report.  Don't worry, though, the feds are on the case, and so far they've recovered ... $2.3 billion.

In Mexico's Deep South, the United Nations [is] Handing Cash to U.S.-Bound Migrants.  The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), which receives billions in U.S. taxpayer money, is handing out cash debit cards and other funds for lodging and prescription medicines to U.S.-bound migrants who spill out into this southern Mexican city by the hundreds of thousands.  Every day, word of the UN's cash assistance draws long lines of hopeful U.S.-bound migrants to a large, grey building staffed by application-takers and interviewers who determine who gets the money.  Haitian Luis Ponce was in line one recent day, not to get his application going, but to complain to the officials inside that the UN is in arrears.  The international agency had not recharged his debit card-linked local bank account, a yellow and gray plastic affair with a UNHCR/ACNUR insignia in the upper third left corner, with the 3,600 pesos owed (about $180).  "We don't have money now," Ponce complained, flashing the empty card.

The Editor says...
Hold on to that empty debit card, Luis.  In some places, that's all the ID you need to vote

Ted Budd demands Biden explain how many convicted felons got $1,400 virus stimulus checks.  Rep. Ted Budd is demanding the White House explain how many convicted felons, including the terrorist responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing, received coronavirus stimulus checks from the Biden administration.  Mr. Budd, a North Carolina Republican, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday urging the administration to make the information public.  "Hardworking taxpayers have the right to expect that their dollars are spent wisely and carefully," said Mr. Budd, who is running for the U.S. Senate this year.  "That's why it is unconscionable that terrorists and murderers received taxpayer-funded checks from President Biden's American Rescue Plan."  The North Carolina Republican said the White House should disclose not only how many incarcerated felons received coronavirus stimulus checks, but also the exact amount that it cost taxpayers and how the funds were spent.

Sex Traffickers, Murderers, Terrorists Got Stimulus Checks While in Prison.  Convicted murderers and sex traffickers who received COVID-19 stimulus checks are being sued by the federal government who ordered them to use funds to pay their victims' families, court documents say.  It was revealed that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received a $1,400 stimulus check under a $1.9 trillion bill signed by President Joe Biden last March.  Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, offered an amendment on the floor at the time to block checks from prisoners but failed the party-line vote, 49-50.  The previous bills lacked any language barring imprisoned felons from receiving stimulus payments.

U.S. to provide $308 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan as Taliban gov't falters.  The White House said Tuesday [1/11/2022] it will provide $308 million in new humanitarian aid for Afghanistan, as the country teeters toward a full-scale humanitarian crisis and economic collapse under the Taliban.  In addition, the U.S. will send 1 million additional COVID-19 tests to the country, which has been in a tailspin since the Taliban government took over following the U.S. military withdrawal in August.  The new assistance will come from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and flow through independent humanitarian organizations, White House spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement.  It will be used to provide shelter, health care services, winterization assistance, emergency food, aid, water, sanitation and hygiene services.

The Editor says...
There is an infinite demand, all over the world, for "humanitarian aid" from the U.S.  Especially in Afghanistan, which was fairly stable until the U.S. abruptly decamped in 2021.  When the U.S. government announces a gift of $300 million for humanitarian aid, the politicians assume that only a heartless beast would object.  What they don't say is that there will probably be another $300 million thrown down the same hole next year.  Possibly in some other country.  The Biden administration is just printing money and giving it away, without any foresight of what that will do to the U.S. Dollar.

No more aid to Afghanistan until we get our people out.  [Scroll down]  In August, we ineffectively pulled out of the country, leaving behind a mess and a country pregnant with misery.  We also kept our allies in the dark and abandoned many of our own to the tender mercies of their most implacable enemy.  We surrendered tens of billions worth of equipment, supplies, and infrastructure to an invading army of human scorpions.  If it had been up to me, and we couldn't reverse our departure, we'd have sent multiple bombs over the horizon destroying it all, as well as the Presidential Palace.  But it wasn't, and we didn't.  However, a month after this pullout, we proudly blared that we were increasing our humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan by $64 million.  This week, the White House announced an additional $308 million, plus COVID-19 vaccines.  I say no.  No more no-strings-attached assistance to Afghanistan.  Not one penny.  If the Taliban want our money, that we're generally happy to give, they can provide a threat-free environment so donor nations can fly in and bring out all the foreigners and helpful Afghans still stuck there.

Green energy firms [are] the biggest corporate welfare recipients ever.  How much would solar, wind and electric vehicle companies have gotten in federal handouts and tax loopholes in President Joe Biden's Build Back Better bill?  Well over $100 billion in taxpayer largesse.  If all the tax credits are included, that number could reach half a trillion dollars.  No other industry in American history has ever received this lucrative a paycheck.  The folks at the Institute for Energy Research calculated that this is on top of the more than $150 billion in subsidies these industries received from Uncle Sam in the last 30 years.  The umbilical cord to taxpayer wallets never gets cut.  Yet, laughably, the left says all these subsidies to "green energy" are necessary for an "infant industry."  Really?  Does Big Wind or Big Solar ever grow up?  Incidentally, our ancestors were using windmills and solar panels during the Middle Ages.

Chicago Public Schools closed despite receiving nearly $2.8B in federal COVID funding.  The Chicago Public Schools system were projected to receive nearly $2.8 billion in federal coronavirus aid intended to help schools reopen, but they remain closed amid a showdown between city leaders and the teachers' union.  According to data from the Illinois Board of Education, Chicago Public Schools were projected to get $2.79 billion in federal coronavirus funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.  The ESSER was established in the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law in March 2020, and additional funding was added to the program by subsequent legislation in January and March 2021.

Homeless services provider blew city money on staff booze cruise, fast food: audit.  An embattled shelter and services provider that has been repeatedly lit up for failing to address the homeless situation at Penn Station blew city money on a booze cruise, fast food, and movie tickets for its staff, according to an audit.  Bowery Residents' Committee charged the city at least $2,653 for the $36,510 catered boat ride, along with $1.4 million in other expenses that were either unsupported or not allowed, the audit by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office found.  "It's a cause for concern when the non-profit hired to address the growing homeless crisis has so many red flags on the expenses it bills to the city.  Charging taxpayers for a booze cruise is inappropriate at best," DiNapoli said in a statement.  BRC's work at MTA hubs including Penn Station was previously called "very expensive" and "minimally effective" by the MTA Inspector General.

Dr Fauci's Retirement Pay Will Exceed $350,000 Per Year:  The Largest In U.S. Federal Government History.  On Christmas Eve, Dr. Anthony Fauci turned 81.  However, he is not retiring just yet.  If he did, Fauci would reap the largest federal retirement package in U.S. history.  Our auditors at estimate Dr. Fauci's annual retirement would exceed $350,000. Thereafter, his pension and benefits would continue to increase through annual cost-of-living adjustments.  Fauci has 55 years of service as a federal employee.

"No Fault Of Anybody:" $100 Billion Is Stolen From Taxpayers Via COVID Relief Funds.  Many on the political right oppose so-called "Big Government" due primarily to the tyranny it inevitably inflicts on its citizens, and we're seeing scary examples of the phenomenon in real-time.  Examples of such autocracy include vaccine and mask mandates, jury intimidation (see the Derek Chauvin trial), and unapologetic assaults on our First Amendment right to free speech.  But there are other aspects of Big Government that are both infuriating and repulsive, one of which is its inexcusable waste; and we saw a ridiculous example of such waste last week.  According to the U.S. Secret Service last Tuesday [12/21/2021], over $100 billion has been stolen from the federal government through three separate programs which received COVID relief bill funding, with one of those programs being the much-ballyhooed Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program.  In today's world of out-of-control government spending, $100 billion sounds almost small.  But it isn't, obviously.  And each one of those dollars represents government incompetence having squandered our hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

With Gateway Tunnel costs escalating, would it have been cheaper to build the ARC tunnel in 2010?  A proposed Hudson River rail tunnel project that was canceled 11 years ago would have been done by now, giving NJ Transit commuters two new tunnels and a separate station in Manhattan, had it been built.  The project known as the Access to the Region's Core or ARC tunnel has its faults.  It went to a deep cavern station under 34th Street, didn't connect to Penn Station and scared state taxpayers, because federal officials estimated the $9 billion project could balloon to $14.7 billion.  The Gateway Tunnel project, proposed in February 2011, is estimated to cost $11.6 billion for two new tunnels and to rehabilitate the existing 111-year old tunnels.  With construction scheduled to start in 2023 and inflation adding $1 million a day to the price tag, would it have been cheaper to build the ARC project?

Senator Rand Paul's annual report on government waste, 2021 edition.  This year, I am highlighting a whopping $52,598,515,585 of waste, including a study of pigeons gambling on slot machines, giving kids junk food, and telling citizens of Vietnam not to burn their trash.  No matter how much money's already been wasted, politicians keep demanding even more.

Can The U.S. Military Still Protect Americans?  A few years ago there were troubling signs when the Iranian navy captured two U.S. Navy command boats and ten sailors; a U.S. Army tank crew finished in fourth place, behind Germany, Denmark, and Poland, in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization tank "rodeo;" and when "whistleblowers" admitted that an unacceptable number of U.S. aircraft were not airworthy and lacked capable mechanics, spare parts, and even the pilots necessary to fly them.  More disconcerting and recent are the U.S. Navy's extraordinary construction woes in what has become the most expensive aircraft carrier in the world, the U.S.S. Gerald Ford.  The designers abandoned the time-proven cable system for the carrier's elevators, the steam-driven aircraft catapult, and the hydraulic-engine arresting system in favor of electromagnetic systems.  As with many "adaptive technologies," they are great when they work; however, the Ford's sea trials have been ongoing for years without all of these vital functions performing reliably, and the ship's full deployment is not expected until 2024.

Secret Service:  Nearly $100B stolen in pandemic relief funds.  Nearly $100 billion at minimum has been stolen from COVID-19 relief programs set up to help businesses and people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, the U.S. Secret Service said Tuesday [12/21/2021].  The estimate is based on Secret Service cases and data from the Labor Department and the Small Business Administration, said Roy Dotson, the agency's national pandemic fraud recovery coordinator, in an interview.  The Secret Service didn't include COVID-19 fraud cases prosecuted by the Justice Department.  While roughly 3% of the $3.4 trillion dispersed, the amount stolen from pandemic benefits programs shows "the sheer size of the pot is enticing to the criminals," Dotson said.  Most of that figure comes from unemployment fraud.  The Labor Department reported about $87 billion in unemployment benefits could have been paid improperly, with a significant portion attributable to fraud.

Secret Service says pandemic fraud totals nearly $100 billion.  The U.S. Secret Service said Tuesday that fraudulent coronavirus pandemic benefit claims are "nearing $100 billion," and the agency named its first-ever national coordinator to oversee its investigations.  It's been nearly two years since the virus first slammed into the U.S., and Uncle Sam has spent trillions of dollars on relief, including assistance to businesses, bailout money for state and local governments, and new unemployment benefits.  The Secret Service, which polices financial crimes, says it was primarily concerned in the early days with protective equipment fraud, but as fraudulent benefit claims build up it is time to refocus.  The agency said it has more than 900 active criminal investigations into pandemic fraud.

Ex-Olympian charged with falsely obtaining $10M in COVID-19 relief funds.  A former Olympic speedskater lied on loan applications to fraudulently receive $10 million in coronavirus relief money — which she partly invested in a movie about a serial killer, federal prosecutors said.  Allison Marie Baver, who won the bronze medal as part of Team USA's 3000-meter women's relay team in Vancouver in 2010, was charged Wednesday with money laundering and eight counts of making a false statement to a bank, according to the US Attorney's Office for the District of Utah.  Following her speed-skating career, the Utah woman launched Allison Baver Entertainment, which bills itself as a "purpose-driven" film and television production company.

California education 'equity' official resigns because she lives in Texas.  The California Department of Education's equity project manager has resigned due to the fact she lives in Texas.  Pamela Kadakia worked for the California state department while living in Texas, according to Politico.  Additionally, the Lone Star State is on California's state-funded travel ban list.  California law mandates that state employees live there unless they need to live in another location for their work, such as lobbying in D.C.  Kadakia is the second California education equity official to depart in recent weeks.  The Golden State's first superintendent of equity, Daniel Lee, resigned earlier this month.  Politico reported how Lee lived in Philadelphia while collecting a salary of more than $161,000 from the state of California.

California 'Deputy Superintendent of Equity' Resigns After Illegal Hiring [is] Revealed.  A recent Politico investigation found that California's first Department of Education deputy superintendent of equity, Dr. Daniel Lee, was hired even though he "lives in Philadelphia and has a separate job there, more than 2,500 miles away" from the California schools he was charged with "fixing."  Afterward, California Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-06) sent a letter to the Government Operations Agency in Sacramento questioning the lawfulness of Lee's hiring. [...] Remarkably, only a few days later Lee resigned from the position.  However, if you're like me and don't live in woke world, you probably didn't even know there was such a position as a deputy superintendent of equity; nor is it likely you know what such a creature does.  Don't worry, no one really knows what he does.

Philadelphia resident who was high-ranking California Dept. of Education official resigns.  A high-ranking official in the California Department of Education has resigned after a report showed he had been collecting more than $160,000 on the taxpayers' dime while living and mostly working on the East Coast.  California's first-ever deputy superintendent of equity, Dr. Daniel Lee, has resigned, a spokesperson for the Department of Education confirmed Wednesday [12/15/2021].  The resignation comes after Politico first reported Lee is a Philadelphia resident who had been friends with California Superintendent Tony Thurmond for more than two decades.

COVID-19 funds used to make snow, rent band and buy tote bags; wasteful spending revealed in report.  One Utah county spent more than $200,000 of its COVID-19 cash to make snow on a hill for sledding.  Auditors said Uintah County bought six snow guns at $20,000 each, along with snowcats and pipes, and paid $3,000 in shipping costs, all authorized by a single county commissioner.  Local politicians told the Uintah Basin Standard they were coming up on a deadline to either use the cash or give it back to the state, so they needed a reason to spend.  And they decided on snow.  Sen. Joni Ernst on Monday dedicated her December "Squeal Award," which highlights ridiculous government waste, to Uintah and other state and local governments that found creative Christmas-style ways to waste COVID-19 money.

The wasteful and futile $412 million 'crime-fighting' program for Lori Lightfoot's Chicago.  A lot of "community groups" are going to get grant money, so I suppose that's a political accomplishment for Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot.  But when it comes to actually combatting the wave of violent crime that is ruining Chicago, her lavishly funded "Our City, Our Safety Plan" is mostly futile.  It's focus on the "root causes" renders it as inapposite as Vice President Kamala Harris's "root causes" effort to stem the flood of illegal immigrants across our southern border.

Joe Biden [is] Flying Illegal Aliens, Deported by Trump, Back to U.S..  President Joe Biden's administration is flying illegal aliens, previously deported by former President Donald Trump's administration, back to the United States.  This week, National Public Radio (NPR) reported that two previously deported illegal aliens, Claudio Rojas of Argentina and Jean Montrevil of Haiti, have since been brought back to the U.S. after they claimed that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency retaliated against them for their open borders advocacy.  Before his 2019 deportation, Rojas had lived as an illegal alien for 19 years while Montrevil was deported in 2018 following more than a decade in the U.S.  Attorneys for the illegal aliens are now demanding that both be given amnesty as reparations for being deported from the U.S. by the Trump administration.

Portland awards $11.5M energy contract to woke firm run by ex-convict.  The city of Portland, Oregon, awarded an $11.5 million energy contract to a woke company run by a woman who has served prison time for defrauding companies and tax fraud, according to a report.  City staffers had wanted the taxpayer-funded contract to supply heaters and coolers to low-income families to go to an established company, one that had an 85 percent white workforce, The Oregonian said.  But the city council instead unanimously voted to award it to Diversifying Energy, a newly formed nonprofit with black leadership promising "equitable access to clean, sustainable energy" for "low-income communities and people of color."  Diversifying Energy is run by Linda Woodley, 71, who has a troubling 25-year history including two stretches behind bars, multiple bankruptcies and millions of dollars in fines for tax offenses, the local paper noted.

Top of heap: 94 NYC Sanitation workers net $100K-plus in overtime.  Nearly 100 city Sanitation Department garbage collectors and supervisors hauled in more than $100,000 in overtime last year — pushing some of their yearly salaries to almost $300,000, payroll records show.  By comparison, just two Sanit workers reaped six figures in OT during the 2019-20 fiscal year and zero in 2018-19 — while the head of their department, Commissioner Edward Grayson, is netting well below that, earning an annual salary of around $230,000, records show.  A department rep said the lucrative wage boost for the workers was the result of staffing shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic, delays in hiring replacements and a heavy snowfall last year.  But Peter Warren, research director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, said the pandemic also exposed labor inefficiencies in the agency.

The Editor says...
I'm not opposed to paying sanitation workers overtime if they're actually working.  There's plenty of work to be done.  But if they're just riding the clock and pretending to be busy, that's another matter.

Schools Misspent $190B in COVID Aid.  According to watchdog group Open the Books, the Department of Education distributed $190 billion of COVID relief funds to schools across America.  The funding was meant to help schools reopen and get kids back into classrooms safely, but how was the funding spent?  "In Creston, Iowa, they expanded their sports stadium and they added bleachers for $231,000.  At a school district in Kentucky, they actually replaced their track for a million dollars worth of this COVID spending aid," said Open The Books' Adam Andrzejewski to The National Desk's Jan Jeffcoat.  "It's a big problem when Congress is throwing so much money at school districts they can't even hardly spend it."  Andrzejewski said New York City public schools used COVID funding to aid in payroll spending.  "They use some of the money to pay their custodians and janitors," said Andrzejewski.  According to auditors at Open the Books, janitors at New York City public schools can make up to $256,000.  Andrzejewski says that there is a history of misspending within the Department of Education.

United Nations is Handing Out $800 Debit Cards to Illegal Migrant Families in Mexico Heading to US.  Todd Bensman, a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies recently traveled to Mexico where he is reporting on the tens of thousands of illegal aliens heading to the open US Southern Border.  In Reynosa, Mexico, at a migrant camp, Bensman witnessed the United Nations IOM handing out free debit cards to aspiring US border crossers.  The IOM workers with the United Nations said a migrant family of four gets about $800 a month.  Todd said he watched long lines of migrants get their UN debit cards — paid for by US taxpayers.

Feds pay billions to fraudsters tied to China and Russia in COVID-19 schemes.  As the coronavirus pandemic raged, Uncle Sam was doing more than putting money in unemployed Americans' pockets — the federal government was also shipping tens of billions of dollars overseas to fraudsters working with the country's most prominent adversaries, such as China and Russia.  Haywood Talcove, CEO for LexisNexis Risk Solutions' government division, says 40% of the more than $700 billion spent on unemployment went to fraudsters.  Most of that ill-gotten money — $175 billion of it — went to overseas actors.  And most of that, perhaps $140 billion, went to organizations that are state-sponsored.

Mind the gap: striking Tube drivers on up to £100,000.  [Scroll down]  Mr S has done some digging into the salaries of the hard-pressed Tube staff, to find out just how much the horny-handed sons of toil are paid for their labours.  As it turns out, the answer appears to be rather well, as Transport for London has now admitted that Tube staff are paid up to £100k a year in salary, pension contributions, allowances and perks including season ticket reimbursements.  Three London Underground train operators or instructors are listed as being in the £80,000 to £99,999 category of total remuneration, with an impressive 3,085 between £70,000 to £79,999.  Daniel Pryor of the Adam Smith Institute think tank told Mr S:  'Commuters will find it baffling that Tube drivers on such salaries are striking because TfL is bringing back the night tube, a service that helps Londoners — especially women — get home safer at night.  These changes will help them avoid about four night tube shifts a year; such action will lead many to ask:  why haven't we automated the Tube right?

How Feds made informants millionaires:  The U.S. government has paid out at least $548 million to informants working for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in recent years, multiple federal audits found as they slammed the agencies for wasteful spending.  Among the questionable payments made to the informants include a parcel worker who was paid $1.4 million, an Amtrak employee who was paid nearly a $1 million and an airline worker who received $655,000.  All three received those amounts from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).  Those three unidentified informants were all given the huge sums of cash between 2011 and 2015, with the subsequent audit condemning the intelligence gleaned as peripheral in its usefulness, or information that could have been gleaned for free by using existing resources.

NYC homeless shelter director who stole $2 Million in city funds and splurged at Tiffany's avoids jail.  A New York woman has pleaded guilty to taking $2 million of money meant for a homeless shelter she ran in the Bronx and spending it on shopping sprees at luxury stores in the city instead.  Ethel Denise Perry, 66, was the executive director of Millennium Care, which was given a $10 million contract by the City of New York to run a 100-person shelter.  Yet between 2013 and 2016, Perry used Millennium Care 'as her own personal piggy bank,' according to the state's attorney general, Letitia James.  James said Perry illegally took more than $2 million from Millennium Care for luxury shopping sprees at retailers such as Tiffany & Co., Manolo Blahnik, Ferragamo and Bergdorf Goodman, and to pay for her cars, gym membership and other personal expenses.

Illegal Immigrants would Get $10.5 Billion from Reconciliation Bill.  Based on the reconciliation bill, a $1.9 trillion monstrosity, one would be forgiven for thinking that Democrats don't want to stop with subsidizing non-working Americans, but want to go ahead and subsidize illegal immigrants too!  The bill, which Team Biden is pressing Congress to pass, includes a provision that would expand the child tax credit to pay for the children of illegal immigrants.  According to a RealClearPolitics report, the expanded tax credit would be available to every illegal immigrant child and would cost American taxpayers $10.5 billion.  Here's what RCP reported about the ridiculous provision:  ["]This includes the roughly 600,000 unaccompanied minors and persons in family units stopped at the border in FY2021 and released into the country pending a hearing.  Cash welfare to illegal immigrants is not just costly; it also encourages more illegal immigration.["]

More on how the public feels about those massive payments to illegal aliens.  The other day, Ed Morrissey looked at a recent Trafalgar poll sampling the nation's feelings about massive reparations payments for families who were separated at the southern border.  That would be the result of a pending lawsuit that the State Department is reportedly considering a settlement on.  It's a payment plan that Joe Biden initially called "garbage," before deciding that he was actually perfectly fine with it after all.  But were Trafalgar's numbers an outlier?  After all, the national opposition to the payments reflected in that poll was pretty much off the charts, showing nearly 67% disapproval, with well over half "strongly" disapproving.

Biden's 'Build Back Better Act' Gives $800M in Cash Payments to Illegal Aliens Released into U.S..  President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better Act," a filibuster-proof $1.75 trillion budget reconciliation package, would give $800 million worth of cash payments to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who were recently released into the United States interior, a new analysis states.  As Breitbart News previously reported, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) analyzed the cost to American taxpayers if Biden's expanded Child Tax Credit for illegal aliens was extended for at least another year as part of the reconciliation package.

The collusive lawsuit between the ACLU and the Biden administration for immigration reparations is an illegal and unethical sham.  The ACLU sued the United States for money on behalf of illegal immigrants for being separated from their children when they were caught and detained at the border.  The Wall Street Journal reported a few weeks ago that the Department of Justice was considering settling the case for about $450,000 per individual — a settlement amounting to over a million dollars in the case of a family of three and over two million for a family of five.  The basis for the ACLU's lawsuit on behalf of the immigrants is not clear.  Most legal experts agree that whatever the morality of putting children into shelters, it is lawful.  That's what happens when parents commit a crime and are incarcerated.  The lawsuit appears designed to establish new judge-made law to the effect that when the crime is illegal immigration, the children must be incarcerated with the parents (who may or may not actually be their parents) in an adult prison.  That of course would be untenable.  Which is why immigration activists are pushing it.  Being a generous people, Americans would not allow the incarceration of children in adult prisons, and so the effect would be to prevent the incarceration of the parents too.

Biden's America:  Illegal Aliens [are] Worth More than U.S. Soldiers.  The Biden administration is considering payments of $450,000 to illegal aliens — per person — for "immigrant families that were separated during the Trump administration" after illegal entering into the United States.  The payments would be part of a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of illegal alien families.  The total settlement amount is reported to be at least $1 billion of federal taxpayer funds.  On November 4, 2021, President Joe Biden told reporters that payments to families separated at the Mexico border are, "Not gonna' happen."  When pressed further concerning the likelihood such payments would actually encourage more migrants to try to cross into the United States, Biden said, "If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah.  But it's not true."  Within 24 hours, the White House reversed itself completely and claimed that Biden was "perfectly comfortable" making the settlement payments.  This situation raises, again, the question of whether Biden has any idea what administration officials around him are doing.  It appears that officials who actually run the government are making decisions and acting on major public policy issues without telling the president.

Feds ponder how much to pay illegal immigrants.  Members of Congress who die in office customarily have a year's salary, currently $174,000, as a payout to their survivors.  Families of U.S. service members who die on active duty get a $100,000 death gratuity.  Japanese Americans, forced out of their homes and into internment camps for more than two years during World War II, collected $20,000 payments four decades later.  That's worth about $46,000 in today's dollars.  Lawmakers and legal experts are looking at those kinds of payments as the Biden administration considers cutting $450,000 checks — nearly 10 times the inflation-adjusted rate paid to the internees — to compensate illegal immigrants who say they suffered emotional trauma from family separations as a result of President Trump's zero-tolerance border policy.  One legal expert characterized $450,000 checks as "quite generous" compared with other payouts that courts have authorized, but figuring out the proper comparison is fraught with complications.

Treasury Secretary Says World Needs $100 Trillion to Fight Global Warming.  Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen addressed the UN Climate Change summit in Glasgow, Scotland Wednesday [11/3/2021] when she claimed the world may need to spend anywhere from $100 to $150 trillion to combat the negative effects of global warming over the next 30 years.  "Rising to this challenge will require the wholesale transformation of our carbon-intensive economies," Yellen said during her speech.  "It's a global transition for which we have an estimated price tag:  some have put the global figure between $100 and $150 trillion over the next three decades."

This Can't Be True.  This administration is doing real harm to a frighteningly wide swath of people every day, with every new policy and proclamation.  Now there's a new one that could be the most unbelievable thing ever:  Progressives want to give $450K to every illegal alien for the "psychological trauma" all of them suffered from being separated at the border during the Trump years.  Can they be serious?  The talk is that this will come about by executive order, bypassing Congress, where even some Democrats would likely reject this insanity.  If this happens, it exponentially increases the incentive to come here illegally.  It'll explode the national debt beyond all bounds of manageability.  It will crush the taxpayer and threaten the foundation of our economic system, from every angle.  Yet it's being talked about seriously.  Whether it actually comes to pass or not is not the point.  The point is that to the new Progressive way of thinking and governing, no entitlement is too much; no amount of government vote-buying bribery is beyond the pale.

Citizenship path for illegal immigrants to cost taxpayers more than $500 billion.  Offering a path to citizenship to illegal immigrants and opening the doors to more legal immigrants will cost the federal government more than $500 billion over the next few decades, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday [11/3/2021].  The costs would come chiefly to Social Security, Medicare and other social safety net programs that the new, and newly legalized, immigrants would be able to access, the budget analysts said.  The nonpartisan budget agency analyzed House Democrats' plan to update the window of eligibility for illegal immigrants to adjust their status to legal immigrants, and to expand availability of green cards, or legal immigrant visas, to more foreign citizens.

Analysis: Biden Proposal Could Turn Illegal Alien Families into Millionaires.  A plan being circulated by President Joe Biden's administration to provide border crossers, subjected to former President Trump's "Zero Tolerance" policy, with $450,000 reparations-style payouts has the potential to turn illegal alien families into millionaires seemingly overnight, a new analysis states.  The Biden administration is weighing whether to provide border crossers — who were subjected to the Zero Tolerance policy — with $450,000 each as part of a payout in lawsuits filed.  The plan could cost American taxpayers about $1 billion.

Biden Administration Makes Insane Proposal of Million-Dollar Payouts to Illegals.  Rep. Doug Lamborn pointed out that $450,000 is more than the 9/11 victim's fund — and this new proposal is for people who entered our country completely illegally.  Can you imagine how many more are now making a beeline for our open border after hearing about this incredible largesse?  If you want to get some laughs, or maybe vengeance, take a look at the comments section on the Daily Mail's coverage of the story that ranges from "I'm a Democrat and this is the dumbest thing I ever heard" to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) tweeting, "It's unthinkable to pay a burglar who broke into your home for the 'psychological trauma' they endured during the crime."  Well, maybe that's not funny.  In fact, the whole thing isn't very funny, when you think about it.

Biden's 'Build Back Better' Budget Includes $80B Wealth Transfer To Illegal Aliens.  President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better Act," a filibuster-proof $1.75 trillion budget reconciliation package, includes an $80 billion wealth transfer from Americans to illegal aliens via child tax credits.  This week, Democrats unveiled a reconciliation package that they negotiated with the Biden administration that would extend the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for another year and deliver billions of dollars to illegal aliens who would be able to claim the tax credit without ever having to work.  Specifically, as Breitbart News reported, estimates project that, if passed, the budget would provide illegal aliens with about $80 billion in child tax credits over the course of a decade — a massive cost to American taxpayers who would have to foot the bill.

They just got here, and they're already playing the Lawsuit Lottery.
Team Biden wants to give millions to illegal immigrants — and their lawyers.  To satisfy predatory lawyers and radical activists, the Biden administration is in talks to give nearly half a million dollars each to illegal immigrant separated from family at the border during two months of the Trump era.  It's a pure pander to progressives:  Such cases have been settled before at just over a tenth of that sum.  Three federal departments are negotiating to settle lawsuits the American Civil Liberties Union and others brought on behalf of families separated when President Donald Trump's zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration meant all adults unlawfully crossing the border were charged with a misdemeanor in May and June 2018.  Before that, adults accompanying children were treated with kid gloves — which is why there was suddenly a surge of them, including opportunistic migrants bringing kids who weren't their own.

The true heinousness of the proposed $450,000 payments to illegal aliens.  The Biden administration, in cooperation with the American Civil Liberties Union, is preparing to excavate your wallet because some illegal immigrants were separated from their families for a short time when they criminally crossed our fenceless Southern border. [...] In many cases, the children and adults were not really part of the same family.  The adults simply rented the children from Mexican professional human-smuggling "coyotes" so the illegals could fake the special immigration status reserved for families.  Of course, even though everything the immigrants did was totally illegal, the ACLU found a welcoming administration in the Bidenistas.  According to the lawyers, the children suffered from heat exhaustion and malnutrition in the cages the Obama Administration built.  It does not matter that the heat exhaustion and malnutrition resulted from the kids' extended trek across the blazing hot Mexican desert with no food or water.  Once the young people crossed the border, they were put into air-conditioned detention centers, received three full meals a day, medical attention, and everything else you would expect in a typical government giveaway.

Biden Wants To Give Separated Illegal Immigrants $450,000 Per Person.  The Biden administration is mulling a plan to offer immigrant families separated during the Trump administration $450,000 per person in compensation, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter.  The payments [are] part of an inter-agency solution to several lawsuits filed on behalf of separated parents and children claiming lasting psychological trauma could amount to nearly $1 million per family, though 'the final numbers could shift,' according to the report.  According to sources, most of the families crossing into the US from Mexico included one parent and one child.  Depending on circumstances, many families could get smaller payouts.

The Biden administration's mind-boggling cash giveaway to illegal aliens.  Aside from exploitative nonprofits and opportunistic politicians, very few Americans invited illegal aliens to break our immigration laws intentionally — their very first act in the United States.  Indeed, many Americans have had negative interactions with illegals, examples of which we see on an almost daily basis.  Just the other day, a drunk-driving illegal alien killed a five-year-old girl, and there are other stories of thefts, robberies, sexual assaults.  There are very few things anyone can point to that would be considered a benefit to having them around.  Only crazed Democrats could find a way to excuse this.  Of course, Joe Biden has almost erased our southern border in an act of petty vindictiveness against President Trump and law-abiding Americans.

Biden Administration In Talks To Pay Illegal Immigrants $450,000 Per Person.  If the Biden administration were trying to convince Americans it had little sympathy for the economic distress, growing shortages, and job uncertainty many are facing, one way to do it would be to offer an extreme amount of money to illegal immigrant families who claim they were victims of separations under Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy.  It sounds insane, right?  Well brace yourselves.  That is, in fact, what the Biden administration is in talks to do. [...] Although the numbers aren't final, the payout could reach the staggering amount of more than $1 billion.  That's a whole lot of cheese for what the families say were health, mental and otherwise, problems caused by actions they themselves decided to inflict on their children when they made the decision to enter the country illegally.

Also posted under Using handouts to buy votes.

8 Ridiculous 'Green New Deal' Programs in Democrats' Bloated Spending Bill.  [#8]  $5 Billion 'Environmental and Climate Justice' Slush Fund:  Section 30204 would create a $5 billion slush fund for the Environmental Protection Agency to pursue left-wing goals.  On top of the $5 billion, the agency would receive $500 million to pay bureaucrats to run the program.  The goals, which repeatedly reference "disadvantaged communities," are nebulous enough that the bureaucrats will have nearly free rein to use the billions as they see fit.  The $3.5 trillion legislative package is so massive that these eight items are just the beginning.  There are many more examples of wasteful and problematic provisions in the bill, which is why Congress should scrap it altogether rather than trying to force it through.

Military Spending Is Not the Same As Defense Spending.  Defense is a necessary and honorable task.  The Constitution explicitly makes that a responsibility of the national government.  However, when the Framers authorized Congress to "provide for the common defense," they meant the United States, not the rest of the world.  Washington's policy making elite need to be reminded that the United States is their first priority.

'Hard to know where pandemic relief money went,' admits federal spending watchdog.  This week's Golden Horseshoe goes to a broad sweep of federal agencies for a systemic lack of transparency that is hampering efforts to monitor many billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief spending, according to a report by the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.  The PRAC was established in 2020 by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to "promote transparency and conduct and support oversight" of more than $5 trillion in pandemic relief funds.  In a report released Wednesday, the watchdog details its difficulty in determining how funds are being spent due to federal agencies' poor reporting on the government spending website,  "It's hard to know where pandemic relief money went," the PRAC bluntly admits in a precis of the report posted on its Pandemic Oversight website.  "It's even harder for us to tell you what it was used for.  Government award data is full of dead ends."

Obama apprenticeship program misspent $155M of $175M: Labor Dept. watchdog.  This week's Golden Horseshoe is awarded to the Department of Labor for $175 million in grants through the Obama administration's American Apprenticeship Initiative — $155 million of which could have been put to better use, according to a recent audit by the department's Office of Inspector General.  The AAI was touted by President Obama as a way to, among other things, reduce the need for foreign workers under H-1B visas by training more than 34,000 Americans with expanded apprenticeships in growing industries such as health care, IT and advanced manufacturing.  The OIG found that DOL's Employment and Training Administration failed to align apprenticeships with the program's occupational targets and the initiative failed as a result to achieve its intended goals.

$86M bus 'war room' empty, falling apart two years after MTA ribbon cutting.  The MTA spent $86 million on a state-of-the-art, NASA-like "bus command center" that has gone unused for more than two years because it's already falling apart, The [New York] Post has learned.  Transit officials have said the eastern Brooklyn command center, which replaces a smaller facility across the street, will serve as a "war room" for bus dispatchers.  But the building has sat empty since former Transit President Andy Byford and other big-wigs held a celebratory ribbon cutting there in June 2019.  With the building at Jamaica Avenue and Fanchon Place having suffered leaks, faulty heating and bug-infested bathrooms, dispatchers who are supposed to work there have refused to relocate from across the street, sources said.  The ribbon Byford cut with then-MTA Buses President Darryl Irick in 2019 said "grand opening," but dispatchers only started to move into the building last winter, sources said.  That lasted only a few months because the heat did not work and the building's electrical system couldn't handle the worker's space heaters.

It's 28 dollars per capita.  What will that buy?  The added bureaucracy will cost more than that.
Biden administration provides $20 million to assist 700,000 migrants seeking asylum in US.  The U.S. government announced Friday it will provide more than $20 million to nearly 700,000 asylum seeks, refugees and vulnerable migrants in Central America and Mexico.  The additional funding, provided through the Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), will "help meet urgent humanitarian needs," and brings the total humanitarian assistance for Central America and Mexico to more than $331 million for Fiscal Year 2021, according to the state department's spokesperson Ned Price.

Does anyone think this is a good idea?
Biden's USAID Launches $125 Million Project To Find 12,000 New Viruses.  Joe Biden's U.S. Agency for International Development launched a new $125 million dollar project with Washington State University and foreign collaborators to discover over 10,000 novel viruses in nature.  The ambitious program follows the agency funding a similar form of research conducted by EcoHealth Alliance and its controversial partner: the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  Many experts believe this Chinese Communist Party-run lab is the source of COVID-19.  The new program, announced by Washington State University (WSU) on October 5th, will endeavor "to collect over 800,000 samples in the five years of the project."

Keywords: Unnecessary travel, junket, carbon footprint, jet fuel.
Buttigieg and 12 Other Biden Cabinet Officials to Attend U.N. Climate Summit as Supply Chain Crisis Continues.  Thirteen members of President Joe Biden's cabinet are heading to Glasgow, Scotland, for the United Nation's climate summit later this month, while the nation remains in the midst of a migrant crisis at the southern border and a supply chain crisis at U.S. ports.  The climate summit attendees will include Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg who has been on parental leave for weeks after adopting two infants.

The Wall:  Biden's Other Scandal at the Border.  If there is one thing most Americans can't stand, it is flagrant examples of government waste.  In the 1980s there was considerable outrage in response to revelations that the Pentagon was paying over $7,000 for coffee makers and $640 for toilet seats, among other excesses.  At least those infuriating details were tempered by the fact that there was little to no threat posed to the country as a result of that waste.  The Reagan military buildup seemed to be working, and our adversaries were playing catch-up with us throughout the decade.  The Soviet Union could not keep up, and communism toppled throughout Europe as a result.  We still have government waste today, but with a price tag that is orders of magnitude higher and with this cherry on top:  It is causing existential damage to our nation, both now and in the future.  Rather than just overpaying for goods and services, our government today buys materials and then pays contractors not to build anything with them.

Massive $3.5 trillion spending bill contains a billion taxpayer dollars for pathetic media that lies about everything.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden have both said that the gargantuan $3.5 trillion spending bill they are trying to cajole all of their members into supporting is vitally necessary for the future of America.  In reality, it is a pork-ridden behemoth that will serve primarily as a payoff to key Democrat constituencies so as to buy off their loyalty for years to come.  That includes the garbage "mainstream media" too, apparently.  Tucked inside the bill, which is several thousand pages long (legislation should never be that lengthy and complex) is a provision that would provide more than a billion dollars to media outlets, ostensibly as part of COVID 'relief.'

Democratic plan to tax the rich could have the IRS cutting checks to billionaires.  A Democratic proposal to tax the unrealized gains of billionaires could have an unwanted side effect:  the government cutting checks to the wealthiest in down times.  Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon, a Democrat, has suggested offsetting some of his party's multitrillion-dollar infrastructure and social spending by imposing an annual tax on the unrealized capital gains of individuals whose wealth exceeds $1 billion.  Today, billionaires whose investments grow in value are taxed on those increases, called capital gains, but only when those assets sell.  The new plan would tax billionaires' investments even if they are not sold.  But one of the major questions about the plan, which Wyden has discussed for years and gained support from President Joe Biden but has not been put forward, is how to handle losses.  If one of the world's wealthiest people has an off-year, conceivably, the government would have to pay them a tax refund.

Rand Paul Highlights the Ridiculous Things Our Government Is Spending Our Money On.  For instance, [Senator] Paul highlights how the U.S. government dropped a million dollars just to see if Japanese quail become more sexually promiscuous to each other on cocaine... and that's not the only study.  Paul indicated that there is a myriad of studies we're wasting money on just like that one and while it's mostly Democrats voting for funding these kinds of studies, it's also big government Republicans signing the checks.  Paul also revealed [...] $70 million we paid for a hotel to be built in Kabul that ended with the contractor running off with the money without building anything.  There was also $48 million spent on a "'natural gas' gas station" in a remote area of Afghanistan.  Wasteful expenditures just like these are happening far more often than we're told and have been happening for some time.

Report: U.S. Military Weapons [are] Being Sold in Afghan Gun Stores.  A report from the New York Times indicates that gun dealers in Afghanistan are selling U.S. pistols, rifles, and other weapons in their stores.  According to the Times, the items being sold also include equipment like "binoculars and night-vision goggles."  The weapons and equipment were "originally provided to the Afghan security forces under a U.S. training and assistance program that cost American taxpayers more than $83 billion through two decades of war."

Ex-Border Patrol Chief:  Biden Admin Paying Contractors Millions A Day To Not Build Border Wall.  Rodney Scott, the former chief of the United States Border Patrol, said during a Fox News interview on Tuesday evening that the Biden administration has been paying contractors millions of dollars a day to not build the border wall along with U.S.-Mexico border, even as the administration faces an illegal immigration crisis.  When asked by Fox News anchor Bret Baier about what actions the Biden administration took on the border wall after they took over in January, Scott responded that they issued a presidential proclamation that put in place 60 day pause on the construction.

Democrat Budget Gives $80B in Child Tax Credits to Illegal Aliens.  Illegal aliens living in the United States would stand to get about $80 billion over a 10-year period if a filibuster-proof budget reconciliation package by Senate Democrats passes through Congress, a new analysis concludes.  For months, Senate Democrats have sought to pass a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package that would need only majority support in the House and Senate.  The reconciliation process would also prevent Senate Republicans from using the filibuster to stop the plan.

Never mind the cost — just look at the absurd things Build Back Better would buy.  Democrats are quarreling over the price tag of their Build Back Better bill.  But the real problem is what's in it.  The bill coerces workers to join unions, imposes racial preferences on every facet of life and redistributes money from workers to takers. [... For example,] Home-efficiency rebates:  The bill offers up to $14,000 to homeowners who lower energy use by installing new heat pumps, air conditioning systems, insulation and energy-efficient appliances.  It's a pot of gold for homeowners who qualify and tens of billions of dollars in new business for contractors.  The catch:  Only unionized electrical contractors qualify.  This bill is designed to twist arms and unionize the workforce.  Why?  Unions bankroll the Democratic Party.  Racial and ethnic minorities also get preferential treatment.  The bill promises contractors a $200 bonus for each customer served from a "community of racial or minority ethnic concentration."  Whites go to the back of the line and have to hope the money holds out.

Moving on Up:  LA and Seattle Homeless Will Be Relocated to Taxpayer-Funded Luxury Apartments.  Three glistening new buildings in downtown Seattle with 165 studio apartments — originally to be rented at market rates — will instead house the homeless.  The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) is buying the buildings with taxpayer dollars for about $50 million, with federal COVID-19 relief funds splitting the cost equally.  Seattle City Hall is contributing about $25 million, while also using "American Rescue Plan Act" funds.  A large portion comes from Washington State's Department of Commerce.  Left-wing Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, so unpopular she can't run for re-election, claims the deals will house people quickly and cheaply, compared to the time and cost required to develop similar projects from scratch.  The three upscale buildings should be occupied by the end of the year.

Life in Centrifugal USA.  [Scroll down]  The President claimed that this tsunami of dollars (parceled out to favored supporters and interests) would not cost taxpayers one dollar.  It wouldn't if you are dumb enough to consider the stupidest wastes of money "investments."  Things like these can serve as examples: [...] [#3] $175 Billion in Subsidies for Electric Vehicles.  Electric vehicles:  A technological novelty so good it won't catch on without hundreds of billions in subsidies.  At least, that's apparently what the Biden administration thinks, as its infrastructure proposal earmarks a "$174 billion investment to win the electric vehicle market."  The spending will take the form of manufacturing subsidies and consumer tax credits, which historically have benefitted wealthy families most.  For comparison, the proposal carves out more for green energy goodies than it does on the total $115 billion to "modernize the bridges, highways, roads, and main streets that are in most critical need of repair."

4 Ways to Understand Democrats' $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill.  The U.S. Census Bureau's 2020 data shows that there are 128.5 million households in the United States.  If we divide the cost of the $3.5 trillion package across each household, the numbers are substantial in relation to a typical family budget.  This legislation would cost over $27,000 for every household in America.  That's more than the cost of a brand new Toyota RAV4 sport utility vehicle, or five years of groceries for a typical family, or 13 years of clothing purchases and tailoring for an average household.  The left tries to deflect from the exorbitant cost by pointing to tax increases focused on high-income households and businesses.  Yet that fundamentally misunderstands how the economy works.  When the government increases taxes on investment, there is less incentive to start or expand a business, which is the source of the job creation and wage growth that all workers depend on. [...] The $3.5 trillion spending bill equates to spending $1,000 per second for 111 years straight.

Biden Doubles US climate change fund to $11BN a year and commits $10BN to feed poor people across the world.  President Joe Biden made his first major address before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday [9/21/2021], announcing new financial commitments as he tried to reestablish the U.S.'s place in the global community.  Biden said he'd ask Congress to double the amount of money for public climate financing — to about $11 billion a year — while also devoting $10 billion to curb hunger.

The Editor says...
What is "climate financing?"  It sounds like a bottomless money pit.

Government Corruption May Be Most Evident Within Our Armed Forces.  The armed forces are our original bureaucracy and a mirror of our society.  After the recent exposure of the treason of our armed forces Joint Chiefs of Staff, it became apparent that our knowledge of the current Department of Defense is quite limited.  It is obviously a total quagmire of waste, fraud, and corruption that is designed to support itself rather than the soldier or sailor in the field or on the sea, perceptions to the contrary.  There are approximately 1.3 million active duty personnel in all branches of service.  There are over 600,000 civilians receiving checks at the Department of Defense.  That means it requires one person shuffling paper for two people carrying a rifle.  Their job is to pick up a stack of paper and pile it on the other side of their desk occasionally.  We ordinary citizens are too far removed from the day-to-day operations to realize how far things have strayed in our illusions of our country.  We've often heard over the years from aspiring politicians "we need to add funding to our military.  The Russians, Terrorists, or Chinese are going to take over the world."  A better idea would be to eliminate 500,000 clerks.  Imagine the savings if we reduced the DOD down to 100,000 paper pile-its.

The Cabal That Cried Wolf and Undermined a Republic.  In reality, Covid is nothing more than a really bad case of the common cold.  Bad, certainly, but but basically the common cold nonetheless.  From an epidemiology perspective that may not be completely accurate, but from a societal one it most certainly is.  Like the flu, which kills about 36,000 people annually, Covid is largely transmitted from one person to another via airborne particles.  Over the last 18 months 42 million Americans have gotten Covid and 682,000 Americans have died from it.  The former number is likely much higher — possibly over 100 million — and the latter number is likely much lower, with many of those reported as dying of Covid in reality dying with Covid.  Keep in mind of course that that's 682,000 people in a country of 350 million, and 95% of the dead had on average 3 or more co-morbidities and the average age was almost 75.  A little more perspective:  Heart disease annually kills 650,000 Americans while cancer kills 600,000.  We spend $350 billion a year on heart disease and $158 billion on cancer.  That works out to be $538,000 spent per person who died of heart disease and $263,000 per person who died of cancer.  Covid is a bit different.  Through March of this year the US spent $13 trillion on Covid and will likely reach $20 trillion by the end of the year.  By the end of the year the death total "from" Covid will likely hit 800,000.  That works out to be approximately $25 million per death.

Democrats are again planning to pay rich people to buy expensive cars.  As part of their appalling, budget-busting $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, Democrats are insisting upon a vast transfer of wealth from less affluent taxpayers to the very rich.  The form that this transfer is taking is a plan to increase the already outrageous $7,500 taxpayer-funded credit for electric car purchases to a $12,500 credit. [...] Putting aside the fact that electric cars aren't as green as promised, given their filthy batteries created using materials associated with brutal child labor* and the fact that they often just transfer pollution from the gas tank to the fossil-fuel-burning electric plant, the incentives are nothing more than money for rich people.

US equipment left in Afghanistan is 'playground' for enemies to learn US weaknesses, cyber expert says.  With tons of U.S. vehicles and aircraft left behind in Afghanistan, America's near-peer competitors like China and Russia stand to learn a lot, according to Josh Lospinoso, the CEO of cybersecurity company Shift5.  In the final weeks of the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, U.S.-backed Afghan government forces surrendered to the Taliban and U.S. troops became overwhelmed with the task of evacuating tens of thousands of people out of an airport under constant threat of attack.  In the chaos, tons of drones, planes, helicopters, armored vehicles and other equipment were left up for grabs.  In an interview with American Military News, Lospinoso said the fact that the Taliban now have their hands on much of that U.S. equipment, and could potentially sell it to countries like Russia or China, creates a "playground" for America's adversaries to figure out how the equipment works and how it can be hacked and "turned into a paperweight."

There's (Cradle to) Grave Waste in Democrats' $3.5 Trillion Spending Plan.  Congressional Democrats are proposing to spend an enormous amount of taxpayer dollars on what The New York Times calls "cradle to the grave" additions to U.S. social welfare.  When budgeting shenanigans are ignored, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that the full cost is not the $3.5 trillion that has been widely advertised, but at least $5 trillion and possibly as much as $5.5 trillion.  In a lengthy analysis of the health care components, Linda Gorman and I discovered that in every instance, the proposal would spend more money on existing programs that are deeply flawed.  If, instead of throwing good money after bad, we focused on rational reform of existing programs, we might find that the "unmet needs" the Democrats have targeted could be adequately met — without spending any additional taxpayer dollars.

Biden Chief of Staff Backs Green Energy Despite His Costly Role in Solyndra Scandal.  [I]n August, the Democrat-controlled House passed a Biden-backed $3.5 trillion budget framework encompassing many "Green New Deal" initiatives such as a "Climate Corps" and a program to encourage utilities to sell carbon-free energy.  [White House chief of staff Ron] Klain enthusiastically predicted success with green energy in the last Democratic administration's $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra, a politically connected company that made solar panels.  That decision became one of the most embarrassing scandals of President Barack Obama's two terms.  Government documents — some long public, others obtained by The Daily Signal in a Freedom of Information Act request — tell the story of how immersed Klain was in pushing taxpayer dollars to a company that soon collapsed.  The Solyndra mess became symbolic of crony capitalism and climate boondoggles.

What do you do with a Woken Military?  Biden demanded $715 billion for the Pentagon.  Congress is adding another $24 billion.  There will be raises for everyone.  Why?  We just lost a war.  A raise?  Why should I pay Milley a single cent?  He is a loser.  A woke loser.  A woke loser who left behind to the Taliban 22,174 Humvees; 634 M117s; 8,000 trucks; 155 MaxPro mine-proof vehicles; 169 M113s; 162,043 radios; 16,035 night vision goggles; 358,530 rifles; 126,295 pistols; 33Mi17 helicopters; 33 Blackhawk helicopters; MDS30 helicopters; 4 C-130s; 23 Super Tucanos; 28 Cessna 208s and 10 Cessna AC-208s.  Despite his efforts to appease an enemy who had been subdued under President Trump, the Taliban did not think his army was leaving fast enough and killed (through its al-Qaeda affiliate) 11 Marines, a Navy corpsman, and an Army staff sergeant.  To be sure, Biden made the decision to surrender Afghanistan to the Taliban despite no allied combat deaths in 18 months.  But Milley was the chief cheerleader and architect of this retreat.  The guy who stood up to President Trump for visiting a church never once rebuked Biden for giving up without a fight. [...] At least Custer fought.

The Climate Army Is Coming.  Dissatisfied with the American people's lack of concern for their issue du jour, self-righteous coastal elites are moving on from slick PR campaigns and headline-grabbing protests to deploy a legion of climate activists across the nation — paid for by your tax dollars, whether you like it or not.  President Joe Biden's proposed Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) would be the biggest mobilization of government labor since the New Deal, a massive and likely permanent expansion of government power cementing the radical climate agenda in our halls of government.  It would also burden taxpayers with massive debt — without any impact whatsoever on the global climate.  Though the CCC is said to support such innocuous projects as solar panels and parks, it's really a slush fund for progressive activism paid for by your tax dollars.

Hardware left behind
What We Left Behind:  VDH Edition.  I noted the American materiel we left behind in our hasty departure from Afghanistan in "What we left behind."  I included the mind-blowing graphic [left] from the Times (UK). [...] Our friend Victor Davis Hanson is a renowned classicist and military historian.  Last night he appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to comment on this point.  He remarks:  "This is the greatest loss of military equipment in the history of warfare by one power."  Victor explored the issue in his August 29 American Greatness column "Our Afghan nightmare" and put it in a larger context in his September 2 column on the rot in the upper reaches of our military.  He is mystified by our nonchalance about the loss of materiel.  [Video clip]

Report: Afghans Arriving At U.S. Military Bases To Get $1,250 Payments.  Afghans arriving in the United States and being temporarily resettled at U.S. military bases will receive one-time payments from the State Department, funded by American taxpayers.  As Breitbart News reported, President Joe Biden's administration is looking to turn various military bases in Texas, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Virginia, New Mexico, and Indiana into refugee camps that can accommodate about 50,000 Afghans.  Most of all Afghans headed to military bases for temporary resettlement are arriving on "humanitarian parole," which does not expire for at least two years.  These Afghans are not eligible for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), P-2 visas, or refugee status.

In Biden's America, it's better not to be employed.  The latest jobs report for August was disappointing.  Job growth fell by more than half and was one-third of expectations.  This was partly because of COVID concerns.  But we still don't have nearly enough adult Americans in the work force.  Why?  Government welfare policies are clearly keeping Americans — millions — from taking jobs.  Here is what we know:  Across the country, there are between 5 million and 6 million unemployed Americans, but also an all-time record 10.1 million job openings.  These are in construction, warehousing, retail, manufacturing, trucking, business services and so on.  These aren't "dead end" or even minimum-wage jobs in most cases.  Open factory and truck driver jobs pay $50,000 to $100,000 a year with benefits.  But economist Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago has found that when counting all government benefits, a family of four in high welfare-benefit states like New York and Connecticut and with two unemployed parents can receive up to $100,000 in cash, food stamps, etc.

It's a reverse shakedown.  It's also unsustainable.
San Fran to start paying known criminals monthly stipend to stop killing, eligible for bonuses.  One of America's "wokest" cities, San Francisco, intends to start paying high-risk criminals to not shoot each other.  Starting in October, 10 known criminals will receive a $300 stipend every month that they abstain from busting some caps.  The chosen criminals will also be eligible for a $200/month bonus if they meet certain milestones like obtaining a job.  "The idea is to provide the small number of San Franciscans who authorities believe are most at risk of shooting someone — or being shot — with an incentive to get help and stay out of trouble," according to the San Francisco Examiner.  "The initiative will pair participants with newly hired life coaches from the Street Violence Intervention Program, known as SVIP, who will help them make the right choices and access services.  The theory is that the up to $500 stipend will serve as an incentive to participate — and stay engaged," the paper notes.

Biden Tried to Send Pallets of Cash to the Taliban as Kabul Fell.  On August 14, Secretary of State Blinken spoke with Afghanistan's former president and promised that the Biden administration would provide a bulk shipment of dollars.  The next day Kabul fell.  On that same call, Afghanistan's former leader had agreed to surrender power to the Taliban.  The Biden administration had effectively agreed to provide a massive infusion of cash to the Taliban.  But the final deal fell through, the Afghan government fled, and the Taliban took Kabul.  The bulk shipment of dollars never did arrive.  Biden's diplomats scrambled to evacuate from Kabul.  Ajmal Ahmady, the governor of DAB, Afghanistan's central bank, already had a ticket and headed to the airport.  He managed to get on a military plane.  Since then he's tweeted that he was warned that the Taliban had come looking for him.

Check Out What the Biden Administration Just Did to Websites Listing Weapons It Gave to the Taliban.  Just after the fall of Kabul, the Taliban started turning up in U.S. uniforms, carrying U.S. rifles, and riding in U.S. vehicles.  They started showing off a Black Hawk helicopter they'd captured.  It soon became clear that when the Taliban overran the Afghan military, it also snapped up all of that military's gear.  It also grabbed all of the gear the U.S. military left behind at Bagram Air Base and other posts as it hastily retreated.  Joe Biden insists he and his high command, including generals who wear medal clusters so enormous you could serve a pizza on them, planned for all this.  But did they?  Did they plan to arm the Taliban?  One question now is:  Did they plan for the ongoing cover-up?

Biden's Cover Up:  Deep State Wipes Online Records of U.S. Military Equipment Given to Afghan Forces.  Several webpage links — detailing the cost and inventory of billions in high-tech weaponry that was handed to the Taliban — have been removed from federal websites at the request of the corrupt Biden regime.  The authoritarian decision for US agencies to hide the damaging public information comes as criticism continues to mount over their unprecedented disaster in Afghanistan.  On Tuesday [8/31/2021], founder Adam Andrzejewsk revealed that State Department officials recently told other federal agencies to scrub their websites of any official report with details about the $82.9 billion in US taxpayer funds that was spent arming and training Afghan forces over the past 20 years.  Dozens of online links to reports, published by multiple agencies, are now dead.

Report:  Taliban gives US tanks, military equipment to Iran.  The Taliban has begun turning over American-made military equipment to Iran, according to a report by Iran International.  According to the report, images on social media show military equipment which was given to the Afghan army by the US in Tehran and other parts of Iran.  Photographs also show armored tanks and Humvees being transported towards Tehran.  Two of the images were posted by acting Defense Minister of Afghanistan Bismallah Mohammadi, who called Iran a "bad neighbor" and said that the country's "bad days are not eternal."

What We Left Behind in Afghanistan.  [Scroll down]  A lot of it belonged to the U.S.-supplied Afghan government that was — the mighty 300,000 man-strong force that, on July 8, President Joe Biden said would prevail over the Taliban if push came to shove.  Push did come to shove, as we all know, and now those vast stores of military hardware are under sole control of the Taliban.  There have been several differing inventories of these stockpiles.  One just published in the London Times provides perhaps the most authoritative accounting published to date.  Scattered in seven Afghan army garrisons across the country, from Kabul and Kandahar to Herat, Mazar-Sharif, Kunduz, these arms depots include an impressive amount of U.S. military hardware:  22,174 armored Humvees, for example, 42 pickup trucks and SUVS, 64,363 machine guns, 162,043 radios.  16,035 night vision goggles, 358,530 assault rifles (the real ones, not the "assault rifles" that Joe Biden warns about at home), 126,295 pistols, and 176 artillery pieces.  And that's just for starters.  The United States also generously left behind more than 100 helicopters, including 33 Blackhawks, 4 C-130 transport planes, and some 60 other fixed-wing aircraft.

The Editor says...
This hardware wasn't just "left behind."  It was put into the hands of Islamic terrorists who want to kill Americans.  The next time you hear a gun-grabbing socialist Democrat promoting a gun "buy back" event or clamoring to "get guns off the streets," remember this past week.

Watters: 'The Taliban now has more Black Hawk helicopters than 85 percent of countries' thanks to Biden.  Fox News host Jesse Watters broke down the laundry list of military weapons the Biden administration left in Afghanistan that are now the property of the Taliban.  Watters noted on "Fox News Primetime" Friday [8/27/2021] that thanks to President Joe Biden's botched exit from Afghanistan, not only are Americans being left behind but so are a "treasure trove" of military weapons that "set our enemy up pretty nicely."  "They've just inherited billions of dollars worth of guns, war vehicles, and aircraft.  In fact, reports say that the Taliban now has more Black Hawk helicopters than 85 percent of countries in the world," Watters explained.

Think Leaving Tens Of Billions Of Dollars In Weapons To The Taliban Was Bad, Just Wait Until You See The Stacks Of Cash!  A video has surfaced on social media showing the Taliban showing off their massive cache of weapons left behind by the US military.  If that wasn't bad enough, one of the Taliban members brings the camera inside and shows massive stacks of US dollars on a table.  The Taliban thug breaks open one packet to reveal those are hundred-dollar bills in those stacks.  In other words, not only did the Taliban get gifted 26 billion in taxpayer weaponry, they also got, what looks to be millions more in cash to buy even more weaponry or pay for supplies to maintain power.  [Video clip]

Watchdog: 75,000 U.S. vehicles, 600,000 weapons, 208 planes left in Afghanistan.  he U.S. military is leaving behind 75,000 vehicles, 600,000 weapons and 208 airplanes/helicopters in Afghanistan as the Taliban takes control of the country, according to the watchdog group Open the Books.  "We've made the Taliban into a major U.S. arms dealer for the next decade," said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO & founder of Open the Books.  "They now control 75,000 military vehicles.  This is about 50,000 tactical vehicles, 20,000 Humvees they control about 1,000 mine-resistant vehicles, and even about 150 armored personnel carriers."  In total, the U.S. government spent an estimated $83 billion of taxpayer funds on weapons, vehicles and airplanes for the Afghan military.  The Biden administration said recently that a "fair amount" of weaponry would land in the hands of the Taliban but it didn't have an exact number.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Funds Removing Carbon Dioxide From the Air.  If the driver of climate change is too much carbon dioxide, then one solution would be to remove that gas from the air.  The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate on Aug. 10 includes massive investments in direct air capture technologies to do just that.  These technologies have elicited interest from the private sector and other governments as well as continued skepticism from some quarters.  Alongside $2.5 billion to develop commercial carbon sequestration and transportation, as well as billions more in related spending, the bill allocates $3.5 billion from 2022 through 2026 to create four regional direct air capture hubs, which are intended to help curb greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by taking in air and removing carbon dioxide from it.  According to the bill, the hubs will be a network of air capture systems along with infrastructure for transporting and sequestering carbon dioxide, unspecified subsurface resources, and possible off-takers for carbon dioxide utilization.  Each network will be expected to capture and handle at least 1 million metric tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year.

The Editor says...
[#1] The article above starts out with If, and the rest of the article — and 3½ billion dollars in wasteful spending — is based on the rash presupposition that CO2 is harmful, which it isn't.  Water vapor plays a far greater role in the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide does.  Let's see you squeeze all the water vapor out of the air first!  [#2] Where are they going to stash all that CO2?  What happens when a pipe ruptures and all that CO2 escapes?  Bhopal.  The giant cloud of CO2 will stay close to the ground and silently asphyxiate everybody in its path.  (CO2 is harmless when it's only .04 percent of the ambient air, but it's not harmless at 100 percent.)  [#3] Carbon dioxide is plant food.  It is not a pollutant.  It is supposed to be in the atmosphere.  It is not a threat.  [#4] China has no use for this foolishness, and the industrial activity in China this week will negate everything this project accomplishes in the next 100 years.  [#5] The mass of the atmosphere is about 5.15×10^18 kg.  The carbon dioxide content is .04 percent, which would be 2.06×10^15 kg.  That's two trillion metric tons of CO2.  To reduce that amount by one tenth of one percent would require the extraction and sequestration of two billion tons of CO2.  The factory described in the article above could easily do that, in only two thousand years!  And where would all this carbon dioxide be stored?  What country has enough spare energy (i.e., electric power, probably derived from the combustion of coal) to operate the machinery to remove that much CO2 from the atmosphere?  [#6] Who decides what is the Goldilocks amount of CO2 in the atmosphere?  The people in charge of this project should set a target amount like 390 parts per million and quit when they get there — which they won't.

Afghanistan: $549 million in planes sold as scrap, melting buildings, a $176 million road to nowhere.  The rapid collapse of Afghanistan's armed forces may have surprised President Biden but dozens of reports from a federal watchdog revealed how the U.S. bungled efforts to shore up the country.  From millions spent on military planes left rotting at Kabul's international airport to the billions of dollars wasted trying and failing to eradicate the country's opium crops, the dispatches from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Illustrated the fraud and abuse that derailed a $145 billion effort.  'If the goal was to rebuild and leave behind a country that could sustain itself and pose little threat to U.S. national security interests, the overall picture in Afghanistan is bleak,' John Sopko concluded in his most report published this week.

House GOP demands answers over $87B in improper spending on entitlements.  House Oversight and Reform Committee Republicans sounded the alarm Tuesday about hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars that have been improperly spent on one of the government's largest and fastest-growing entitlement programs.  Rep. James Comer, the top Republican on the committee, sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees Medicare and Medicaid, demanding answers about "rampant [and] improper" Medicaid payments.  Mr. Comer and the committee's other Republicans are concerned that CMS' own data shows that more than $57 billion was spent on improper Medicaid payments in fiscal 2019 and nearly $87 billion in fiscal 2020, accounting for one of every five Medicaid payments.

More than money is being wasted:
$1 Trillion worth of US failures in Afghanistan:  DOD report tears into 'mind-boggling' mistakes from Bush to Biden.  A [...] new government watchdog report on Afghanistan reconstruction revealed on Tuesday [8/17/2021] the 'many failures' of the last 20 years in the nation.  The report, which relied on 13 years of oversight work, more than 760 interviews and thousands of government documents, analyzed the progress of the last two decades, which it deemed 'elusive' and sustainability of that progress, 'dubious.'  The report noted that the US has now spent $837 billion on war-fighting and $145 billion trying to rebuild Afghanistan, during which 2,443 American troops and 66,000 Afghan troops were killed.

Railways Receiving Billions From Infrastructure Bill Are 'Dying,' Experts Say.  A shiny passenger train racing across long empty stretches of American plains may be iconic, but it's an economic anachronism, experts say.  Even so, the Senate's infrastructure bill gives $66 billion toward the repair of Amtrak lines — nearly 60 cents to Amtrak for every dollar the bill put toward highways.  This figure doesn't reflect the way Americans actually travel, said Cato Institute senior fellow Randal O'Toole.  People drive 840 times more distance than they take Amtrak.  Passenger railroad use has steadily declined overall since 1920 except during World War II, O'Toole added.  The Interstate Commerce Commission predicted that inter-city passenger trains wouldn't exist by 1970.

Cuomo is still eligible for $50,000-per-year state pension.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo's fall from grace will come with a nice golden parachute in the form of a $50,000-per-year lifetime pension that he will remain eligible for despite his resignation — provoking outrage from the disgraced executive's critics.  The windfall for Cuomo, who announced his resignation on Tuesday [8/10/2021] in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal, is coming because he has accumulated 15 years of state service thanks to his 11 years as governor and four years as attorney general, a pension expert said.  "So if you're wondering, without a felony conviction and several other steps, Cuomo would be eligible for his full pension, at taxpayer expense, for the rest of his life," said Tim Hoefer, president and CEO of the Empire Center for Public Policy.

Infrastructure crash:  Routing I-70 through Glenwood Canyon destroyed the canyon, cost billions and kills people.  [Scroll down]  They chose to follow the old wagon road alongside the Colorado River through the magnificent canyon lined with steep 2,000-foot cliffs of sandstone, shale, limestone and granite.  The river snakes between the cliffs, varying unpredictably between a trickle and a torrent depending on recent thunderstorms and last winter's snowpack a hundred miles away.  It took 12 years and half a billion 1980's dollars to build the 14 miles of highway.  The Colorado Department of Transportation boasts on its website (try to ignore their typos) that the construction employed as many as 500 workers at a time, entails 40 viaducts and bridges and uses 30 million pounds of steel and 1.6 billion pounds of concrete.  They crow that they even imported things from France.  Wow, France!  Much of the 4-lane is elevated over impassible terrain and occasionally cantilevered out over the river.  Naturally, they included a bicycle path for long-haul truckers to take a break with their bikes.  The Transportation Department brags that this is an "engineering marvel."

New York has billions for unemployed illegal aliens.  As inflation in America soars, our federal and state governments are forcing America's squeezed taxpayers to fund people who refuse to work and illegal aliens.  For months, now, we've been aware that people are still sucking up stimulus money but refusing to work despite the seemingly endless supply of available jobs.  Now, in New York State, they'll be joined by illegal aliens who can apply to receive money from a $2.1 billion fund specifically set up to give taxpayer money to illegal aliens and "nontraditional workers."  In this way, Democrat states contribute to America's dissolution as a sovereign nation.  Let's start with the stimulus to put New York's policy into its proper perspective.  When it comes to the stimulus, we all know that people are being paid not to work. [...] The problem is the mostly illegal and always perverse incentives that our federal and state governments are offering.  They entice able-bodied people into sloth and dependency and burden the economy with illiterate, often sick immigrants who do not share American values and are here only to become future Democrat voters.

America's Generals Lied, Lost Wars, And Looted The People They Claimed To Serve.  Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress in June that he wanted to understand "white rage," why "thousands of people" tried "to assault this building and ... overturn the Constitution of the United States of America."  If Milley really wants to understand the "rage" of the American people he should start by asking why he and his fellow generals can't win any wars.  As a Marine Corps officer who served at the tail end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I saw firsthand the rapid ideological transformation pervading the military in the wake of these disasters in the Middle East.  Unable to win wars overseas, the military's leaders went "woke."  Currying ideological favor is easier than trying to end insurgencies.  It is also necessary if military leaders want to keep the gravy train of taxpayer funding.  Donald Trump's America First foreign policy and his devastating critique of George Bush and Barack Obama in the run-up to the 2016 election put the military-industrial complex on high alert.  Trump was pushing the American right-wing away from the expensive and unending foreign interventions the military-industrial complex needed in order to justify its existence.

Nine Things to Know About Senate's $1.1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill.  The Senate unveiled its long-awaited $1.1 trillion infrastructure bill on Monday.  In a textbook example of Washington dysfunction, members and the public will only have a few days to review 2,702 pages of programs and provisions before it's voted on. [...] This package would be the largest tax-and-spend bill in the history of the world.  It would hike taxes on investment just when the economic recovery needs it most, seek to give amnesty to illegal immigrants, expand welfare benefits on a scale not seen in generations, and deliver the radical Green New Deal agenda.  While the bill's spending is focused on transportation, that doesn't mean Congress is making a smart investment.  On the contrary:  it adds as much new spending to modes like mass transit and Amtrak as it does for highways, even though buses and rail account for only a tiny fraction of travel.  Even the value of highway funding is hampered by wasteful set-asides:  $2 million per year for bee-friendly landscaping, $50 million per year to combat weeds, and expensive mandates that give unionized contractors a leg up on taxpayer-friendly, non-union shops.

CBO Says Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Would Add $256 Billion to Deficits.  Despite repeated claims by supporters that the bipartisan infrastructure package would be fully "paid for," the Congressional Budget Office on Thursday said the bill would actually add $256 billion to deficits.  The official scorekeeper of Congress wrote that, "over the 2021 [to] 2031 period, enacting Senate Amendment 2137 to H.R. 3684 would decrease direct spending by $110 billion, increase revenues by $50 billion, and increase discretionary spending by $415 billion.  On net, the legislation would add $256 billion to projected deficits over that period."

PA allocates $2.5 million of COVID relief money on diversity, equity programs.  The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) will spend $2.5 million of COVID-19 relief money on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs.  In late June, Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) announced support for a budget that included $50 million in American Rescue Plan money for PASSHE "to support the redesign and growth of the system to make a college education more affordable and accessible for students."  "This budget makes a historic investment in education so our students get the knowledge and skills they deserve," remarked Wolf in a June 25 announcement.  The allocation — which will extend for the following three years and give PASSHE a total of $200 million — contains the $2.5 million for DEI in the current school year.

Joe Biden to Provide Illegals With Free Lawyers As They Try Invading the Southern Border.  President Joe Biden is gearing up to use your tax dollars to send an army of lawyers to the southern border to help thousands of illegal aliens who are trying to enter the United States.  You heard that right.  Joe Biden wants to spend millions of dollars to help criminals who are illegally entering the United States with your money.

Prisoners Got More Than $780 Million Payday Through American Rescue Plan.  Prisoners — including mass killers like the Boston Marathon bomber and the white supremacist who attacked a black Charleston church — got a payday to the tune of $783.5 million in stimulus money from the American Rescue Plan.  Conservative group American Crossroads filed a public records request for the information about how much money under had gone to incarcerated individuals under President Biden's initiative, FOX News reported.  Internal Revenue Service (IRS) records showed that stimulus money was given to 560,000 Americans who were incarcerated for all 12 months of 2020.

Federal Government Gives Millions to Group That Supports Defunding the Police.  The federal government provides tens of millions of dollars each year to a nonprofit group that supports the movement to defund police departments and dismantle the criminal justice system.  Officials with the Brooklyn-based Vera Institute of Justice have urged the government to "radically dismantle" police departments in order to fix a system they say dehumanizes people of color.  The institute is heavily funded by the federal government.  So far this fiscal year, the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies have awarded the Vera Institute more than $89 million in contracts and grants.  The organization has received $811 million in federal funding since 2008, according to USA Spending, a federal budget database.

Democrats' Spending Could Cost Taxpayers $5.5 Trillion, Sen. Cynthia Lummis Says.  Democrats are trying to push both a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and another $3.5 trillion spending package through Congress.  Although the former provides funding for traditional infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, the other and larger package provides trillions of dollars for a laundry list of left-wing priorities, Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., says.  "They have fudged on other numbers within it, so it's probably more like [a] $5.5 trillion [bill]," Lummis says of the larger spending package.  "It is the Green New Deal.  It is new entitlement programs.  And it really is a terrifying, inflation-causing, big government-motivated spending bill."  If the U.S. government doesn't stop spending at such a rampant pace, the "best-case scenario is that our dollars will go less far," Lummis says, adding that the "worst-case scenario is that we put the dollar at risk as the world reserve currency."

Devastating Report Shows Biden Administration Spending A Stunning $2B To Simply Suspend Border Wall Construction.  The Government Operations and Border Management Subcommittee of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee found that efforts to suspend or terminate wall construction projects at the Defense Department have cost between $1.8 billion to $2 billion.  The Biden administration is spending $3 million every day to suspend construction, the report adds.

San Fran to spend $300,000 on designer garbage cans despite worsening homeless crisis.  Thanks to misplaced Democrat priorities on the local and state level, the entire state of California is slowly turning into a dumpster fire.  On the state level, Democrat-run cities like San Francisco are preparing to spend up to $300,000 for designer trash cans as crime continues to spike.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the city's Board of Supervisors is convinced that the root of the city's endless crisis is all the trash and litter on the streets.  "Our streets and our sidewalks are a mess and the cans we have out there now are actually part of the problem," one supervisor, Matt Haney, said to the Chronicle.

$20,000 trash cans?  S.F. looks to roll out costly prototypes for pilot on street corners.  San Francisco elected officials struggling to deal with complaints about garbage piling up on the city's sidewalks and streets have been waiting three years for a solution — only to get sticker shock when they heard the details this week.  Addressing the problem requires a good trash can, but on Wednesday, a committee of the Board of Supervisors wrestled with how to replace many substandard bins when it learned that a batch of new, custom-made design prototypes will cost $12,000 to $20,000 apiece.  When mass-produced, the cost per can will drop to an estimated $2,000 to $3,000.  Still, supervisors balked at the price to get there.  Supervisor Matt Haney said: "$20,000 a can is ridiculous."  Yet San Francisco's garbage wars are serious business.

Priorities: San Francisco Prepares to Blow $300,000 on Designer Trash Cans, as Homeless Crisis Worsens.  Not surprisingly, homelessness and crime are up big time in Democrat-run cities across the country, including in San Francisco, where criminals have been caught on video brazenly stealing from drugstores in the middle of the day in plain view of other customers and even security guards in some instances.  In some cases, violent crimes that were reported to police were found to have been committed by a homeless person.  It's gotten so bad in the city that a recent poll showed close to 40% of San Franciscans were making plans to relocate in the near future out of frustration.  With all of that in mind, you'd think the city would make good use of its resources by coming up with creative ways to combat the two issues that have become the most concerning to its residents.  Unfortunately, that's not what's happening.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the city is prepared to blow $300,000 on fancy prototype trash cans (up to $20k each for 15 of them) because people weren't crazy about the existing green ones.

Philly schools are spending $4.5 million on air purifiers to curb COVID-19. They won't help much, experts say.  Philadelphia school officials are planning to consult with more air quality scientists after meeting Monday with an expert critical of the district's $4.5 million purchase of NASA-originated air purifier technology.  The expert, a Drexel professor, said the purifiers were ineffective at reducing the spread of coronavirus and had the potential to create harmful chemicals. [...] The devices have already been purchased and will be installed in every classroom by the end of July, a district spokesperson said.  But following the School District's announcement, several experts questioned the purifiers' effectiveness and safety.

With $6 Trillion In COVID Relief, The Government Could Have Given Every Taxpayer $41,000.  The federal government will spend enough in COVID-19 stimulus to give every American taxpayer $41,000.  As COVID-19 and the lockdown-induced recession produced job loss and public health challenges, the federal government approved massive omnibus packages meant to stimulate the economy.  Among these were the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, passed in March 2020; the $2.3 trillion HR 133, passed in December 2020; and the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed in March 2021.  As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget's COVID money tracker shows, the federal government will distribute a total of $5.9 trillion through its legislative efforts alone.  If these funds were disbursed among America's 143.3 million taxpayers, each would have received roughly $41,000.  If the funds were instead divided among every member of the population, every American would have received $18,000.  However, only a fraction of the spending was earmarked for American citizens.

The Editor says...
The government could give every taxpayer a million dollars, but then the money would be nearly worthless.  Apparently nobody in the federal government is the least bit inclined to stop printing and spending money!

Ritzy restaurants feast on federal funds as mom-and-pops scrounge for scraps.  Fat-cat food-industry heavyweights — and alleged felons — have feasted on millions from the Biden administration's $26.8 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, while cash-starved mom-and-pop operators battle for crumbs at the bailout banquet, according to data released by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  More than 70 percent of restaurant applicants nationally were denied any funding.  But here in New York City, chains and celebrity chefs hauled in huge windfalls.  Even an accused swindler received more than $800,000 in federal taxpayer funds — a week after he was indicted by the feds.  David Chang's Momofuku Group, which operates ritzy restaurants in New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Toronto, fattened itself on $6.9 million in taxpayer cash through the fund.  Diners at Michelin-rated Momofuku Ko in the Bowery can savor the $130 tasting menu or a $35 spicy tomato pizza.

Exclusive: ICE Will Issue Cell Phones to Released Migrants.  A law enforcement source within U.S. Customs and Border Protection says ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers are ramping up their release or "Alternatives to Detention" capabilities.  Cell phones with tracking apps will eventually replace ankle monitoring bracelets, according to the source.  The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, says the phones will allow for GPS tracking and check-ins using facial recognition.  The available supply of ankle bracelets will be issued until depleted — at which time the phones will circulate.

Biden to send child tax credits to 39 million families starting Tomorrow with parents of children under the age of 17 getting up to $300 a month per kid.  On Thursday the Internal Revenue Service will begin delivering monthly installments of President Joe Biden's enhanced child tax credit to some 39 million American families.  The boost will see individuals who make under $75,000 and couples earning under $150,000 with children under six-years-old receive $3,600 per child, with monthly $300 checks starting to go out July 15.  The tax credits were part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was passed by Congress in March with no Republican support.  Republicans have argued that the child tax credit boost amounts to an expansion of the welfare state.  Biden will hold an event at the White House Thursday to mark the first payments going out.

The Editor says...
Paying people to reproduce does not increase prosperity.

The United States Capitol Police are going broke.  The United States Capitol Police force is Congress's private security force.  It is not subject to any of the constraints that govern all other police forces in America.  It is not required to turn over evidence.  Also, as we learned with the case of the officer who murdered Ashli Babbitt, it can conduct its reviews under cover of darkness, hide people's identities, and clear itself of wrongdoing, all without having to answer to the public.  In this regard, as is the case with so many things Congress has voted for itself, it is profoundly un-American.  But here's some fun news:  The Capitol Police blew all their capital on pretending January 6 was an insurrection, and they are going broke.  According to a story in Politico, the super-secretive Capitol Police, who have 2,200 police officers just to protect the fewer than 550 elected officials in Congress, soon won't have enough money to pay those officers their salaries.

Keywords: Mission creep, slush fund, money pit.
White House urges cities to use COVID funds to fight crime.  The White House issued a memo to state and local officials across the country Monday [7/12/2021] urging them to use some of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package to combat crime as violence continues to soar in America's cities.  The memo details how states and municipalities can use the relief funds to boost law enforcement, invest in community policing, enforce gun laws and assist recently released offenders reenter the community.  White House officials highlighted in the memo that some cities that have used the COVID funds for crime reduction, including Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Albuquerque, Kansas City and Syracuse.

A Coup Against The Constitution?  The partisanship became evident during the Trump administration as the intelligence community and Justice Department were shown to be increasingly biased.  They spent nearly four years pushing a theory that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians in the 2016 election that was embarrassingly false.  Special Counsel William Mueller spent more than two years and untold millions of dollars yet found zero evidence of any collusion.  But that was never the point, and they knew it before he even began.

Biden bloat:  West Wing payroll near $50 million, highest on record.  The Biden administration's Executive Office of the President (EOP) has 560 employees and a payroll of close to $50 million — the highest of any administration in at least 12 years, according to data released Thursday [7/1/2021].  While President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are making their legally specified annual salaries of $400,000 and $235,100, respectively, more than 250 other officials are making at least six figures this year.  White House press secretary Jen Psaki, for example, is one of 22 West Wing employees pulling in a taxpayer-funded salary of $180,000.  Other prominent figures making the same money include Chief of Staff Ron Klain, national climate adviser Gina McCarthy, Domestic Policy Council Director and former national security adviser Susan Rice, current National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and senior adviser Neera Tanden — whose nomination to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was famously sunk by her mean tweets.

White House salary report reveals Psaki, Tanden, Klain and others earn top dollar.  Who are the highest-paid people in President Biden's White House?  That question was answered on Thursday [7/1/2021] with the release of an annual report with staffers' salaries, which max out at $180,000.  Twenty-two White House employees make the maximum yearly salary.  That list includes White House press secretary Jen Psaki, chief of staff Ron Klain and Neera Tanden, who is now senior adviser to the president after her nomination for Office of Management and Budget director was withdrawn.

The people who want more money for "infrastructure" are destroying what they've already got.
Here's Why Cities Across America Are Spending a Fortune to Tear Down Their Public Highways.  A growing movement of local governments and communities across the United States is beginning to grapple with an unfortunate realization:  The highway boom of the 1950s and '60s produced a massive amount of infrastructure that seems to have done more harm than good.  "Highways radically reshaped cities, destroying dense downtown neighborhoods, dividing many Black communities and increasing car dependence," Nadja Popovich, Josh Williams, and Denise Lu wrote in a recent New York Times article.  Many cities "basically destroyed themselves" in order to accommodate motorists, said University of Connecticut professor Norman Garrick, who is studying the effects of transportation infrastructure on American cities.

Democrat Plan Spends $870M for Border Security in Middle East, No Funding for U.S. Border Wall.  A Democrat budget plan spends hundreds of millions of American taxpayer money on border security for a multitude of Middle Eastern countries while stripping all funds for construction of a border wall at the United States-Mexico border.  On Tuesday [6/29/2021], the Democrat-controlled House Appropriations Committee released their Department of Defense funding bill that includes $870 million in taxpayer money for "border security" measures in foreign countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman.

4 Keys to Understanding How Illegal Immigrants Fly to New Homes in America.  Two Republican governors are calling for the Senate to investigate why the Biden administration hasn't notified state and local governments before transporting illegal immigrants to their jurisdictions and releasing them there.  Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee wrote a letter of support to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has called repeatedly for a hearing on the crisis on the southern border.  "We believe this hearing should also address the Biden administration's failure to provide notice and transparency in their movement of unaccompanied migrant children into states," Reynolds and Lee said in the June 10 letter to Grassley.  These two governors, both Republicans, have been among the most vocal critics of the Biden administration's policy of using domestic flights to relocate illegal immigrants.

US Navy's new $166B submarine fleet is hobbled by faulty parts wearing out DECADES earlier than expected.  The US Navy's new $166 billion fleet of Virginia-class submarines is being hampered by infrastructure issues and defective parts that are breaking down decades earlier than expected.  The Navy is facing 'significant delays' in submarine maintenance that will stunt its ability to keep up with its workload for the next 25 years, according to a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office.  The CBO report found that the Navy faces a drastic shortage of parts and has too often relied on a solution called 'cannibalization.'  In other words, when a submarine is missing a part, the Navy typically swaps it with another submarine.

GOP Megadonors Puzzled To Receive Stimulus Checks.  The Internal Revenue Service is typically in the business of taxing the rich, but two Republican megadonors were surprised in May to find $1,400 payments from the tax man deposited directly in their bank accounts — coronavirus stimulus payments gone awry, people close to those donors tell the Washington Free Beacon.  The payments were accompanied by a letter from President Joe Biden outlining the perks of the American Rescue Plan.  "I am pleased to inform you that because of the American Rescue Plan, a direct payment of $1,400 was issued to you by direct deposit," the letter reads, noting that the legislation also "extends unemployment insurance and helps reduce your healthcare premiums."

The US Government as a Sleazy Salesman.  [Scroll down]  Two trillion, three trillion, four.  Why stop there?  People are hurting.  You know — COVID.  Everything is "infrastructure," which everyone uses, right?  Even the huge deficits some states ran up over a period of years spending money on heaven knows what are now being underwritten by federal "stimulus."  Government is making it rain.  Its largesse is so great that many employers can't staff daily operations.  Their former employees still need grocery money, but they no longer need to clock in to earn it.  They're finding it elsewhere.  Nice work if you can get it — and many millions can, apparently.  Who can blame them?  Work is hard.  Wake up early, make the commute, and spend eight hours doing something you wouldn't otherwise do.  Most jobs aren't all that rewarding.  Even a relatively small amount of well timed government money is an acceptable substitute, especially when a chunk of it is tax-exempt.  The problem is that direct payments to individuals are hideously expensive when those many millions of citizens, plus an unknown number of illegals, may be eligible.

Report: Nearly Half Of COVID-19 Unemployment May Have Been Swindled By Fraudsters, Up To $400 Billion.  Unemployment fraud throughout the COVID-19 pandemic could cost $400 billion as fraudsters and criminal groups may have stolen nearly half of all unemployment benefits during that time, experts told Axios.  Blake Hall, CEO of the online identity network, estimated that the U.S. lost more than $400 billion to fraudulent claims during the pandemic, Axios first reported Thursday.  He also said up to 50% of all benefits offered through unemployment may have been stolen.  Haywood Talcove, CEO of the data and analytics firm LexisNexis Risk Solutions, estimated that at least 70% of the money stolen by fraudsters ultimately went overseas.  He also said the remainder largely went to domestic street gangs, who have accounted for a greater share of credit card and insurance fraud in recent years.  Talcove told Axios that stolen unemployment benefits carried abroad largely ended up in the hands of foreign criminal groups in countries like China, Nigeria and Russia.  He noted that many of these groups "are definitely backed by the state."

Once You Realize The US Government Is An Organized Crime Syndicate, Everything Makes Sense.  Obama corrupted everything good within the U.S. government, finishing what the Clinton's started.  Joe Biden (essentially Obama's third term) is the coup de grace.  Axios released an article today detailing that half the unemployment aid issued over the past year was sent out of the country to foreign criminal organizations.  The free for all which was the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) shockingly sent millions to Chinese state-owned corporations overseas.  This is in the public record.  You see, once you realize the current rendition of the U.S. government is an organized crime syndicate of massive proportion, in control of the national security apparatus, everything that is happening immediately makes sense.

Keywords:  slush fund, redirection, bottomless pit, squander.
Mayor Frey will use $28 million in pandemic relief money for housing in Minneapolis.  Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey wants to use $28 million of American Rescue Plan money for affordable housing, including rental assistance to low-income tenants, pathways out of homelessness and new homeownership opportunities, particularly for Black and Indigenous people and people of color.  At a news conference at the Elliot Twins public housing complex Thursday, Frey said his plan will help keep people in their homes as the city anticipates a wave of evictions after a statewide ban is lifted.  The federal government is expected to end its eviction moratorium on June 30.  "There is a looming eviction moratorium that will be lifted," Frey said.  "People are struggling to make ends meet, and we want to make sure that those who are struggling most are provided the assistance first."

9 Reasons Why Federal Unemployment Bonus Subsidies Need to Go.  Now 15 months after Congress first responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's evident that unprecedented federal unemployment insurance bonus benefits are hurting the recovery, making it harder for businesses to find the workers they need to recover, and harder for consumers to find the products and services they want at prices they can afford.  Moreover, prolonged unemployment benefits contribute to a smaller economy, higher deficits, and most importantly, poorer outcomes for the long-term unemployed.  President Joe Biden claimed that generous unemployment compensation has not had a "measurable" effect on the poor jobs recovery and worker shortages.  And in response to 25 governors announcing they would end the $300/week federal unemployment bonuses early so that employers in their state no longer have to compete with the federal government, Biden is trying to find a way to keep the federal unemployment bonuses coming — despite those governors' attempts to aid their states' recoveries.

Half of pandemic unemployment money may have been stolen: report.  Fraudsters may have plundered as much as half of the unemployment benefits that the US pumped out in a hurry during the pandemic.  Blake Hall, CEO of, a fraud prevention service, told Axios that the US has lost more than $400 billion to crooked claims.  The US may have been robbed of as much as half of all money given out through unemployment benefits during the pandemic, Hall told the outlet.  Haywood Talcove, the CEO of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, estimated that most of the stolen money, at least 70 percent, probably ended up outside the US, according to Axios.  Much of the pilfered funds likely went to criminal syndicates in China, Nigeria, Russia and elsewhere, he said, according to the outlet.

Biden to purchase 500M Pfizer shots for rest of the world.  The Biden administration is planning to buy 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to share with the rest of the world.  President Biden teased the plan Wednesday before boarding Air Force One for his first foreign trip, saying he would outline his strategy at the Group of Seven nations summit in England.  The White House declined to comment, but a source familiar with the plan said 200 million doses from the purchase will be donated this year and 300 million during the first half of 2022.

'Like Giving Whiskey And Car Keys To A Teenager': Sen. Kennedy Mocks Giving Guatemala Taxpayer Money.  Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy said Tuesday [6/8/2021] that giving the "corrupted administration" in Guatemala more taxpayer money is "like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenager."  "I think that the reason the vice president went to Guatemala and met with President [Alejandro] Giammattei is to offer him billions and billions of American taxpayer dollars to try to make his country better, and with no disrespect but that's like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenager," Kennedy told "Fox & Friends."  "President Giammattei is an authoritarian.  He presides over a corrupted administration.  They're probably going to steal the money.  Corruption is rampant," Kennedy continued.

DC mayor devotes $400 million investment in affordable housing in new budget.  The D.C. mayor wants $400 million devoted to creating more affordable housing.  Mayor Muriel Bowser will deliver her budget to the D.C. Council on Thursday [5/27/2021].  With the new project in the Petworth neighborhood Spring Flats nearing completion behind her, Bowser said she plans to commit $400 million toward housing when she presents her budget.  "My budget will include enough local rental supplement program vouchers to ensure that 50% of the homes produced using the FY 22 Trust Fund dollars are for residents making between zero and 30% of the median family income, and we know that's a big deal," Bowser said.

The Editor says...
Those who have zero income are those who don't work.  There are always jobs available for people who really want to work.  Those who have very little income are (in almost all cases) in that situation for a variety of good reasons, usually the result of a lifetime of bad decision-making.  Those who have an income but can't afford to buy a house are in many cases stuck in apartments (or worse), but seem to have plenty of money available for cigarettes, tattoos, cell phones, nose rings, fake fingernails, hair weaves, multiple dogs, fancy hubcaps, assorted drugs, and of course, numerous illegitimate children.  Latching on to government handouts at an early age is an easy way to spend a lifetime in poverty.

Going Viral in Japan:  Joe Biden Sent Out $1,400 Stimulus Checks to Roughly 150,000 Japanese Citizens.  The Biden Administration sent out stimulus checks of $1400 to Japanese citizens who have dual citizenships, green cards and many who are now living in Japan.  The Japanese citizens used to stay in the US and worked temporarily with a business visa and returned to Japan a long time ago.  The Yahoo Japan article says (rough translation):  As there are many people who have a short stay and lower pensions that received the pensions.  This benefit was sent incorrectly to those who are subject to more than a certain annual income.  Ichikawa representative of Overseas Pension Consultation Center, "Most of those who live in Japan and receive American pensions are not eligible.  They are not US citizens, do not hold a visa for America, and are not Green Card holders."

HUD to Spend $5 Billion on 70,000 Housing Vouchers for the Homeless.  Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge plans to spent $5 billion under President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan (ARP) to fund 70,000 housing vouchers for homeless people between now and 2030.  "While most of us spent more time in our homes than we ever have, more than half a million Americans had to spend the last year either in crowded shelters or sleeping outside," Fudge said in announcing the program.  "With HUD's swift allocation of this $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funding, we are providing communities the resources to give homes to the people who have had to endure the COVID-19 pandemic without one," Fudge said.

American Families Plan Will Do More Harm Than Good.  President Joe Biden recently introduced the American Families Plan, a $1.8 trillion taxpayer-funded proposal that would radically undermine American families instead of help them.  It would leave families with less control over their lives while failing to solve real problems Americans face in child care, education, health care, and welfare — problems the proposal alleges to address.  For years, I've spoken up about what I call the unintended consequences of liberals' misguided compassion.  Practically every big-government social program that liberals have instituted in America has ended up doing more harm to the people they've claimed they were trying to help.  I know because I lived that experience as a child, and I've witnessed it every day in black communities in the six decades since.  The American Families Plan fits into this category.

Brooklyn fraud
8 NYC suspects accused of stealing $2M in COVID relief, flaunting cash online.  A group of young Brooklyn men ripped off $2 million in COVID-19 relief funds by submitting fraudulent unemployment claims — and then stupidly posted pictures of themselves with their ill-gotten cash, prosecutors said on Tuesday [5/19/2021].  Six of the eight defendants — ranging in age from 18 to 25 — were charged in Brooklyn federal court, documents show.  Two of the suspects — Armani Miller, 24, and Johan Santos, 19 — are still at large.  Four of the alleged thieves foolishly flaunted their fortunes on social media, posting pictures of themselves with large piles of cash, according to the court documents.

Biden's HUD to let illegal immigrants use taxpayer funds for public housing.  Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge said Monday the Biden administration won't prevent illegal immigrants from access to public housing, as she announced a program to deliver $5 billion in emergency housing vouchers aimed at preventing homelessness.  Asked if the administration would pursue a Trump-era policy to make sure that only U.S. citizens receive housing aid, Ms. Fudge said, "The answer is no."  "We are doing everything we can possibly to take any living person in this nation off the streets," she told reporters.  "That's kind of our posture."

California Controller Wrote 49 Million Checks, but Claims She Can't Locate Any of Them.  As California state controller, Betty Yee's job includes being "responsible for accountability and disbursement of the state's financial resources," according to her office's official website.  Yee's office issued 49 million checks in payments worth $320 billion in 2018 in her capacity as "chief fiscal officer" for the state whose economy is the fifth-largest in the entire world.  The state's 2020 budget was $208.9 billion, but Yee's office payments often cover multiple-year obligations.  Her job description also makes her "responsible for auditing all funds disbursed by the state and all claims presented for payment to [her office].  Performs independent audits of government agencies that spend state funds."  Given Yee's job duties and actions, Open the Books Chairman Adam Andrzejewski may be forgiven for being mystified by the California State Controller's claim to be "unable to locate or otherwise provide" documentation of any of those payments.

We're Governed by Morons.  When it comes to earmarks, both parties are horrible.  They're now trying to call this pork "Congressionally Directed Spending" rather than earmarks, thinking it somehow sounds better.  It kind of does, as long as you don't think about it.  The real problem isn't whether Congress directs where the money is spent or some faceless bureaucrat does, it's the spending in the first place. [...] Representative Kathy Castor (D-Florida) earmarked $7.7 million for a street car project in Tampa, because it's 1900 again, or something.  Representative Don Young (R-Alaska) earmarked $18.6 million for a fire station in Kodiak, Alaska, which we have to assume will be made out of 24-karat gold.  Forbes reports Congress is spending "$40 million for museums including a $3.75 million request by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) to upgrade the Waukegan Carnegie Museum through the local park district.  In fact, there were 29 earmarks with the word "museum" in the description and requests included a new $6.4 million Gandhi museum (Rep. Al Green D-TX); $2.2 million for the new Bahamian Museum of Art & Culture in Coconut Grove (Rep. Frederica Wilson D-FL); and $792,000 to repair the New England Motorcycle Museum (Rep. Joe Courtney D-CT)."

Republicans demand answers about Biden administration no-bid contracts for housing migrants.  Top House Republicans are seeking internal correspondence between Biden administration officials overseeing the response to the border crisis and the organization to which it awarded $617 million in no-bid contracts for housing migrants, according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.  As the border crisis began in February, the government opted to house migrant families and children in hotels rather than in existing facilities.  Republicans say that the decision is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars that do not need to be spent and that they are concerned about the contractor's insider connection to the White House.

Paywatch: Thanks to the Public Employee Union, Multiple LA Lifeguards Make Nearly $400K a Year.  As reported by Forbes, lifeguards in The Golden State can really clean up.  Per CEO Adam Andrzejewski, his organization found that, in 2019, 82 LA County guardians of the shore raked in more than $200,000.  Seven lifeguards reeled in more than $300,000.  And — look out, Mitch Buchannon — one swim-trunked savior pulled in $391,971.  Here's how Fernando Boiteux's earnings break down:  $205,619 in salary, $60,452 in perks, and $125,900 in benefits.

Biden to Provide Taxpayer-Funded Grants to Illegal Aliens.  Every politician takes care of his base.  Biden's base just happens to be illegal. [...] Democrats and their media are perversely celebrating taxpayer money being stolen for the use of foreign students, criminals, and illegal aliens.  That, in a nutshell, is what the Democrats stand for.

Maria Cantwell Uses Anti-China Plan to Possibly Steer $10 Billion Moon Landing Contract to Bezos-Owned Space Company in Her State.  Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the powerful chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee, plans to attempt to use a bipartisan piece of legislation meant to counter the Chinese Communist Party's technological advances to instead steer what could end up being a huge boon of a federal contract worth billions of dollars to a company operating in her home state owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos.  Cantwell, the chair of the panel that will consider the supposedly anti-China bill on Wednesday, is proposing amendment language to the plan that would authorize a second contract from NASA for a key part of the Artemis program that aims to put Americans back on the moon soon.

The Editor says...
In the 1960's, the purpose of a moon landing was to demonstrate to the Russians that the U.S. had enormously powerful rockets and enough computer power to deliver a heavy payload (i.e., bomb) with great precision anywhere in the world.  While the astronauts were on the moon, they collected samples of the sterile rocks and dirt.  Today, there is no reason to return to the moon, except to deliver the first female, the first homosexual, the first black, the first transvestite, the first autistic, amputee, non-binary confused person for the sake of diversity and "breaking new ground."  Let the Chinese spend their money on such projects!  Let them have all the worthless rocks and dust they can carry!  Wasteful and unnecessary spending of the taxpayers' money is not without long-term consequences.

Welfare for the Rich.  Congress passed the $2.2 trillion Heroes Act.  House Democrats said it gives money to "governments who desperately need funds."  But it also gives lots of money to people who don't need funds.  Maryland, which even The Washington Post admits is "flush with cash," got enough extra money to pass a budget that "hands bonuses to every state worker."  Even Atherton, California, where the median home price is $6 million, got Heroes Act money.

De Blasio is spending NYC's COVID bailout cash like a 'drunken sailor': critics.  Mayor Bill de Blasio is treating nearly $6 billion in federal stimulus money intended to bail out a pandemic-stricken city like a windfall — blowing tens of millions at a shot on big-government investments the city can't afford and doesn't need, critics say.  "He's spending like a drunken sailor and leaving it to the next mayor to be sober," said Carol Kellermann, former president of the independent fiscal watchdog the Citizens Budget Commission.  Indeed, many of de Blasio's daily press briefings since the taxpayer-funded relief money was first announced over a month ago have included such new spending as $234 million for a cleanup corps — whose mandate to sweep the streets is strikingly similar to the job of sanitation workers — and even $37 million to hire even more government

Biden 'sue & settle' scheme: fly deported illegals back to US, give reparations.  The Biden administration is looking to happily 'settle" with the ACLU over 1,000 [for now] illegal aliens who were deported under Donald Trump.  The government will fly them back to the US and give them compensation/reparations from taxpayer-funded benefits.  This is a sham.  This is more of the Obama 'sue and settle' scheme where some far-left group sues the government as the administration smiles and winks.  The next step is the government gladly settling because the far-left group is doing exactly what they want.  It's a great way to avoid Congress if you don't want to be bothered and prefer dictatorship.

Democrats are accused of abusing earmarked funding to spend BILLIONS of tax dollars on 'woke' projects including a $436M yoga retreat in New Jersey.  House Democrats have been accused of abusing the newly reinstated earmarks funding process to fund 'woke' projects in their Congressional districts.  A Fox News investigation found Democrats have requested millions of dollars in funding for pet progressive projects in their districts as part of a lavish Federal spending program.  Earmarks have traditionally been used to pay for much-needed infrastructure projects.

Amnesty *and* "reparations" for deported illegal aliens?  Of course, under the Biden administration, most of that activity has ground to a halt and our ICE and Border Patrol agents are probably sharpening up their skills at playing solitaire.  But what about the illegal aliens who were deported while Donald Trump was still in office?  President Joe Biden is apparently not satisfied with simply ending the previous administration's border control policies, but is looking to actually reverse some of the progress that had been made.  The White House is reportedly in negotiations with the American Civil Liberty Union who are representing more than 1,000 deported illegals who have children inside our country under the protection of Health and Human Services.  They are proposing that the taxpayers pay to fly the deported parents back to the United States, grant them amnesty and some sort of legal resident status, reunite them with the children and then pay them "reparations" for the trouble they've been put through.

Taxpayers tab to house migrant children at $3B — and counting.  The cost of housing tens of thousands of migrant children who have come across the southern border since President Joe Biden took office has reached $3 billion, according to a report.  The Biden administration dished out massive federal contracts to private companies and nonprofit groups in its first 100 days to house children in government custody after federal facilities were stretched to their limits.  Between January and March, more than 33,000 unaccompanied children were picked up at the border, which is more than the number of children who came across in the previous 12 months combined.  Children are held an average of one month while the government searches for an adult sponsor in the United States to discharge them to as they go through immigration proceedings.  As of early May, nearly 25,000 children are in government custody, separated from their parents.

Wealthiest Cities in Bluest States Reap Windfall From Democrats' COVID-19 'Stimulus'.  The website of the Beverly Hills city government touts the home of Hollywood celebrities as having "exceptional dining, entertainment, shopping and cultural experiences," plus an "international reputation as a premier destination in which to live, work and play."  But Mayor Lester Friedman complained in a March letter that Beverly Hills faces "one of the most precipitous declines in revenue in our city's history," and urged passage of congressional Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID-19 spending package.  Beverly Hills, with a population of about 35,000, got $6.3 million in federal tax dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, according to an analysis by the fiscal watchdog group Open the Books.  The rest of California also did quite well.  The analysis is based on data from the Congressional Research Service, a government agency.

USAID spends millions on remedial education abroad, as American students fall behind.  This week, our [Golden Horseshoe] award is going to the United States Agency for International Development for allocating $10 million in taxpayer support to remedial education classes for the children of Zambia, while American students continue to struggle with the academic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to the agency, the goal of USAID's grant to Zambia is to "support innovative solutions to administer remedial instruction in grades three to five, thereby contributing to improve learning outcomes and expand access to quality basic education in Zambia."

Hawaii's 'train to nowhere' rakes in COVID-19 cash.  You'd be forgiven for wondering what an urban rail system in Honolulu has to do with crushing the coronavirus.  Yet tucked inside last month's nearly $2 trillion COVID-19 spending spree is $70 million headed for Hawaii to bail out a struggling 20-mile railway that has been under construction for a decade, was supposed to have opened a year ago, hasn't carried a single passenger, and despite the federal help will still find itself a few billion — with a B — in the red.  The $70 million injection went without much notice inside the Beltway amid the rest of the record spending until Wednesday, when it earned the "Squeal Award" from Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican who came to Washington promising to make the big spenders squeal the same as the hogs she used to castrate on the farm growing up.

Government to spend $352 per night on hotel beds for 80,000 migrant families.  The U.S. government is spending $352.64 per hotel bed per day to house the 80,000 migrant families that it anticipates will come across the border between now and September, according to a federal document obtained by the Washington Examiner.  That daily rate is going to add up quickly and eventually reach $86,947,271.04, the amount of the contract that the Biden administration awarded to a nonprofit group last month on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Exactly 1,239 beds at seven hotels located in Arizona and Texas have been rented out for 199 days, or six and a half months.  The federal contract dubs the hotels as "emergency family reception sites" where families will be held up to three days before being released into the United States, with or without documents mandating they appear in court down the road.  The administration's use of the rooms is an emergency measure to respond to the surge of families illegally crossing the border and being taken into custody.

New Jersey governor might give $40M in federal funds to undocumented immigrants.  New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is considering using federal funds to provide around $40 million in one-time stimulus payments to the state's undocumented immigrants via executive action, according to five people familiar with the matter.  Representatives from Murphy's office suggested the figure during a conference call with immigration advocates on Tuesday.  Immigrant groups in New Jersey have lobbied for assistance during the course of the pandemic, to no avail.  The roughly $40 million figure — which would be funded through remaining federal CARES dollars — was a non-starter for advocates, who are seeking larger relief measures, such as $2,000 in direct stimulus payments to individuals and $600 in unemployment-like benefits.  Sources said the 30-minute call grew "pretty heated" over the amount, which advocates said was not enough to provide real help to the state's nearly half-million undocumented immigrants.

Tom Cotton:  New York's Homeless Veterans Ineligible for $15.6K Payments to Illegal Aliens.  Homeless veterans in New York are not eligible for the $15,600 one-time payments that nearly 200,000 illegal aliens will soon receive, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) notes.  As Breitbart News has reported, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and state Democrats have struck a budget deal that includes $2.1 billion in taxpayer funding to provide unemployment benefits and stimulus checks to about 187,000 illegal aliens.  Illegal aliens who will be eligible for the one-time payment could receive up to $15,600, the equivalent of about $300 a week for one year.  The aid to illegal aliens is $1.1 billion more in funding than tax credits and grants authorized for New York small businesses in the budget.  Cotton, in a statement posted online, noted the state's homeless veterans are not eligible for the stimulus benefits:  [Tweet]

Biden's latest Wile-e-Coyote scheme to fix border crisis:  Paying would-be illegals to stay home.  As the border crisis gets bigger and bigger, the Biden administration is running out of ideas.  Latest weather balloon to be floated around is the possibility of U.S. taxpayer checks to pay would-be illegals in Central America to stay home. [...] It's a typical liberal idea of throwing cash at a problem instead of solving it.  After all, it would be just as easy to enforce U.S. immigration law, and who knows, make a treaty with the nations whose nationals are so eager to leave as well as the transit country Mexico.  Who knows?  They might even encourage people to use the existing legal process for immigration into the U.S, but that's not how the Biden administration "thinks."  Too Trumpy, as it happens.  Better to throw cash at the problem instead.

New York siphons coronavirus cash to illegal immigrants.  When congressional Democrats changed a formula for doling out coronavirus relief money to states, New York ended up with a $2.1 billion extra windfall, Republicans said.  Now those Republicans say it's striking that New York has just approved spending $2.1 billion in state money to provide benefits to illegal immigrants.  "The $2.1 billion price tag of this fund is quite peculiar," wrote Reps.  Jason Smith and James Comer, the top Republicans on the Budget and Oversight committees.

NY Rewards Illegal Aliens with COVID Relief Checks 10 Times [the] Amount Given to American Citizens.  The State of New York has passed a new budget with major tax increases that will only drive more business from the declining state.  It is also carving out billions to cut one-time checks for illegal immigrants who lost work due to the state's lockdowns.  The size of the checks?  Over ten times that given to Americans in the last round of stimulus sent out by the Biden administration.

New York to give up to $15,600 to undocumented migrants who lost work due to Covid.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York lawmakers struck a deal Tuesday on a $2.1 billion fund for undocumented essential workers who lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic, The New York Times reported.  The "Excluded Workers Fund" could provide payments to hundreds of thousands of people excluded from other pandemic relief.

9 Things You Need to Know About Biden's 'Infrastructure' Spending Plan.  [#6] $700 billion in corporate welfare and tax credits.  While the stated top-line goal of the spending plan is "jobs," an alternate way of describing it would be "some jobs are more equal than others."  The broad corporate tax hike would necessarily shrink the private sector relative to what it would otherwise be.  In a classic "take with one hand, give with the other" maneuver, the spending plan would shower hundreds of billions of dollars on favored sectors, including "green" energy, politically selected manufacturing, and thinly disguised slush funds.  Rather than learning from Obama administration failures like the Solyndra scandal, the Biden administration seems determined to repeat the same mistakes on a larger scale.

Andrew Cuomo's New York:  Illegal Aliens to Get $1.1B More in Taxpayer-Funded Aid Than Small Businesses.  Nearly 200,000 illegal aliens living in New York will soon receive $2.1 billion in taxpayer-funded stimulus checks and unemployment benefits thanks to a budget agreed upon by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).  While more than a million jobs have been lost in New York and an estimated 80,000 New York businesses may not make it to the end of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, Cuomo and elected state Democrats agreed on a budget deal that provides billions to illegal aliens at the taxpayer's expense.

The Utter Crushing Phoniness of Joe Biden's Costly Infrastructure Plan.  One of the most striking — and depressing — realities of our nation's capital these days is the importance of image and the irrelevance of substance and truth.  Appearances have always been somewhat important.  Remember that shot of John Edwards coiffing his hair just so in the 2004 campaign?  Take the recent so-called Covid relief bill, for example.  It had $1,400 in gimmes and extended unemployment benefits as the tempting frosting to keep average folks somewhat happy and muffle complaints.  Never mind paying for trillions more; this is a crisis.  And we can't let any crisis go to waste.  The reality, however, is that only about 10 percent of that "Covid relief" was actual Covid relief.  The rest was financial takeout for more Democratic constituencies.

Biden's Big Climate Conference Looking Expensive and Useless.  The Biden administration is desperate to demonstrate global leadership.  President Biden has settled upon climate change as the ideal issue with which to be seen in command of the world.  He has decided to lead a "climate summit" for forty world leaders to prove it.  But Vladimir Putin has seen through his plans and resists submitting to U.S. control. [...] According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, no details regarding Biden's summit are forthcoming.  Russia is pressing for information through the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and through the U.S. Mission to Moscow.  Before actually inviting Putin to his summit, Biden announced it at the end of March, affirming that he had also invited Chinese President Xi Jinping.  All that has been shared is that the climate summit will be held virtually, timed to coincide with Earth Day, which is celebrated on April 22.

State Finalizing Plan to Immediately Give Illegal Immigrants Checks of Over $20,000.  Democrats in New York are working on creating a fund that would give some illegal aliens and ex-convicts more than $27,000 apiece in direct payments for financial hardships related to the coronavirus pandemic.  Politico reported Tuesday [3/30/2021] that Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office is in talks with state lawmakers to create something called the Excluded Workers Fund, which would offer direct payments to "undocumented immigrants and formerly incarcerated individuals" who missed out on work opportunities amid the pandemic.  "Right now discussions are around eligibility and access," Democratic state Sen. Jessica Ramos told the outlet.

Biden's farcical infrastructure bill.  There is widespread support for using federal money to improve the nation's infrastructure.  Donald Trump favored doing so, but never put forth legislation.  Now, Joe Biden has unveiled an infrastructure bill of sorts.  Unfortunately, his proposal is so bad that even the Washington Post has noticed.  The first problem with Biden's bill is that it isn't much about infrastructure.

Here Are Some of the Most Outrageous Line Items In Biden's $2.2T 'Infrastructure' Bill.  President Joe Biden has introduced a gargantuan spending bill ostensibly aimed at shoring up and expanding America's crumbling infrastructure, but as usual, there are a lot of things in the measure completely unrelated to 'infrastructure.'  To be sure, the measure would spend hundreds of billions on roads, bridges, airports, and so forth.  In fact, a Washington Post analysis found that the bill earmarks $650 billion for those kinds of projects.  But again, that's just $650 billion out of $2.2 trillion.  So — if this is an 'infrastructure' spending bill, where is the other two-thirds of the money (that we don't have) going?

Psaki: Biden Admin Preparing Another COVID Relief Bill Despite Passing Trillion Dollar Aid Package.  The Biden White House is planning to push forward with another massive coronavirus relief bill despite having just passed and signed a trillion-dollar relief package, Press Secretary Jen Psaki told Chris Wallace Sunday.  The bill's $1400 individual stimulus relief is barely in Americans' bank accounts, but the Biden administration says it wants further stimulus payments, as well as increased funding for healthcare and education — two industries that received major handouts in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. [...] Biden is, in fact, scheduled to debut a "multi-trillion-dollar" infrastructure investment bill later this week during a trip to Pennsylvania, but the president had yet to specify whether that initiative was also a COVID-19 relief project.  According to Psaki, it may, in fact, be the first over several pandemic-oriented bills, all with price tags over $1.9 trillion — more than Biden's first bill.

Top Paid LA Lifeguards Earned Up To $392,000 In 2019.  Being a lifeguard in California can be unbelievably lucrative.  If we had only known, many of us would have packed our bags and headed west for a career on the California beach.  Our auditors at found that lifeguards make a fortune in Los Angeles County.  Seven lifeguards made more than $300,000 and 82 lifeguards had total earnings that exceed $200,000 in 2019, the latest year available.  Fernando Boiteux was the most highly paid and earned $391,971.  As the "acting chief lifeguard," he out-earned 1,000 of his peers:  salary ($205,619), perks ($60,452), and benefits ($125,900).  The second highest paid, Captain Daniel Douglas, pulled down $140,706 in base pay, and a whopping $131,493 in overtime pay, with $21,760 in "other pay" and $74,709 in benefits.  Total compensation amounted to $368,668.

EPA spent $52 million in violation of law Congress passed to curb wasteful spending.  This week, our [Golden Horseshoe] award is going to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for spending more than $52 million in taxpayer funds without approval from the chief information officer of the agency — a direct breach of a requirement under the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act.  The EPA had a 10-year, $83 million contract with a consulting firm called CGI Federal to provide the web-based application the agency used as its financial system, i.e., the program that dealt with the outfit's accounting functions, budget report, transaction tables, and the like.  In 2015, the agency had started the bidding process for a subsequent contract, meaning the agency was supposedly assessing the open market in search of a new firm that might offer a better product, better rate, or just might be a better fit for the job that the American taxpayers were paying for.  But, two years later, EPA had come up with zilch, prompting the agency to extend its contract with CGI Federal for one year.

Biden's Plan to House Illegal Immigrants in Hotels to Cost Taxpayers $72,000 per Border-Crosser.  In a fresh twist on the Biden administration's decision to house illegal immigrants at hotel facilities, crunching the numbers on the $86.9 million that is set to be spent on 1,239 beds shows that the cost to U.S. taxpayers will be nearly $72,000 per border-crosser housed.  "That works out to $71,666.67 per migrant, paid by your tax dollars, meaning that you are now a co-conspirator to one of the largest smuggling schemes in history," wrote Andrew Arthur, a fellow with the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative policy research nonprofit.  Officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed to The Epoch Times that the Biden administration plans to use hotel facilities to accommodate family units unlawfully crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.  "The $86.9 million contract provides 1,239 beds and other necessary services," said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Tae D. Johnson.

Long Island police chief due for million-dollar payday.  The police chief of tiny, low-crime Southampton Village — pop. 3,307, with 30 sworn officers — makes more than NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.  That would be the top cop of New York City, pop. 8,300,000, with about 36,000 sworn officers.  Chief Thomas Cummings was compensated $441,945.82 last year, according to village documents.  His annual base pay was $263,829, easily topping Shea's $239,092.  The village is not exactly a hotbed of crime.  It has not had a murder since 2008, and last year reported no homicides, rapes, robberies or aggravated assaults.  It did have two car thefts, one burglary, and 42 non-violent larcenies, according to state Division of Criminal Justice Services data.  Cummings' massive compensation package included $86,256.66 in retirement contributions; $31,000 in extra vacation, a $23,893.02 night differential — and a $4,000 line item called "cleaning/clothing/college."  No one could fully explain what "3 Cs" taxpayers were being billed for.

[The] Latest Stimulus [is] about Politics, not the Economy.  Since the pandemic began, the federal government has passed three stimulus packages totaling $5.6 trillion (which was entirely borrowed):  including $900 billion in December 2020 and $1.9 trillion in March 2021 (the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). [...] Perhaps the most troubling part about the most recent stimulus packages is that they were arguably not needed and may actually hurt the economy.  In early 2020, a stimulus in the face of Coronavirus uncertainty seemed reasonable.  But with multiple vaccines being distributed, overall positivity increasing and new market highs, the Fed in December 2020 predicted an economic growth rate for 2021 of 4.2% up from 4.0% in September.  The forecast even before the vaccine came out was higher than the last ten years!

MTA will continue $300M-a-year subway cleaning after COVID crisis.  The MTA will continue splashing out for its $300 million-per-year subway cleaning effort into the future — even as the COVID-19 crisis that spurred the practice winds down, officials said Tuesday [3/23/2021].  Gov. Andrew Cuomo and transit officials instituted the "24/7" subway cleaning effort in the spring as ridership cratered in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic — at a cost of $250 million, MTA budget director David Keller told city council members during [a] budget hearing[.]  The authority has spent another $44 million so far this year, Keller said.

The Editor says...
[#1] $250 million per year is an average of $28,500 per hour.  How many people are working 24/7 on subway cleaning?  [#2] Since the continuous cleaning will continue after the "crisis" is over, that means the alleged crisis was only an excuse to initiate a $250 million perpetual make-work program.

Biden administration awards ICE $86M contract to secure hotel rooms for illegal families.  The Biden administration has awarded ICE an $86.9 million contract for hotel rooms near the border to provide temporary shelter and processing services for families who have not been expelled from the United States but have been placed in immigration proceedings for their removal.  The contract, through Texas-based nonprofit Endeavors, provides 1,239 beds and "other necessary services."  The families will receive a comprehensive health assessment, including COVID-19 testing.

The Editor says...
That's 70,137 per hotel room.  Was that the lowest bidder?

ICE signs contract for 1,200 more detention beds to fight border surge.  ICE said Monday [3/22/2021] it has signed a contract to set up more than 1,200 new detention beds to process migrant families, in a move that expands the agency's ability to test new arrivals for the coronavirus.  Tae Johnson, the acting director at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the contract is worth $86.9 million, and it will pay for "temporary shelter and processing services" for families who are not immediately turned back at the border, and who will instead be released into the U.S.  The number of such families has been soaring in recent weeks, drawn by changes in immigration policy under the Biden administration as well as lessening cooperation from Mexico in taking families back.

It gets worse:
Biden Admin Gave $87 Million No-Bid Contract to House Migrants to Organization With Ties to Biden.  Joe Biden has been desperate to find facilities to house migrant families and unaccompanied minors after causing a huge flood of illegal aliens across the border.  We previously reported about how he actually made an $87 million dollar contract to house migrant families in hotels. [...] Turns out there's even more to the story of the hotel contract, according to the Washington Examiner.  The contract wasn't sent out to bid as is the norm, it was a no bid contract.  More troubling, it was a huge contract with an organization, Family Endeavors, who had an official on the Biden transition team, former ICE official Andrew Lorenzen-Strait.  Interestingly, Family Endeavors announced on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, Lorenzen-Strait would become its senior director for migrant services and federal affairs, meaning that he would be the organization's liaison to the federal government.  Then, within two months, Lorenzen-Strait had gotten them the contract.

Illegal Immigrants to Receive $4.38 Billion in Stimulus Checks:  Report.  As Americans start to receive the latest round of stimulus checks, a new analysis reveals that about $4.38 billion will also go to illegal immigrants.  The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 2.65 million illegal immigrants have Social Security numbers that allow them to receive stimulus checks.  This group of illegal immigrants can be described as "aliens temporarily present without status," according to Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies.  "These individuals are in the country illegally and could be required to leave.  Yet, under the current system, they are still given work authorization and Social Security numbers," he said.  They include Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status recipients.  In addition, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued 882,000 work authorizations and Social Security numbers to other illegal immigrants in fiscal year 2020, the analysis states.  These include asylum applicants, as well as those applying for adjustment of status and suspension of deportation, among other categories.

Biden [is] Spending Millions per Day to Halt Border Wall Construction.  The pause on construction of the border wall costs taxpayers about six million dollars per day while construction sites sit idle, Breitbart Texas learned from a senior Department of Homeland Security official.  On Sunday, March 21, the 60-day pause in construction of the border wall is scheduled to end.  According to the source, the expenditures are required for materials orders placed before the pause and expenses for the cost of equipment sitting idle.  When the issuance of a stop work order causes a contractor to idle equipment, they are entitled to be compensated for rental expenses or costs of ownership.

Feds spent more than $1 billion on bioweapons detection system that mostly doesn't work.  The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just the News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government. [...] This week, our award goes to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for spending more than $1 billion over two decades on a bioweapons detection system that does not work.  The BioWatch system was introduced in 2003 by President George W. Bush in response to the anthrax attacks that killed and seriously sickened a number of Americans in the days following 9/11.  BioWatch was supposed to be a system that surveils aerosolized biological agents.  The system is comprised of hundreds of machines that collect air from public places around the country's most populous cities and send samples to a lab that tests for harmful pathogens.

Data show lots of 'Covid relief' stimulus checks went directly into financial markets, not spent on necessities.  While there are plenty of people whose lives have been thrown into chaos by the lockdowns imposed on us in the name of protecting against Covid, the "free money" sent out without a single Republic vote in Congress went to a lot of people who didn't really need it.  The checks amount to Democrats buying votes, so why should they limit the purchase to the truly needy?

The sad saga of the F-35: Too big to fail, too expensive to fly.  In 2001, the F-35 was billed as a low-cost, one-plane-fits-all alternative to building three separate planes to suit the Air Force's, Navy's, and Marines' different needs.  The F-35 is undeniably an engineering marvel, the most advanced, capable combat jet in the world. [...] However, with the sticker price of a basic Air Force variant now a relatively affordable $80 million per copy and 650 F-35s currently flown by nine U.S. allies, it seemed that the troubled plane might have turned the corner.  Still, last month, the F-35 program, the Pentagon's most expensive ever, came under friendly fire from the Air Force's top general, who made an unfortunate, inadvertent, inconvenient admission.  "It's like your Ferrari.  You don't drive your Ferrari to work every day.  You only drive it on Sundays," Gen. Charles Brown, Jr., Air Force chief of staff, told reporters at a session for defense writers.

For US, Gradual Ruin Is About to Become Sudden.  [Scroll down]  Then, there is the more serious stuff:  the nearly $2 trillion so-called COVID relief package that all but guarantees a spike in inflation but shovels much, much more money to teachers' unions and favored racial groups than to people who have suffered from the government lockdowns during the CCP virus pandemic.

More than $200 billion in unemployment aid may have gone to fraudsters in the pandemic.  A significant chunk of the government support reserved for unemployed Americans went to fraudsters instead during the pandemic, according to new estimates.  More than $200 billion of unemployment benefits distributed in the pandemic may have been pocketed by thieves, according to, a computer security service that 19 states — accounting for 75% of the national population — use to verify worker identities.  That's more than triple the official government estimate of $63 billion based on the 10% pre-pandemic fraud rate.  "The level of fraud is truly unprecedented," Blake Hall, CEO and cofounder of, told Yahoo Money.  "The main driver is the PUA program... For criminals, this program essentially makes every American and their identity a target."

Biden plans biggest spending binge since Lyndon Johnson.  President Biden and congressional Democrats are preparing to embark on one of the largest spending sprees since Lyndon Johnson was in the White House.  The $1.9 trillion spending package Biden signed into law last week that he said was needed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, passed on a party-line vote by the narrowly Democratic-controlled Congress, was just the beginning.  A massive infrastructure bill is in the works that is expected to cost at least $2 trillion.  Former President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress were no shrinking violets when it came to federal spending, either.  Trump signed into law an even bigger coronavirus package, the $2.2 trillion CARES Act last year, and another $900 billion in economic assistance before leaving office.  Budget deficits in excess of $1 trillion a year were set to return under Trump even before the pandemic hit, a fact that could undercut GOP efforts to restrain Biden's spending.

Biden set to significantly raise taxes and spend trillions.  Bloomberg reports Joe Biden has planned the first major tax increase since Bill Clinton in 1993.  Biden allegedly intends to raise the corporate tax rate substantially, increase the capital gains tax for people making over a million dollars, widen the estate tax, increase the income tax on people making more than $400,000 and reduce tax breaks for businesses.  His tax policy during his campaign was to raise taxes by $2.1 trillion over 10 years.  He's also going to sign more wasteful, socialist trillion-dollar bills during COV.  If Schumer and the Democrats abolish the Senate filibuster, they will be unimpeded in spending.  They will crash the economy.  This tax increase will raise money for infrastructure and the environment but that means money for unions and the end of our lucrative energy sector.

The Pelosi Payoff: 'CoVID' Package to Give California $42B, Illinois $13B, New York $24B.  A new report from the federal government revealed Friday the total amount of money distributed to the states under the recently passed $1.9 trillion CoVID relief package; showing big bucks being shelled out to deep blue states across the country.  The list includes California at $42 billion, Illinois at $13 billion, and New York at $24 billion in federal funds.  Critics of the legislation argue the bill has very little to do with defeating the global CoVID pandemic; instead allocating funds for pensions, child care, teachers unions, and other far-left priorities.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti 'Ecstatic' After $1.35 Billion Windfall from 'COVID Relief' Bill.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti described himself as "ecstatic" over the $1.35 billion that the city will receive from the $1.9 trillion "COVID relief" bill passed by Congress on Wednesday and set to be signed into law by President Joe Biden.  Coronavirus relief bills have been enacted repeatedly for a year, mostly by President Donald Trump, and often after delays by Democrats, who were reluctant to see Trump take any political credit.  The new bill, however, includes payments to cities and states, as well as pension bailouts for unions, and money devoted to long-term "progressive" Democratic Party policies.

Convicts Will Get COVID Bucks.  On March 6, the Senate voted on the amendment and every Democrat voted to send checks to prisoners while Republicans remained united to add the amendment and exclude prisoners from the $1,400 stimulus payments.  It is important to note that prisoners did receive stimulus payments from the CARES Act as well as the coronavirus relief package passed in the omnibus in late December. [...] The first attempt at rectifying the issue occurred with Sen. Bill Cassidy's (R-LA) amendment, which would prevent prisoners serving life sentences from receiving checks.  After all, the coronavirus pandemic did not bar them from gainful employment, their heinous and unlawful actions did.  Furthermore, prisoners do not pay taxes.  They do the exact opposite.  The damage they have caused to society extends beyond their crimes and their victims.  They become burdens of law-abiding and tax-paying Americans.  Now they will have $1,400 more than before while 60 percent of U.S. small businesses have closed permanently due to the pandemic.

Time to change the way Congress writes bills.  The recent passing of the $1.9 trillion relief package by House Democrats exposes once again the corrupt method used routinely to ensure passage of legislation that is weak or politically biased.  I'm referring specifically to the practice of loading up a bill with additional appropriations that have little or nothing to do with the stated purpose of the bill, lovingly known as "pork."  This helps to explain why a bill like this grows to 591 pages.  It is estimated that only 9% of the funds are destined for actual COVID relief.  It was apparently more important to Democrats to lard up the bill with more of their wish-list items.  How about $350 billion to bail out mismanaged states, $12 billion for foreign aid, $135 million for the Endowment for the Arts?  And how could they let any spending bill get by without something for Big Tech in California, specifically a Silicon Valley underground tunnel for $112 million?  One of the more egregious items was for Howard University, which will receive $35 million to cover losses due to the pandemic, the only university to be reimbursed for that reason.  I'm sure it's just a coincidence that VP Harris is a graduate of Howard.

House passes $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill, sends it to Biden to sign.  House Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Wednesday, sending one of the biggest stimulus plans in U.S. history to President [Biden]'s desk.  The president hopes to sign the bill Friday [3/12/2021] after Congress formally sends it to the White House, which can take days for large bills.  Biden will check off his first major legislative item as the U.S. tries to ramp up Covid-19 vaccinations and jolt the economy.

Democrats' $1.9 Trillion 'COVID Relief' Bill Includes $86 Billion in Pension Bailouts.  The New York Times reported this week that the Democrats' $1.9 trillion "coronavirus relief" bill includes $86 billion for failing pension funds. [...] Moreover, as the Wall Street Journal noted Wednesday [3/10/2021], the Democrats' bill provides $360 billion in relief for states, some of which will be used to bail out ailing state pension funds.

[There's] More Money in [the] Stimulus Bill for Pension Bailouts 'Than All the Money Combined' for Vaccines, Congressman Says.  Unions are getting a free pass after mismanaging their multi-employer pensions for decades.  In a provision not well-publicized before the stimulus bill narrowly passed by the Senate with only Democrat support, $86 billion dollars will be directed to at least 185 multi-employer union pension plans that are close to collapse. [...] The pension crisis is not new and fixing it has long been a Democrat priority.  Congress passed legislation in 2014 to allow insolvent pensions to pare benefits within limits to prevent bailouts by the taxpayer.  However, President Obama's Treasury Department blocked the Central States Pension Fund's plan to use the law in 2016.  The media framed this denial as an attempt to force a straight bailout, and here we are.

Bill Gates' Global AIDS Fund [was] Provided With $3.5 Billion in Coronavirus Stimulus Package.  The coronavirus stimulus package that passed the Senate last week includes a provision to provide a $3.5 billion giveaway to Bill Gates' Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  The $3.5 billion is tucked away onto page 613 of the American Rescue Plan.  While a paltry sum to a megabillionaire such as Gates, and paling in comparison to the bill's other provisions, many of the billionaire critics would object to Gates being gifted with billions of dollars that he will nominally use for international projects.  Gates, one of the richest people in the world, has a net worth of over $137 billion dollars [sic].  There's no reason to think he can't simply fund his Global Fund project personally, with the Senate's gift to the organization representing a small percentage of his personal wealth.

$1.9 Trillion in Spending, $11 Trillion in One-Term Deficits.  Passage of the $1.9 trillion spending bill has Democrats giddy.  President Biden termed it "historic."  Senator Schumer calls it "a great day for this country."  Not to be outdone, Senator Debbie Stabenow gushed, "People on the floor, in our caucus, it was almost like tears in their eye.  I mean, I felt it."  Here is what actually historic.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Biden one-term deficit will total a forecasted $8 trillion, including the $1.9 trillion, spiraling to $11 trillion if Democrats follow through on next month's planned $3 trillion bill for "infrastructure."  Republicans have widely noted the huge waste in the spending bill.  Of $1.9 trillion, only $465 billion is due to the $1,400 check, putting the bill's pork and payoffs at $1.4 trillion.  Economists have identified the enormity of planned spending, and its recklessness.  Even stalwart Democrat supporters recognize the Biden administration utter disregard of fiscal responsibility.

The numbers are in, and the states don't need a bailout.  Democrats call their current massive spending bill a "COVID relief" bill, but the half-trillion-dollar bailout of state governments has nothing to do with COVID-19 relief.  Plenty of states are doing poorly fiscally, but generally, this has nothing to do with the pandemic and everything to do with their own mismanagement.  This was a disputed point back in the spring, but no more.  The numbers are in.  The coronavirus has not left most states struggling for revenue the way people originally expected.  The Congressional Budget Office is anticipating 4.6% economic growth in 2021.  That surge, which will come along with the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, will serve as its own stimulus package without any need for government action.  And it is sure to boost state revenues.  But even the miserable year of 2020 was not nearly as bad for state and local revenues as people anticipated.

Always beware of large groups of irritated cops with nothing to do.
4 Cops for Every Congressman - But Pelosi Wants More.  Washington D.C. has the highest ratio of police to people of any major city in the country.  There are 650 officers for every 100,000 residents in D.C.  That's 40% higher than any other major city in America including Chicago and Baltimore.  It has a 58% higher police ratio than New York, more than double that of Boston, and triple that of L.A.  But that's nothing compared to the private police force dedicated only to protecting Congress.  The Capitol Police, which has been in the spotlight since the Capitol Riot, has over 2,000 sworn officers.  Pelosi's private police force is the 19th largest police force in America.  It's already larger than the police forces of Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, and Milwaukee.  While Democrats advocated defunding the police, their private police force budget shot up from $375 million in 2016 to $460 million in 2020.  And now it's demanding even more money.

Fighting COVID with Monopoly Money.  The House and Senate have both passed their versions of the economic stimulus package.  Joe Biden has already said he will sign it into law.  While both sides of Congress hash out how the money the nation does not have will be spent, it's clear that most of the funds will not go directly to Americans.  It will instead go to interests the Democrats favor.  Americans, especially fiscal conservatives, should be outraged.  We've gone from proudly ending the "era of big government" to spending more money than anyone can imagine, and despite the questionable effects, "stimulus" spending by the government even has in stimulating economic activity and growth.  Over the past year as COVID killed hundreds of thousands and lockdowns ravaged our economy, the government has now spent more than $4 trillion in money borrowed from other countries and from the future.  One only needs to look at what's happening in Venezuela right now to understand the risks this borrowing and spending spree poses to the economy.

Filiblustering the Future of America.  For the privilege of being rescued, middle-class Americans will be rode hard by a $1.9 trillion price tag against their future liquidity and that of their children.  HB 1319 is dressed up with promises of compensation checks, virus testing and vaccines, food stamp and school programs, homeowner tax breaks, psychological services, and other pandemic head fakes.  In sum, actual relief doesn't add up to [...] a lot, nine percent, in fact, of all allocated funds.  Democrats are using pandemic-related as a generous definition for pandemic relief.  Much of HB 1319 is a watering trough that buys off a voting constituency and finances progressive pet projects, funds Planned Parenthood and abortions, doles out loyalty payments to teachers unions, bails out fiscally-irresponsible blue states, imputes racial equity qualifications for farm grants, and sends billions to overseas COVID efforts after paring down relief checks to Americans.

The Greatest Financial Swindle In American History.  We are hard-pressed to identify a single redeeming feature in the 600-page "stimulus" bill that has now passed the Senate and House on a strict party-line vote.  You've got to hand it to AOC and Bernie.  These nutcases actually pulled it off!  Some of our friends point to the dollars for vaccine distribution.  We don't object to that, though if we simply let the private sector handle the vaccine program, odds are it would happen faster.  The other $1.7 trillion is negative for the economy and jobs.  There is nothing in this bill that stimulates the supply side of the economy — i.e., the production of goods and services.  Only one Republican amendment passed.  It was an amendment by Rob Portman to shrink the $400 unemployment bonus to $300 a week.  We're glad somebody has been reading our work.  We estimate this change will reduce the employment losses from 6 to 4 million.  Unfortunately, the Democrats also voted to make UI benefits nontaxable giving welfare an advantage over work.

Joe Biden's Handlers Let Him Out, and Things Are Not Fine.  Earlier today, the Democrats in the Senate passed their COVID "relief" bill along a party-line vote.  Not even Lisa Murkowski or Mitt Romney saw fit to break ranks this time because that's how bad this piece of legislation is.  In fact, only 9% of the bill goes to direct assistance for those who have suffered at the hands of government lockdowns.  The rest goes to a smattering of special interests and payoffs, from the National Endowment of the Arts to bailing out blue states that were in dire financial straits long before the pandemic hit.

Democrats Reject Republican Attempts To Prevent Stimulus Checks From Going To Prisoners, Illegal Aliens.  Senate Democrats blocked an amendment by Republicans on Saturday that would have stopped taxpayer-funded stimulus checks from going to illegal aliens and incarcerated criminals.  Republican Sens. Tom Cotton (AR), Ted Cruz (TX), and Bill Cassidy (LA) offered an amendment on the Senate floor to block prisoners from being able to receive stimulus checks, which was blocked in a 49-50 vote.  "The bill includes $1400 stimulus checks for individuals who make less than $75,000," Fox News reported.  "Inmates are included among those who receive stimulus checks, just as they were in both of the previous Covid relief bills that offered $1,200 and $600 checks."  Cotton responded by highlighting some of the heinous criminals locked up in the U.S. justice system who will receive money in Biden's stimulus deal.

The stealth Obamacare expansion.  President Biden's COVID-19 relief bill actually does very little to combat the coronavirus pandemic.  But among other things, it includes a stealth expansion of Obamacare.  The brazenness of Biden's bill is something to behold.  Just about 1% of the $1.9 trillion price tag is dedicated to vaccination efforts — the quickest path out of the crisis.  Only about 5% is directly related to the broader efforts to fight COVID-19.  Instead, the bill (which comes on top of $4.1 trillion in money already spent in response to the virus) spends hundreds of billions of dollars on liberal wish list items, pension bailouts, and unnecessary state and local aid.  As we noted previously, just $6 billion of the $128 billion being billed as emergency funding to get schools to reopen is allocated in fiscal year 2021, whereas $90 billion of it will be back-loaded between 2023 and 2028.  In other words, it's just a massive payout to teachers unions who have been the obstacle to reopening schools fully in spite of actual science and experience showing that it is safe to do so.

Did someone mention unionized teachers?

San Francisco is paying $5,000 per month for each homeless tent.  Homelessness is really expensive for the people who are paying for it.  Last year, San Francisco set up six "safe sleeping villages" during the pandemic, including one right outside City Hall.  Basically these sites are sanctioned tent camps where the homeless live on city property with bathrooms and free meals.  It turns out the city is paying $5,000 per month for each tent.

Stop Throwing Money Down F-35 'Rathole,' Top Lawmaker Says.  The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is questioning how the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program fits into the Defense Department's future strategy, likening the Pentagon's most expensive program to date to "throwing money down that particular rathole."  "What does the F-35 give us?" Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., asked during a virtual Brookings Institution event Friday.  "Is there a way to cut our losses?  Is there a way to not keep spending so much money for such a low capability?  Because the sustainment costs are brutal."

Sen. Kennedy Says 'Calling This a Coronavirus Bill Is Like Calling Harvey Weinstein a Feminist,' Gives It Perfect Name.  In this episode of "Quotable Quotes from Senator John Kennedy," the straight-talking Louisianan lawmaker took apart Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion "American Rescue Plan" and criticized Democrats for refusing to compromise with Republicans on bipartisan legislation, as only he can — with the kind of wry devastating humor for which he's known.  During an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday [3/3/2021], Kennedy first tore into Biden for reneging on his pledge to "meet Republicans halfway" in crafting a COVID relief package, choosing instead to back a "dreadful" partisan bill, which Republicans have slammed as laden with hundreds of billions of dollars in spending unrelated to COVID relief.

Become an illegal alien to the US! Win big prizes, get free stuff — with no taxes.  Are you almost broke because of medical bills?  Does your job, that you're lucky to have, leave you so exhausted that you have no time or patience for your family?  Are federal and local taxes grabbing an ever larger part of your income, reducing your after-tax income?  Do you want to move to another part of the country with better professional opportunities, proximity to family, pleasanter weather, and/or lower taxes but can't afford the expense?  Does the lawyer you hired to fight the ticket for going over 5 miles above the limit charge more than the ticket you can't afford?  Did you commit a minor crime as a teenager years ago, repent, but still find it difficult to get a job or decent housing because of this stain on your record?  Are you having trouble with tuition payments for the school that offers the best training for your dream job that will pay you a living wage?  Did you lose a job to a much less qualified special minority?  If you answered yes to any of the above questions, help is on the way!  Do I have a deal for you!  Become an illegal alien to the United States, and all these problems — and more! — are solved!  Free!

Democrats' 'American Rescue' Bailout Would Enslave Us to Debt and Lockdowns.  [Scroll down]  Third, we passed a coronavirus relief bill in December — that is, just two months ago.  That bill ran to $900 billion and then some, and that money hasn't even been spent yet.  Come to think of it, neither has all the money from the earlier coronavirus relief bills.  By some estimates, there's about a trillion dollars sloshing around the system, waiting to be spent.  And, by the way, the CBO projects that of the $1.9 trillion in spending authorized by this bill, about $700 billion won't be spent until at least 2022.  So much for "emergency" relief.  Fourth, this bill contains a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with the coronavirus, or relief from it — a massive increase in the minimum wage, for instance.  That's been on the progressive Democrats' wish list for years, since long before anyone had ever heard of the coronavirus.  It's a terrible idea under any circumstance — the Congressional Budget Office says it will cost 1.4 million jobs — but it's a particularly bad idea to roll it into a bill that its supporters claim is designed to help those struggling to find work.  Beyond the minimum wage increase, there's $135 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, another $135 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  And there's about $350 billion to bail out big-spending state and local governments that ran up huge debts over the last two decades.  What has that funding got to do with the coronavirus?

Democrats' 'American Rescue' Bailout Would Enslave Us to Debt and Lockdowns.  Democrats want to prolong the lockdowns — to keep businesses shuttered, to keep people looking for work from finding gainful employment — and they want to use another $2 trillion of taxpayer money to do it.  But because the taxpayers don't actually have the money, Democrats will have to borrow (again!) from our children.  Except that when "borrowing," it's customary to ask the lender for the loan, rather than simply take the money and leave behind an I.O.U.  And there is no request being made to future generations.  There is simply the appropriation being made and a bill being sent to future generations in the form of an addition to the national debt, so we shouldn't call it "borrowing;" we should call it what we do when one person takes another's money without permission — we call that "stealing."  That's a long way of saying Democrats want to steal money from our children to prolong the lockdowns.

Minneapolis Paying 'Influencers' $1.2M to Shape Public Opinion During Derek Chauvin Trial.  Well, it looks like the Sixth Amendment may be as unwelcome and out-of-date in whatever it is America appears to be degenerating into as the First Amendment clearly is.  The local CBS affiliate is reporting the almost unbelievable news that Minneapolis officials plan on shelling out around $1.2 million in taxpayer money to "six social media influencers, with a large local following, to help push their message" during Derek Chauvin's second-degree murder trial for the death of George Floyd.

Sen Kennedy:  Democrat COVID Bill 'Is a Left of Lenin, Neo-Socialist Wish List'.  Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) has slammed the Democrats' proposed $1.9 trillion COVID relief package for being "chock full" of unrelated "spending porn."  The Republican senator blasted the bill during a Wednesday [2/24/2021] appearance on Fox News's "America's Newsroom."  Kennedy noted the package that is supposed to provide assistance to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic but it is, instead, crammed full of far-left policies.  He called the bill a "neo-socialist wish list" because it is full of items that have nothing to do with the virus and includes money for transit projects, illegal immigrants, and more.

House OKs $1.9T Coronavirus Bill — With 2 Democrats Voting Against It.  The U.S. House of Representatives approved a massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package early Saturday — the sixth COVID bill passed since the pandemic began a year ago.  The vote around 2 a.m. ET was 219-212.  Two Democrats voted against their party's plan:  U.S. Reps.  Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon.  Both lawmakers also opposed a $3 trillion bill last May that ultimately failed.  Golden issued a statement defending his decision.  "During challenging times, the country needs its elected leaders to work together to meet the most urgent needs in their communities," Golden said, according to The Associated Press.  "This bill addresses urgent needs, and then buries them under a mountain of unnecessary or untimely spending."

Every Illegal Claiming Asylum Gets An Average Of $1100 In Loans And Can Then Disappear No MSM Coverage.  According to a new study released by FAIR, the annual cost to U.S. taxpayers is $1.8 billion and over five years, that financial burden skyrockets to $8.8 billion.  Those figures are only estimates because refugees will access welfare and other government assistance at different rates and the number of refugees entering the U.S also changes from year-to-year.

Big spending Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill is only his warm-up act.  President Biden is pushing for Congress to ram through a $1.9 trillion spending package in the name of dealing with COVID-19 and its economic effects.  But this mammoth package is only the beginning of his coming spending spree.  To start, it is worth reiterating how excessive and unnecessary the legislation being pushed by Biden is at this point.  To date, the federal government has already enacted $4.1 trillion in spending in response to the coronavirus.  And with infections plummeting and the vaccine supply exploding in the coming months, the economy is ready for a comeback.  The $1.9 trillion that Biden wants to pass vastly exceeds the projected output gap, or the difference between projected economic activity without policy changes and potential activity if the economy were functioning normally.

Stimulus check: $1,400 for you, $1,400 a week for federal employees.  President Joe Biden's coronavirus stimulus package outlines a one-time $1,400 check to families financially affected by the virus.  Yet the fine print in the House stimulus bill sneaks in this fascinating nugget:  If you're a federal employee, you can receive $1,400 a week in paid time off for 15 weeks if you decide to stay at home and virtually school your child.  As first reported by Forbes, the carve-out is included in the bill's $570 million "Emergency Federal Employee Leave fund," which is exclusively reserved for federal employees.

Dems' COVID Bill Takes Waste, Fraud, And Abuse To A Whole New Level.  The bill is riddled with spending unrelated to the COVID crisis, gifts to big unions, bailouts to states that don't need them, and bad economic policies. [...] We have already exposed the many lies being used to justify this spending monstrosity.  The details now available in the House bill add insult to injury.  While Democrats claim the need is urgent, almost $700 billion of of the funds won't get spent until sometime over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  This is particularly true when it comes to money for education and labor — which includes dollars for schools, colleges, child care, and the $15 minimum wage.  Less than 10% of the $293 billion thrown at these programs will go out this year, according to the CBO.  More than a third won't get spent until after the next presidential election!

Biden's climate 'fix' is fantastically expensive and perfectly useless.  Across the world, politicians are going out of their way to promise fantastically expensive climate policies.  President Biden has promised to spend $500 billion each year on climate — about 13 percent of the entire federal revenue.  The European Union will spend 25 percent of its budget on climate.  Most rich countries now promise to go carbon-neutral by mid-century.  Shockingly, only one country has made a serious, independent estimate of the cost:  New Zealand found it would optimistically cost 16 percent of its GDP by then, equivalent to the entire current New Zealand budget.  The equivalent cost for the US and the EU would be more than $5 trillion.  Each and every year.

US spent $787,000,000 on 'gender equality' projects in Afghanistan.  And it's likely that no one who allocated or spent this money had any idea why women are discriminated against in Afghanistan, and why "harmful socio-cultural norms" kept them from making major progress.  They have no clue about this because it's all about Islam, which is likewise not mentioned in the article below.  All too many on the side of freedom become as politically correct as any leftist when it comes to Islam, jihad, and Sharia.

These Are Some of the Garbage Items House Dems Added to Their New COVID Relief Bill.  House Democrats late Friday released the text of their $1.9 trillion Wuhan coronavirus relief bill.  While some of the bill addresses actual challenges Americans face, there are a handful of items that are, arguably, not related to the pandemic. [...] If passed and signed into law, the federal minimum wage — which currently sits at $7.25-an-hour — would increase to $15-an-hour over the next five years.  Democrats set aside $50 million for "family planning." As of now, the Hyde Amendment is in place, which bars taxpayer funds from being used for abortion. [...] Although higher education has teetered because of the virus, Howard University is the only higher education facility that would be given money to recoup funds lost during the pandemic.  Gallaudet University is listed in the bill, but it's a specialized university for students who are hard of hearing.  It is important to note that Vice President Kamala Harris is an alumna of Howard University, which is an unlikely coincidence.  Another $135 million would be allocated for the arts and humanities, likely museums that received funding during the CARES ACT.

Minnesota confusion about police
How Minneapolis created a crime wave (in the progressive media's own words).  I apologize for not knowing who created the chart [left], and for being unable to obtain permission to use it.  But it is too good not to share with readers.  I suspect that whoever put it together would appreciate having it spread far and wide.  The main reason that I like it so much is that it uses progressive mainstream media headlines to make its point.  We bemoan the censorship that social media and the MSM exercise to protect their phony narratives.  But often, carried away by their own crazy beliefs, they report on absurd actions with a halo of righteousness, and then can't ignore the consequences.

The CBO Just Destroyed The Case For Biden's $1.9 Trillion COVID 'Relief'.  he non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released its economic forecast for the next decade.  It got little press attention, probably because it completely undermines the arguments for another massive COVID-19 stimulus bill.  President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress continue to portray the economy as deep in a recession.  In Wisconsin on Wednesday, for example, Biden said that "Now is the time we should be spending.  Now is the time to go big."  But according to the CBO's economic forecast, real GDP this year will climb by 4.6%.  Assuming that holds true, it would be the biggest annual increase in gross domestic product since 1999.  What's more, GDP will have made up all the ground lost by the pandemic lockdowns by mid-2021, according to the report.

Under COVID-19, leftists jump to make Vermont school lunches wasteful and 'woke'.  When schools closed in Vermont, lunches were provided to students across the state — often by buses that delivered food instead of picking up children.  The rationale was that some students depended on school meals for nutritional needs:  as the Department of Health and Agency of Education justified: "....the ongoing economic impacts of COVID-19 may mean that many more children are currently facing food insecurity at home."  But this effort has been costly and inequitable — both financially and environmentally.  Overspending, inefficiencies, and unequal distribution of COVID funds are themselves "ongoing economic impacts" that will ensure food insecurity persists for our children.  Part of the 35% COVID-fueled increase in the national debt has been caused by a floodgate of benefits created with borrowed funds.  "Normal" filters against fiscal abuse were set aside when COVID struck, using the "food insecurity" mantra.  Huge waste has resulted, as seen in Vermont.

Yet Another Big Lie Behind Biden's $1.9 Trillion COVID Bill.  Last week, governors and mayors from around the country came to the White House with cups in hand for COVID aid and found a president eager to listen to their pleas of poverty.  "They've been working on their own in many cases," President Joe Biden said, promising to come to the rescue with $350 billion in federal "relief" funds.  It was a good act.  But back home, states across the country are reporting huge surpluses, thanks not only to previous federal COVID handouts (which totaled more than $400 billion) but because tax revenues are surging as the economy rapidly rebounds.  As the City Journal reports, "Undoubtedly some states and cities have faced challenges, but nationwide, state and local governments have seen tax revenue rebound to pre-pandemic levels, even as they have continued to receive a large influx of federal funds."

Activists push Democrats to give stimulus checks to 9M taxpaying noncitizens.  Democrats face pressure from immigration activists to provide pandemic relief checks to millions of immigrants who are illegally residing in the United States but pay taxes.  Behind the scenes, left-leaning advocacy groups and nonprofit organizations are pushing to get $1,400 checks, including in major pandemic relief legislation not only for the 2.2 million U.S. citizen children who were excluded from the two previous checks but 9.3 million adults who pay billions of dollars in federal taxes.  Altogether, the measure could cost the federal government $13 billion.  The National Immigration Law Center, Church World Services, and Service Employees International Union are leading efforts to whip Senate Democrats into adding language for the checks into the pandemic relief legislative package.  The move is not expected to succeed but could complicate negotiations within the Democratic Party in the coming weeks.

Dems Rush New COVID Bill While Feds Sit On $1.3 Trillion In Unspent Relief Funds.  "Time is a luxury our country does not have."  That was Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer explaining why Democrats are in such a mad rush to pass a massive $1.9 trillion COVID "relief" bill.  What Schumer, President Joe Biden and other Democrats, and the mainstream media fail to mention is that the government still hasn't spent $1.3 trillion of the previous COVID relief funds.  If the public knew that, would a majority be in favor of anything like the new Biden plan?  For those with short memories, there have been five COVID relief bills in less than a year, with total spending of $4.1 trillion — all financed by deficit spending.  President Donald Trump signed the most recent bill — valued at $900 billion — just six weeks ago.  Also, there have been "administrative actions" that add up to $700 billion.

Schumer and AOC Team Up to Announce Taxpayers Now on the Hook for COVID Funerals, Including for Illegal Immigrants.  If there's one way to make sure COVID-19 deaths don't go down, this is it.  New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joined forces this week to publicize a federal program that will reimburse the families of coronavirus victims up to $7,000 for funeral expenses for deaths from the disease that occurred in 2020 — even if the death involved an illegal alien.  And, according to CNN, Schumer said the lawmakers want the program to last as long as the pandemic does — which means the numbers are likely to show the pandemic lasting a good long time.

Does the Pope need our money?
Catholic dioceses accept at least $1.5 billion in taxpayer aid during pandemic despite full coffers.  When the coronavirus forced churches to close their doors and give up Sunday collections, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte turned to the federal government's signature small business relief program for more than $8 million.  The diocese's headquarters, churches and schools landed the help even though they had roughly $100 million of their own cash and short-term investments available last spring, financial records show.  When the cash catastrophe church leaders feared didn't materialize, those assets topped $110 million by the summer.

The Editor says...
Any bailout of the Catholic Church, to the exclusion of all other denominations, could easily be seen as the establishment of a state religion.  But the Catholic Church is the last organization in town that would need a government bailout.  See Wealth of Roman Catholic Church impossible to calculate.

Ohio paid out $330 million in fraudulent pandemic unemployment benefits in December alone.  Ohio paid at least $330 million in fraudulent pandemic unemployment benefits claims between April and December of 2020, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Kimberly Henderson said Wednesday [2/3/2021].  It's the latest indication of how widespread benefits scams have been, as the government lowered verification standards so it could more quickly get money in the hands of people hurt by the coronavirus crisis.  In all, 56,000 fake Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims between April and December have been identified so far, Henderson said during a Zoom call with reporters.  The number of fraud cases during that period is likely to keep growing, as many reports are still being investigated, according to ODJFS spokesman Tom Betti.

Is it wasted money if it hasn't been wasted yet?  Or is it just lost?
Dems Still Haven't Spent $1 Trillion from Previous 'Stimulus' Bills.  As scored by the Congressional Budget Office, the total cost of stimulus laws enacted over the last year amounts to $3.7 trillion.  More than $1 trillion of available budgetary resources remain to be spent.  Notable examples of remaining funds include:
  •   SBA's Paycheck Protection Program: $280 billion
  •   Health Spending: $239 billion
  •   Economic Injury Disaster Loans: $172 billion
  •   Unemployment Insurance Expansion: $172 billion
  •   Education Funding: $59 billion
  •   State and Local Aid: $58 billion
  •   Stimulus Checks: $52 billion
  •   Food Stamps: $33 billion
  •   Child Care and Development Block Grant: $10 billion
  •   Agriculture: $29 billion
The federal government apparently can't spend coronavirus relief dollars fast enough to keep up with the pace that Congress is passing ever-larger multi-trillion-dollar budget busters.

Biden wants to make his DOJ funnel money to the Left.  One of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions's most important acts in office was his genuinely swamp-clearing 2017 reversal of a corrupt Obama administration practice at the Department of Justice.  Sessions forbade the department from reaching settlements with deep-pocketed defendants that involved cash payments, not to taxpayers or victims, but to third parties — in practice, often to left-wing social justice organizations.  "When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people," Sessions said, "not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power."  Unfortunately, one of President Biden's first acts in office was to initiate the reinstatement of this corrupt practice.

The 'Tells' of the Deep State Poker Players.  [Scroll down]  In whatever indirect way the American people speak, they have spoken:  no more increases in government spending.  But our Democratic friends propose to spend trillions on climate change and on Medicare for All, and I know not what else.  And that is after all the massive spending on COVID stimulus.  Ain't gonna fly, and that is the meaning, I think, of all the Biden executive orders.  Biden's handlers are throwing everything at the wall, hoping something will stick.  I doubt it.  The problem is that USG is facing the fact of Chantrill's Law:  "government programs cannot work because you can never reform them."  Pensions?  Health care?  The only thing our leaders have done recently is try to squeeze in more free stuff with ObamaCare and add stealth income taxes to Medicare.  Education?  But our teachers don't feel safe!

Pelosi, Biden and Newsom Show How Grift and Fraud Makes the Democrat World go Round.  The big news out of California this week is that the utterly incompetent jackasses in the Newsom administration paid out no less than $31 billion in fraudulent unemployment payments since last April.  I say "no less than" because some reports peg the number at a cool $50 billion.  And that's just in one state. [...] Yeah, I guess when you're sending unemployment checks to crime organizations in China and Russia, your security measures could be said to be lacking.

Biden's Energy Nominee Divvied Millions In Taxpayer Funds To Alternative Energy Startups That Went Bankrupt.  President Joe Biden's nominee to head the Department of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, divvied out millions in taxpayer funds during her two terms as Michigan governor to alternative energy companies that eventually went bankrupt.  In one instance, Granholm's administration provided a $9.1 million refundable tax credit to a renewable energy company registered to the address of a single-wide trailer and run by a convicted embezzler named Richard Short.  Short was found to be in violation of his parole and sent back to prison after appearing on stage with Granholm in 2010 to accept assistance from the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, according to Michigan Capitol Confidential.  Granholm also granted $10 million to an electric car battery manufacturer, A123 Systems, in 2009 and lauded the company in a press conference, saying it would help "make Michigan the alternative energy capital of North America and the advanced battery capital of the world."

CA EDD admits paying as much as $31 billion in unemployment funds to criminals.  As much as $31 billion in California unemployment funds have been paid out to scammers, California EDD admits.  ABC7 News' 7 On Your Side has been tracking the numerous fraudulent claims that have been plaguing the EDD and on Monday afternoon, it confirmed that even more money than previously reported has been paid out to scammers.

Another Democrat indignity for the National Guard:  Toddler snack meals.  The fiasco involving the Democrats' misuse of the National Guard just keeps expanding. [...] So in addition to having to sleep on an icy garage floor in 30-some-degree weather after a full day of standing watch at the Capitol, to ensure that the fully vaccinated Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn't fear for her life, the troops get cheap low-protein junk food of the very lowest-end sort.  Capri Sun?  Costco soft granola bars?  Pop-Tarts?  I estimate the retail value of those three plus the apple at less than $3.00, and if bought at wholesale, probably less. [...] So whoever it was, it kind of looks as though a contractor took the cash and minimized delivery, quite possibly keeping the extra for himself.  There are more ways than one of creating a $6,000 toilet seat, it seems.

Get ready for more Obama-era green energy scams.  With Democrats about to control all the levers of power in Washington, the biggest winners might be the wind and solar companies.  These firms' stocks continue to surge mostly because President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to invest several hundred billion dollars in green energy through a pipeline of taxpayer-funded grants, loans, tax credits and loan guarantees.  This game plan looks suspiciously like a replay of the litany of green "stimulus" fiascoes that Biden piloted as vice president back in 2009 with the $800 billion Obama stimulus plan.  The experiment in the government as an investment banker belly-flopped with embarrassing failures from Solyndra, Fisker Automotive and Abound Solar.  Taxpayers lost billions of dollars on these lemons.

Cuomo to DC: Give me $15 billion or I shoot what's left of my tax base.  [T]he self-appointed paragon of gubernatorial virtue finds himself short on funds despite having one of the highest tax rates and largest tax bases in the nation.  In fact, Cuomo told the state that Washington DC either had to send him $15 billion immediately, or they'd have to pay.  Oh, and he'll also sue to get it.

Some people are inadvertently throwing away stimulus check debit cards:  Couple says the mailing looked like a scam.  As if waiting for a stimulus check to arrive wasn't frustrating enough, now it turns out some people are throwing their $600 away.  Jim Wallace almost tossed a letter he received in the mail the other day.  "I received a white envelope, with clear plastic on the top left corner and in the middle," Wallace said.  Nowhere was a U.S. Treasury or IRS return address in Washington, D.C. that would have indicated a stimulus payment.

Get Ready for More Obama-Era Green Energy Scams.  With Democrats about to control all the levers of power in Washington, the biggest winners might be the wind and solar companies.  These firms' stocks continue to surge mostly because President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to invest several hundred billion dollars in green energy through a pipeline of taxpayer-funded grants, loans, tax credits and loan guarantees.  This game plan looks suspiciously like a replay of the litany of green "stimulus" fiascoes that Biden piloted as vice president back in 2009 with the $800 billion Obama stimulus plan.  The experiment in the government as an investment banker belly-flopped with embarrassing failures from Solyndra, Fisker Automotive and Abound Solar.  Taxpayers lost billions of dollars on these lemons.  One of these disasters, the Crescent Dunes thermal solar power plant, located in the Nevada desert, is still embroiled in court battles to sort out who pays for all the losses.

Why 'Helicopter Money' Won't Help Us Out of This Mess.  The concept is called helicopter money.  Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman coined the term in 1969 to envisage how sudden increases in money supply universally distributed would affect spending and saving.  His conclusions were not favorable.  No one took it seriously at the time.  Everyone agreed that it should be avoided.  However, some people now think it will help get the country out of the present mess.  It seems like an ingenious way to get the money in the hands of those who need it. [...] Hence, everyone is turning to helicopter money in the form of universally issued stimulus checks.  The thinking behind this is that government spending is not enough.  It is time to be daring and give the cash directly to consumers so they might rush out and spend it.

California COVID-19 benefits fraud could reach $9.8 billion.  California may have paid out nearly $10 billion in phony coronavirus unemployment claims — more than double the previous estimate — with some of that money going to organized crime in Russia, China and other countries, according to a security firm hired to investigate the fraud.  At least 10% of claims submitted to the state Employment Development Department before controls were installed in October may have been fraudulent, Blake Hall, founder and CEO of told the Los Angeles Times.  The Times on Friday [1/15/2021] said that would work out to $9.8 billion of the benefits paid from March through September.

CA EDD Fraud Has Now Reached 9 BILLION, With International Crime Syndicates In The Mix.  I, and my other RedState colleagues have done our best to stay on top of California's Employment Development Department fraud. [...] But the corruption is like an avalanche.  Once the earth underneath is moved, it snowballs downward, until the entire mountain falls.  And in regard to California's Unemployment Insurance fraud the mountain is falling fast:  "While millions of Californians are battling each day to put food on the table amid the idled COVID-19 economy, payments from the state earmarked to help them have been ripped off to the tune of nearly $10 billion, according to a security firm hired to investigate the fraud."

Say a prayer for New York City.  Gotham's in trouble.  Not just because it's suffering under the weight of crushing woes — soaring violence, out-of-control homelessness, a broken economy, a broke City Hall.  And a population that can't flee fast enough.  But also because none of the would-be saviors running for mayor is offering any meaningful plan to turn things around. [...] Instead, candidates are more interested in reversing "inequities" and addressing racial "imbalances."  You might expect, for instance, that City Comptroller Scott Stringer — the city's official, elected budget watchdog — would run almost single-mindedly on a plan to overhaul spending norms, confront labor and demand sacrifices, à la the 1970s, when Gotham nearly went bust.  Or push ways to save struggling businesses.  Instead, he's focused on the need for a diversity czar and procurement preferences to minority- and women-owned businesses.  (Seriously.)

Taxpayers paid £1.5million for Sadiq Khan's 'woke' NYE light show, featuring BLM fist salutes and NHS tributes.  Sadiq Khan spent up to £1.5 million of public money on a BBC-backed 'woke' pro-EU, NHS and BLM firework and drone display on the Thames that was cooked up in secret with Scotland Yard and narrated by Sir David Attenborough, MailOnline can reveal today.  Labour's Mayor of London kept the taxpayer-funded event a mystery to avoid crowds gathering during the pandemic at Greenwich where rockets were fired from a barge in the river and 300 drones flew above the O2 Arena in south-east London.  10.8 million locked-down Britons, forced to celebrate New Year at home and eager to bid farewell to a miserable 2020, tuned into BBC One to watch the display, which City Hall told MailOnline had a £1.5million budget with Mr Khan having the 'final sign off on the content of the display'.

Thanks to new law, expect more widespread stimulus fraud.  Remember that the $900 billion behemoth bill legislators just passed is actually their second major "stimulus" effort.  The new spending bonanza comes as a follow-up to the $2 trillion CARES Act Washington passed in March — yet it hasn't fixed any of the first bill's glaring problems.  The CARES Act sent 1 million stimulus checks to dead people and untold thousands more to random European citizens.  So, too, its uber-expanded welfare system lost more to unemployment fraud than the entire unemployment system paid out in 2019.  And while many conservatives misguidedly view the Paycheck Protection Program as the saving grace of the CARES Act, the grant program ostensibly intended to help small businesses stay afloat was also rife with fraud and co-opted by big, wealthy corporations.

'Hawaiian Princess' Abigail Kawananakoa, 94, received a $142,000 PPP loan to pay nine personal staffers.  'Hawaiian Princess' Abigail Kawananakoa, 94, has received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan worth $142,000 to pay nine personal staffers during the pandemic, following a legal battle over her $215 million fortune.  She was granted the PPP loan in April to keep the staffers on her payroll, despite the James Campbell heiress raking in around $14 million each year from her trust's stock, according to Hawaii News Now.  Kawananakoa suffered a stroke in 2017, which her longtime lawyer, Jim Wright, claimed had left her impaired.

Penguins, valued at $650M, received $4.82M COVID loan.  There are 123 teams among the Big Four North American Men's Sports Leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL).  Only one of them received a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program.  That team is the Pittsburgh Penguins, who received a loan of $4.82 million through the program authorized by the CARES Act.  According to the Small Business Administration's website, "The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll."

The Editor says...
The term small business should be defined somewhere.  The definition is probably in this incomprehensible document, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to hunt it down.  Whatever the definition may be, I doubt if the Pittsburgh Penguins qualifies as a small business.

Congress' Christmas Tree Bill [is] Loaded with Climate Ornaments.  Americans on both sides of the political aisle — and politicians as divergent as President Trump and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — are justifiably outraged at the $900 billion pork barrel spending bill disguised as COVID-19 "relief" that won congressional approval on Monday.  The president is pushing back, posting video messages that detail the bill's giveaways to foreign countries and special interests unrelated to easing the devastating economic consequences of shutdowns ordered by Democratic and Republican governors alike.  There is no end in sight to these punitive, costly decrees, which have done nothing to stop the spread of a virus that cannot be stopped; viruses outsmart humans almost every time and considering the sad crop of human leadership in the world right now, it's not exactly a high wall for any pathogen to scale.

How Congress Can Give Americans $2K Relief Checks and Cut Omnibus Pork to Pay for It.  President Donald Trump has urged Congress to increase the amount of the direct relief payments to Americans to $2,000 by cutting out the unrelated pork in the coronavirus rescue package and government spending bill.  Breitbart News has calculated how much that increase would cost and what could be cut from the 5,593-page omnibus bill to offset it.  The House and Senate passed the combined $900 billion coronavirus relief package and $1.4 trillion government spending bill on Monday night [12/21/2020], but the massive 5,593-page omnibus bill immediately drew criticism for sending billions of dollars of aid to foreign countries while only allotting $600 relief checks for Americans.

The Editor says...
The voting-age population of the U.S. is approximately 255,200,000.  $1.4 trillion divided equally among us would be $5,485 per capita.  But the money would come from the national debt, so we would all be undertaking an unsecured loan from our grandchildren.  Either that, or the government would be printing money, which would result in inflation.  (And buying votes.)  Either way, it seems nice in the short term, but it's destructive in the long term.  About 90 percent of the omnibus spending is unnecessary, in my opinion.

Sen. Roy Blunt says $2,000 COVID-19 stimulus checks wouldn't pass.  President Trump's call for Congress to amend the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill to increase direct payments to eligible Americans from $600 to $2,000 cannot pass the Senate, according to a top Republican in the body[,] who said he remains hopeful the commander in chief will sign the measure.  Speaking to reporters Thursday, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) cautioned that it would be "a mistake" to not sign the coronavirus relief bill.  "There's been some apparent misunderstanding about what's in the regular appropriating bill and what's in the COVID relief bill, and generally the regular appropriating bill includes things the administration asked for," the No. 4 Senate Republican began by saying.

Rand Paul provides details about how government wastes your taxes.  On Tuesday [12/22/2020], Congress passed a grotesque spending bill that ostensibly provides for Americans suffering from the economic collapse Democrats and RINOs forced onto America and for funding the government before it shuts down.  In fact, what it does is insult Americans with a pittance, make easy loans available for big businesses and favored leftist constituents, and send billions of dollars overseas, often for initiatives (such as border walls) that leftists refuse to fund at home.  The bill's timing was perfect for Rand Paul's annual Festivus grievance Twitter thread detailing how badly your money was wasted in 2020.  The obscene spending bill that a bipartisan Congress passed in a mad rush on Tuesday night is already old news.  President Trump has appropriately called the bill a "disgrace" and has called on Congress to send him a new bill that gives hurting Americans $2,000, instead of $600 (while illegal aliens get three times that amount).  In addition, he calls out the fact that, even as the bill denies relief to Americans, it sends billions of dollars overseas, none of which will benefit Americans.  [Video clip]

Trump Should Veto The $2.3 Tril, 5,593-Page COVID-19 'Stimulus' — 2020's Biggest Fraud Of All.  Based on a U.S. population of roughly 330 million, the $900 billion stimulus amounts to $2,727 in spending per person.  OK, but how much of that goes into people's pockets?  A pittance: $600.  Yet, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi committed the unforgivable sin of holding up those $600 checks for struggling American families in order to hurt President Donald Trump's reelection chances.  This is politics at its most cynical and is a prime example why average Americans today hold politicians in such low esteem.  All told, the bill for this sprawling legislation comes to $2.3 trillion — yes, that's trillion with a "t".  Add that into Green's earlier calculation, and the amount spent per household grows to $6,969.  Sure, but all that is going to COVID-19 relief for individuals and small businesses, right?  No, not even close — $1.4 trillion from the Consolidated Appropriations Act is dedicated to the federal government's fiscal 2021 budget.  It was all cobbled together in the last hours of closed-door negotiations, focused on getting massive servings of pork spending and new, useless government programs added, not on COVID-19 relief.  That was just the selling point to all us rubes.

Thanks, Dems, for stealing Christmas.  [Scroll down]  Where did all the other money go you ask?  Well, according to President Trump, they plan to send; $85.5 million to Cambodia, $134 million to Burma, $1.3 billion to Egypt and the Egyptian military (who will buy their weapons from Russia), $25 million for gender programs in Pakistan, $505 million to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, $40 million for the closed Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., $1 billion for the Smithsonian, and $154 million for the National Gallery of Art.  I finally understand why so many Americans are depressed this Christmas.  Our government is really broken — almost beyond repair.

Social Security Is A Mess:  There Are 6 Million Active Accounts Of People Aged 112+.  Our friends at Open The Books continue to expose government waste — and fraud — and in their latest investigation, they have shone the spotlight on one of the largest wastes in the US government: the Social Security Administration.  What they have uncovered is that last year alone, Social Security admitted to $8 billion in improper and mistaken payments.  The punchline:  when they dug deeper, they found that there are six million active social security numbers of people aged 112 and older... even though only 40 or less or those people exist in the world.  The root cause of this collosal abuse: failure to verify death.  And yet while you won't read about it in the papers, the four-year total sum to US taxpayers is roughly $2.8 billion, which in today's numbers when trillions are thrown around may not sound like much, but add up all the other areas of government waste, and soon you end up with far greater numbers.

List of improper payments
Improper Payments:  Analyzing $2.3 Trillion Mistakenly Spent By The U.S. Government Since 2004.  [There were] $175 billion in estimated improper payments reported by the 20 largest federal agencies, averaging $14.6 billion per month.

Billions in foreign aid, pet projects stuffed into COVID relief bill.  Uncle Sam is about to play Santa for America — and the world.  Congress passed a $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding bill that gives just $600 to most Americans struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic — while doling out gifts to foreign countries and powerful lawmakers.  In addition to the slim stimulus cash payout, the bill contains a $300 weekly unemployment supplement, $284 billion in loans to small businesses and money for transit systems and entertainment venues hard hit by the virus.  The COVID-19 legislation — which was combined with the nation's regular annual spending bill — also contains more pork than a Christmas ham.  The legislation adds not one but two National Mall museums, $10 million for "gender programs" in Pakistan and $2.5 million for "internet freedom."

Massive Coronavirus "Relief" Bill Stuffed With Billions In Giveaways To Foreign Countries.  After months of haggling, the long-awaited coronavirus "relief" stimulus has now made its way through Congress and the massive bill is a Christmas gift for special interests.  By the time that final negotiations had been hammered out, the gargantuan legislation clocked in at nearly 6,000 pages, giving members no time to read it with both Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell applying pressure to cram it through.  The House passed this pork-stuffed monstrosity that provides only crumbs in the form of a measly $600 payment to Americans who are reeling from the economic damage inflicted by Democrat lockdowns while lavishly rewarding special interest groups and doling out foreign aid including millions for "gender programs" in Pakistan.

The Editor says...
I sifted through the 5,590-page bill for about an hour, and found a few interesting nuggets.  I probably could have found a lot more, except that the PDF version is so massive that my little laptop had a hard time looking for specific terms; for example, it took about 30 seconds to find every instance of the word "black."  As many PDF documents do, there are many cases in which there are two or more spaces between words, and computers tend to take search terms literally.  Here are some of the (ahem) unusual expenditures I stumbled across:  [On page 122]  "Section 789.  None of the funds made available by this or any other act may be used to restrict the offering of low-fat (1% fat) flavored milk in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, as long as such milk is not inconsistent with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans published under section 301 of the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act of 1990."  That requires an act of Congress?  [On page 296]  "For payment to the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System Fund, to maintain the proper funding level for continuing the operation of the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, $514,000,000."  [On page 1004]  "$55,400,000 shall be for minority AIDS prevention and treatment activities[.]"  [On page 1272]  "$300 million for the National Endowment for Democracy."  Whatever that is.   On page 5448 you will find about sixty pages of legislation having to do with horseracing.  There is also a whole lot about "minority business development."  Some of the items are notable for sheer opacity:  [On page 107] Section 743: "For school years 2020–2021 and 2021-2022, none of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement or enforce the matter following the first comma in the second sentence of footnote (c) of section 220.8(c) of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, with respect to the substitution of vegetables for fruits under the school breakfast program established under section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1773)."  I wonder was the "matter" under consideration, and why that couldn't have been spelled out?  Much of the foreign aid money can be located by searching for the word democracy.

Foreign Aid? Pakistani Gender Programs? Here's What's in the $2.3 Trillion Spending Bill.  Congress passed a $2.3 trillion government funding and coronavirus relief package on Monday [12/21/2020].  President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law, but Americans are in dismay over what they perceive to be massive amounts of pork tacked onto the legislation.  The 5,590-page bill, which contains $1.4 trillion to fund the government and $900 billion for COVID-19 relief, was posted online for public viewing on Monday afternoon, giving no time for any analysis that would make a meaningful impact on the bill before it came up for a vote.  The legislation was full of aid to foreign countries, including $33 million for "democracy programs" in Venezuela.  Some foreign-aid figures from the bill:
  •   $169,739,000 to Vietnam
  •   $198,323,000 to Bangladesh
  •   $130,265,000 to Nepal
  •   $505,925,000 to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama to "address key factors that contribute to the migration of unaccompanied, undocumented minors to the United States"
  •   $461,375,000 to Columbia
  •   $74.8 million to the "Caribbean Basin Security Initiative"
  •   $132,025,000 to Georgia
  •   $453 million to Ukraine
  •   Up to $15 million to Pakistan for "democracy programs" and up to $10 million for "gender programs"
Notably, the bill spends hundreds of millions of dollars to secure the borders of other countries, specifically those in the Middle East.

House Voting Today on 5,600 Page Pork-Filled COVID Package No-One Has Read, McConnell Wants Unanimous Consent.  [T]he UniParty is in full swing and they don't even care what our opinion is about this massive $2.5 TRILLION (approximated because it hasn't been scored) COVID/Omnibus spending bill that totals over 5,600 pages.  The actual 5,600 page bill wasn't populated for public review until shortly after noon this afternoon and staff had an issue putting it on-line.  Incredibly, and in keeping with the previous approach preferred by congress, the House plans on voting on this bill today; and Mitch McConnell wants the Senate to pass it by unanimous consent (no recorded votes).  My rough review shows an approximately 70/30 split on the $900+ billion COVID package.  Approximately 30 percent +/- of the bill will actually help working class families and businesses on Main Street.  Approximately 70 percent of the bill will go to political donors, special interests, environmental lobbyists, K-Street groups who wrote the bill, foreign interests, Wall Street and corporate beneficiaries.

The Grift That Keeps On Giving.  As always, the powerbrokers in Washington have packed a long-delayed (to rob Donald Trump of any pre-election credit) Covid relief bill with copious amounts of pork projects which have nothing whatsoever to do with public health or the pandemic.  They do, however, bring home the bacon for a wide variety of special interests:
  •   $453 million to Ukraine (maybe hiring Hunter Biden was a good investment after all!)
  •   $10 million for "gender programs" in Pakistan.
  •   $1.3 billion to Egypt
  •   $700 million for Sudan
  •   $130 million for Nepal
  •   $4 billion for Navy weapons procurement, $2 billion for the Space Force, and another $2 billion for Air Force missiles (in fairness, all of this sounds WAY more effective than Purell).
  •   $208 million to upgrade the Census Bureau's computer systems (perhaps with Dominion software to help "accurately count" the number of people who'll need new Democrat representatives).
  •   $40 million goes to the Kennedy Center (presumably to fill the currently unused space with hospital beds and ventilators.)
  •   $193 million for federal HIV/AIDS workers to buy cars and insurance overseas
  •   Funding for a new museum offering programming, education, and exhibitions on "the lift, art, history, and culture of women."

$10m for Pakistan 'gender programs'? 'America First' trends in furious response to pork-filled Covid 'relief' bill.  The text of the latest COVID-19 stimulus bill has been posted and Americans are noticing more than just the small portion that bestows them with $600 checks.  In fact, the long-awaited and much-demanded stimulus checks, to help Americans deal with the pandemic's economic effects, make up a drop in the pork-filled bucket of taxpayer-funded handouts.  Along with funding for coronavirus vaccine distribution and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, there is an eye-popping array of outrageous spending — and funding to other nations.

House Passes $900 Billion COVID Relief Bill.  The Senate passed a $900 billion COVID relief bill Monday night, delivering aid to the businesses and families that have struggled through months of stalled negotiations.  The 5,593-page bill handily passed in the House 359-53 before being approved by the Senate 92-6.  The six votes against the measure came from Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Rand Paul (Ky.) Rick Scott (Fla.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Ted Cruz (Texas).  It is now set to arrive on the desk of President Trump, who is expected to sign it.  The legislation passed as part of a broader $1.4 trillion spending package that included dozens of unrelated provisions, pushed off to the end of the legislative session thanks to protracted gridlock over the scope and scale of the relief bill.

New COVID-19 Relief Bill Also Creates 2 New Museums and a Library, References Dalai Lama Controversy.  The main thrust of the bill is to provide $600 per person to people below a certain income threshold and to expand the Paycheck Protection Program for various businesses.  But that's not all — not by a long shot.  For instance, the bill also instructs the Smithsonian Institution to create two new identity-based museums:  one for women, and one for Latinos.  (The legislation refrains from using the phrase "Latinx.")  The bill also takes a position on the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, expressing that in the view of the U.S. government, "the wishes of the 14th Dalai Lama, including any written instructions, should play a key role in the selection, education, and veneration of a future Dalai Lama."  The bill includes a provision prohibiting any federal funds from being used by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), an activist group that no longer exists in the United States.  It attempts to normalize U.S. foreign relations with Sudan, criminalizes illegal streaming, and creates a plan for building a Theodore Roosevelt presidential library in North Dakota.

That COVID Relief Bill Gets So Much Worse, and It Should Infuriate You.  This morning [12/21/2020] I wrote an initial take on the newly agreed upon (agreed upon by Congressional leadership at least) coronavirus relief package.  I focused on some of the ridiculous, unrelated domestic hand-outs in the bill.  Later, Jennifer Oliver O'Connell did another dive into the general terribleness of the legislation because there was just too much wrong with it to cover in one piece.  Well, as per our usual agreement with Congress, more and more is being discovered in the 5600 page monstrosity, and it gets so much worse.  For example, did you know there are big payouts to foreign governments all throughout the bill?

No connection to Covid at all:
Covid relief bill to make illegal streaming a felony with up to 10-year prison sentence, in landmark victory for Hollywood studios.  The entertainment industry is poised for another major win from the pandemic with the proposed Covid-19 relief bill including increased penalties for companies that illegally stream copyrighted material.  Studios have been trying to pass copyright legislation to curb piracy for almost a decade since the failed 2012 Stop Online Piracy Act.  If the 5000-page Covid-19 relief package passes, buried in there will be increased penalties for illegal streaming of movies and music that could carry up to 10 years in jail, as first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.  The latest win for Hollywood studios comes after California governor Gavin Newsom declared that those in the entertainment industry were essential workers and therefore exempt from the state's strict stay-at-home orders.

Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Funds Hundreds of Millions in Aid to Palestinians.  The coronavirus relief bill released Monday [12/21/2020] includes $250 million in investment aid for the Palestinians and for encouraging Israeli-Palestinian dialogue in a provision titled the "Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act of 2020."  The provision, named for retiring Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), is buried deep within the nearly 6,000-page legislative text.

What's the difference between this and racism?
Latino museum will be built in D.C. after 25-year effort by Menendez.  A new National Museum of the American Latino will be built in Washington under a provision included in legislation funding the federal government through Sept. 30.  The effort had been spearheaded by New Jersey U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez for a quarter-century, dating back to his tenure in the U.S. House.  Menendez was the first Latino elected to Congress from New Jersey.  "We have overcome tremendous obstacles and unbelievable hurdles to get to this historic moment, but, as I've said before, Latinos are used to overcoming obstacles," Menendez said.  "With this vote, Latinos and Latinas across our nation will finally have their stories, struggles, and impact on our country validated by the United States Congress."

The Only Thing Missing From This Absolute Cluster of a 'COVID Relief' Bill Is $ for Shrimp on a Treadmill.  As feared, the so-called COVID relief bill is another behemoth Christmas tree offering by politicians spending your money on behalf of Uncle Sugar.  This allegedly $900 billion bill ostensibly was written to help people wracked by the economic hit of COVID.  It's anything but.  It's another spendulous travesty and should be vetoed by President Trump — before Christmas.  Opening the economy while encouraging best health practices is the appropriate response at this point.  Congress has thrown $3.3 trillion at the problem during the coronavirus pandemic.  It's time to let the people run their own affairs.

Sen. Ted Cruz Is Right:  Congress Labeled End-Of-Year Spending Bill "COVID Relief" to Cover the Pork.  As we've covered thoroughly at RedState, Congress passed a pork-filled monstrosity Monday and called it COVID relief, believing that a $600 check would satiate most Americans and keep them from looking deeper into the bill's contents.  In most years that might be true, but during a year in which a good part of the country has been locked down for nine months, in which millions have lost their jobs (and more), and in which the hypocrisy and corruption of our elected "leaders" has been fully revealed, well, good luck with that.  It took months for Congress to act on pandemic relief back in the spring, and they tried to attach a bunch of pork then, too.  The first bill bought them a few months — months which brought the problems with the bill into full view — but still, House Democrats didn't seriously push for any type of targeted bill because they knew it would give Donald Trump a PR victory.

Chicago-Area Transit Agencies Face 'Drastic' Service Cuts As Pandemic Ridership Plummets.  On a recent weekday morning at Chicago's Jefferson Park Blue Line station, Bobby Patel manned a magazine stand from behind a plastic screen.  A sign at the door reads, "one customer at a time."  On an average weekday before the pandemic, thousands of commuters would pass through the Jefferson Park Transit Center on the city's Northwest Side.  It's home to the Blue Line, 9 CTA buses, several suburban PACE buses and a METRA commuter rail stop.  But on that weekday morning — though it was technically rush hour — the station was nearly empty.

The Editor says...
I used to work in downtown Dallas, but I've only been there once this year; and on that one occasion (in April 2020), I was very surprised to see the commuter trains running around empty.  It is not uncommon to see empty DART buses driving around the suburbs.  Operating dozens of empty buses is a money-wasting enterprise.

Ilhan Omar's husband received $635k in Covid-19 bailout money for his consulting firm.  Ilhan Omar's husband received $635,000 in Covid-19 bailout money for his consulting firm, despite the congresswoman paying his company nearly $2.25 million this year, according to a new report.  Tim Mynett's E Street Group was given $134,800 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and an additional $500,000 in Economic Injury Disaster loans (EIDL) in April, records show.  Mynett co-owns the Washington D.C. firm, which has also been paid $2,256,700 since the start of 2020 from Omar's campaign for services that include digital advertising, fundraising consulting and website production, campaign records show.

Oregon Gave Antifa Your CARES Act COVID Relief Tax Dollars During the Riots.  Wait, It Gets Worse.  That which is rewarded is repeated.  Apparently, the State of Oregon wants more antifa and Black Lives Matter rioting.  At at time when violent rioters were setting fires, looting, and terrorizing the people of Portland, they were rewarded with U.S. CARES Act COVID relief funds.  Repeating:  When Portland was burning, the state of Oregon gave the arsonists gasoline.  The group "SNACK BLOC" that received CARES ACT money designed to help people in need — or so we thought — is unabashedly antifa and BLM.  It's not even a semantical close call.  Oregon's Health Authority gave money to a group that came out of the shadows to support antifa and riots.

Five charged for allegedly raking in thousands in MTA overtime fraud.  "MTA overtime king" Thomas Caputo and four other current and former employees of the transit agency were busted Thursday for allegedly reaping thousands of dollars in pay for time they didn't actually work — and instead spent bowling, vacationing out of state and, in one case, running a 5K.  The defendants — four Long Island Rail Road workers and one subway maintenance worker — were among the MTA's top earners in the period of alleged fraud, the Manhattan US Attorney's Office said, thanks to annual OT payments of $240,000 or more.  "These employees allegedly worked very hard — to steal MTA time and money, ignoring their duty to keep the tracks and rails safe for their fellow workers and riders," said MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny, whose office helped unravel the alleged scheme.

California got $1.3 billion in wildfire relief.  Victims have received nothing.  California has received more than $1.3 billion in federal aid to rebuild after the 2017 wine country wildfires, the 2018 Camp fire in Butte County and other disasters from those years.  But disaster-affected homeowners and renters have yet to receive a single penny.  The cause: years-long federal and state bureaucratic delays.  As a result, renters like [Linda] Adrain are going without permanent housing while homeowners are unable to cobble together enough money to rebuild their homes.  In the Butte County town of Paradise, which was heavily damaged in the Camp fire, disaster victims are still living in cars and recreational vehicles on their properties as they await further financial assistance.

IRS Says Its Own Error Sent $1,200 Stimulus Checks To Non-Americans Overseas.  The IRS now acknowledges that its own error caused some citizens of other countries to mistakenly receive $1,200 coronavirus relief payments — and that the mistake is likely to happen again if more stimulus money goes out.  When reports of the mistake first surfaced, the U.S government placed the blame on those non-Americans, saying that many noncitizens erroneously received stimulus checks because they had filed incorrect tax returns that made them appear to be American.  But many non-Americans who received stimulus money do not file U.S. tax returns.  One of them is Susanne Wigforss, a 78-year-old Swedish citizen who lives in Stockholm.

California Inmates Defraud Taxpayers of $1 Billion in Unemployment Benefits.  A multi-agency investigation has uncovered a scheme to steal at least $1 billion in pandemic unemployment aid.  About 35,000 unemployment claims were filed in the name of prison inmates between March and August, including a claim for convicted murderer Scott Peterson, and that at least 20,000 of them had been paid out, said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert. [...] The fraud is not limited to California.  When the government decided to throw more than $2 trillion on the COVID problem, it was like ringing the dinner bell for fraudsters across the nation.

Pentagon Fails Another Audit, Will Likely Get Budget Increase From Congress Anyway.  The third time wasn't the charm for the Pentagon, which has once again failed to successfully complete an audit.  Thomas Harker, the Pentagon's comptroller, told Reuters that it could be another seven years before the department can pass an audit — something that it has never accomplished.  Previous attempts in 2018 and 2019 turned up literally thousands of problems with the Pentagon's accounting system and millions of dollars' worth of missing equipment.  In a statement, the Pentagon lauded the fact that auditors had "cleared" more than 500 issues identified in previous audits.  That serves as compelling evidence that the effort is worth it, even if a clean review is still impossible.  The Pentagon had resisted being audited for years.  Though Congress passed a law in 1990 requiring all federal departments to be audited every year, it still took nearly two decades for the first Pentagon audit to be attempted.

NASA doles out half a million in taxpayer dollars for far-out alien detection program at Georgetown.  This election week, our [Golden Horseshoe] award is going to the District of Columbia's non-voting member of Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton for her role in securing more than half a million taxpayer dollars to ponder new and unconventional alien life detection techniques.  According to a recently released report from Open the Books, in 2019, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded $549,974 to a Georgetown University program — a school with a $1.7 billion endowment — with a focus on new methods for the detection of alien life.

November 2020 Election Results:  Dallas County.  [Scroll down]  Voters also approved most of Dallas Independent School District's $3.7 billion bond package — the largest local debt proposal in Texas history.  Proposition A ($3.3 billion for school facilities) and Proposition B ($270 million for technology equipment) passed; Propositions C, D, and E to fund stadium upgrades, a performing arts theater, and a natatorium, failed.  The bonds will cost local taxpayers an estimated $6 billion with interest — a staggering sum on top of the $4.4 billion in bond debt and interest the district already owes.  The new bonds won't be paid off until 2061.

The Editor says...
The taxpayers are spending "$270 million for technology equipment."  Twenty years from now, if not much sooner, most or all of that equipment will be completely obsolete, yet it won't be paid for until 2061.  By then, there will be several more layers of debt.

The Money Pit:  Watchdog chronicles $19 billion wasted in Afghan reconstruction effort.  This week, our award is going to the U.S. government at large for wasting $19 billion in its efforts to reconstruct Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion of the Islamic nation to destroy Al-Qaeda and defeat the Taliban.  Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Congress has appropriated $134 billion for the reconstruction of the country.  In October, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released a new report, detailing where some of that money has gone over the past nearly two decades.  Of the total amount spent, SIGAR reviewed about $63 billion spent on projects in the region, nearly 30% (or $19 billion) of which was classified as waste, fraud, and abuse.  In the 19-page report, the special inspector general describes the way money has been spent in Afghanistan as "carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose."

We Don't Need No Stinking Giant Mirrors.  [Tweet]  A Medicine Hat solar thermal project was demolished for scrap last week after the city, fed gov, and provincial carbon tax fund invested a total of $13M into the project.  After an unsuccessful trial, Medicine Hat was unable to sell off the equipment.

FDNY firefighter with annual $136K disability pension moonlights as stuntman.  A New York City firefighter has been moonlighting as a stuntman — while also raking in a $136,684-a-year disability pension, according to court documents.  Firefighter John A. McGinty retired with the lucrative annual payout citing leg, hip and spinal injuries in 2016 after 25 years with the FDNY.  But it turns out McGinty, 58, works as a professional movie stuntman, according to his own LinkedIn page.  McGinty — who also goes by the stage name John Mack — says he is adept at fighting, driving stunts, falls below 30 feet and small fires, according to a profile on management site CMG Talent.  His personal cell number listed at the bottom of the profile is a dead giveaway.

Millionaire owner of iconic Strand Book Store in NYC pleads with public for help as revenue drops.  An iconic New York City bookstore is asking the public to save it from financial ruin brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic even though it is owned by a multimillionaire wife of a US senator who recently bought at least $115,000 in Amazon stock and then got a PPP loan while laying off workers. [...] [O]utraged Twitter users noted that the store's owner, Nancy Bass Wyden, the wife of Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, is reported to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

Rapper who sang about bilking unemployment is arrested for bilking unemployment.  A rapper who posted a YouTube video bragging about bilking California's unemployment system was charged Friday with doing just that.  Prosecutors say Nuke Bizzle, whose real name is Fontrell Antonio Baines, was part of a scam that collected at least $1.2 million in bogus payments from California, using the coronavirus pandemic to rack up the cash.  In the video, titled EDD, for California's Employment Development Division, the rapper shows himself going to the mailbox with stacks of applications, and bragging that "you gotta sell cocaine, I just file a claim."

Group That Sponsors BLM, Left-Wing Orgs Reportedly Received $170M in Taxpayer Money.  A group that serves as a fiscal sponsor for various liberal-leaning organizations has reportedly been the recipient of almost $170 million in government grant money.  One tumbles down a rabbit hole when exploring the financials of the Tides Center, the gatekeeper of these taxpayer funds.  The San Francisco-based nonprofit, in conjunction with its sibling Tides Foundation and working under the Tides umbrella, has shrouded itself behind a 501(c)(3) status, while cloaking its extensive heritage as a left-wing cash clearinghouse.

Taken for ride?  D.C. paid $5 million in improper charges for late, overbudget streetcars.  This week, [the Golden Horseshoe] award is going to the government of the District of Columbia, for making $5.2 million in improper payments to the prime contractor on the city's streetcar project.  According to September 2020 report by the D.C. inspector general, the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) has been billed $55.3 million by the Nebraska-based HDR Engineering Inc. since 2010, when the D.C. Streetcar program began — almost 10% of which turned out to be non-allowed charges[.]  According to the report, the payments that shouldn't have been made include charges for duplicate services, excessive overhead and service fees, and unauthorized subcontracting work.  Further, a little over $900,000 in costs were paid for services that "may not have been rendered."

Seattle pays ex-pimp $150,000 to offer 'alternatives to policing'.  Seattle now has on its payroll a convicted pimp who once vowed to "go to war" with the city — a $150,000 "street czar" whose mission is to come up with "alternatives to policing," reports said.  Andre Taylor — who appeared in the documentary "American Pimp" about his life as "Gorgeous Dre" — is getting $12,500 per month for a year, along with an office in Seattle's Municipal Tower, according to the contract published by PubliCola.  It comes just a year after his organization, Not This Time, was paid $100,000 to sponsor a speaker series that was called "Conversations with the Streets."  Taylor led one of the first rallies in Seattle after the police-custody death of George Floyd, the Seattle Times said.

IRS Sent $1.6 Billion To Dead People:  GAO Report.  The Government Accountability Office issued a report in which they reviewed the federal government response to COVID-19, and found that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had sent more than $1.6 billion to dead people.  In particular, GAO reviewed the distribution of funds, also knows as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a program that provides guaranteed loans through lenders to small businesses, and unemployment insurance.  Overall, federal obligations and expenditures government-wide of these COVID-19 relief funds totaled $1.5 trillion and $1.3 trillion, respectively, as of June 30, 2020.

Green Jobs?  What Green Jobs?  On the campaign trail in 2008, candidate Barack Obama promised he would create 5 million new green jobs.  Months later, the Obama-Biden Administration took office supported by a majority in the House and a nearly filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.  The $800 billion stimulus package they passed focused on fulfilling the 5-million-job promise.  It was a tragi-comedic disaster.  Together, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Department of Labor's inspector general issued four reports on green jobs.  The Obama-Biden green-jobs programs failed so spectacularly the administration defunded all future reports.  Not only did Obama-Biden not create 5 million new green jobs, they could not document even half that many total (new and pre-existing).  Even this failure was after the BLS broadened the definition of a green job in an attempt to get bigger totals. [...] Though the jobs promise was broken, the spending promise was not.  The big, green chunk of the $800 billion stimulus package went to a list of projects of which no one would be proud and that were owned by a group of corporations not needing subsidies.

More about Green Jobs.

Some PPP Loans Were Used To Buy Rolexes, Rolls Royces, Report Finds.  As expected, a government loan program that quickly issued money during a crisis ended up getting defrauded.  The Paycheck Protection Program, which was supposed to help small businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic was allegedly used by some to purchase expensive luxury items such as Rolex watches and new homes, Politico reported.  So far, the apparent fraud is just a small portion of the loans given out, but it still shows how easily government-run programs can be abused.  "The Justice Department has brought more than 40 cases involving false applications for more than $170 million from both the Paycheck Protection Program and another federal lending vehicle.  And the Small Business Administration's inspector general's office says it has 'initiated hundreds of cases involving potential fraud' in the two programs," the outlet reported.

Physicist Pleads:  Stop Building Stupid, Expensive Particle Colliders.  After CERN announced plans to build the world's largest particle collider yet, physicist Sabine Hossenfelder has a simple message:  we'd be better off without it.  Hossenfelder, a research fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, wrote a Scientific American op-ed in which she argues that the tens of billions of dollars the collider would cost is far too high a price tag, given there's no guarantee that it would lead to any groundbreaking discoveries.  That money, Hossenfelder believes, would be better spent fighting climate change or — ahem — devastating new disease outbreaks.

The Editor says...
Here's another option for "what else could we do with that money": Leave it in the taxpayers' pockets.  Every government agency has a compulsive desire to expand and spend more money.  Stop!

The Racist Left Feels Entitled to Riot.  [Scroll down]  But here's the worst part of the Left's rigged systemic racism racket:  the Left has you paying to destroy yourself.  Your tax dollars subsidized the academics who expropriated "critical race theory" from Marxism; your tax dollars pay for the K-12 public schools where they start indoctrinating your children with this hateful ideology; your tax dollars subsidize universities where they put the finishing touches on this indoctrination; your tax dollars subsidize the government seminars on "implicit bias" training; your hard-earned money allows corporations and companies you patronize to do the same coerced exercises in self-loathing and racial division.  This is despite — or is it because of — the uncontestable and bitterly ironic fact that the purpose of the systemic racism lie is to divide Americans along racial lines.

Summary of Critical Race Theory Investigations.  The Treasury Department held a training session telling employees that "virtually all White people contribute to racism" and demanding that white staff members "struggle to own their racism" and accept their "unconscious bias, White privilege, and White fragility." The man who led the seminar, Howard Ross, has billed the federal government more than $5 million for diversity training over the past 15 years. [...] Last year, Sandia National Labs — which produces our nuclear arsenal — held a three-day reeducation camp for white males, teaching them how to deconstruct their "white male culture" and forcing them to write letters of apology to women and people of color.  Whistleblowers from inside the labs tell me that critical race theory is now endangering our national security.

Secret Antifa tent city found, and Portland is paying for it.  Where do Portland Antifans rest during the day between riots at night?  In a hidden tent city near downtown, paid for and serviced by the city, according to a local citizen journalist.  [Video clip]

Man Finds Secret ANTIFA Tent City In Portland, They Start Slingshotting Stones At Him.  A man came upon a tent city that houses hundreds of ANTIFA rioters in the Star Park Festival parking lot by the Hawthorne Bridge Junction.  The man films what he sees and taunts the Black Bloc members who seem to be just waking up.  Near the end of the video, a member with a slingshot with stones is used to try and get rid of the man filming.  When that doesn't work, they chased him away, which was not caught on video.  [Video clip]

'This Is Where They House the Rioters!' City of Portland Houses Some Antifa Rioters Destroying the City.  Portland is wittingly or unwittingly housing some of the very same destructive rioters who have been tearing apart the city since May 28.  Let me repeat.  The taxpayers are paying for their own demise and it's all under the auspices of the city.  One month before the riots started, ostensibly to allow grieving over the death of George Floyd — remember him? — the City of Portland opened three homeless tent cities, one of which is the "Harbor of Hope."  The camp is situated close to the Willamette River, just a simple, short walk over the Hawthorn Bridge to downtown Portland, where it spills out onto riot central.

Pentagon takes first step toward building supersonic Air Force One.  Air Force One is already one of the fastest passenger planes in the world — but the Pentagon wants to make it a lot faster.  The U.S. Air Force recently awarded a contract to the aviation firm Exosonic to begin developing a presidential aircraft that can travel at supersonic speeds.  The research award, reportedly worth $1 million, will fund work to "modify" Exosonic's existing plans for a supersonic commercial plane into a proposal for a presidential-grade aircraft.

The Editor says...
Air Force One is plenty fast already.  Air Force One always flies in the most direct route from one place to another, and only rarely stays aloft long enough to justify supersonic flight.  Air-to-ground communication allows the President to conduct his business while en route — probably with fewer distractions.

New CH-53K Helicopter for Marines Costs a King Stallion's Ransom.  The United States Marine Corps wants to deploy a new CH-53KKing Stallion heavy-lift helicopter, but do its "capabilities justify its premium price over, say, the CH-47," Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley has wondered.  Described by Popular Mechanics in 2017 as "phenomenally expensive," the CH-53K program is becoming more controversial as Marines continue to fight in non-amphibious environments like Afghanistan.  The Marines want to buy 200 CH-53Ks for $31 billion, or $138.5 million a copy, a price that already increased from $131.2 million merely in the year 2016-2017.  By comparison, the Marines' F-35B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter costs $122.8 million each.  Developed since 2006, the CH-53Ks were supposed to begin operational service in 2015, a date now delayed until sometime in 2023-2024.

USPS Threw Away Millions in Custom Stamp Program Out of Protest of Religious Stamps.  The United States Postal Service allegedly shut down its recent "custom stamp" initiative over the fact that multiple customers attempted to create stamps featuring Jesus Christ and other religious imagery, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.  The agency, which has been struggling with funding for years, turned to the custom stamp program in an effort to generate revenue.  The initiative allowed for Americans to create their own stamps for a price, which ultimately created millions of dollars for the notoriously inefficient bureaucracy.  However, the program was scrapped in June after too many stamp designs were requested that featured religious symbolism.

After Cutting NYPD Funding, De Blasio's Wife Gets $2 Million a Year in Taxpayer Paid 'Staff'.  Why does a mayor's wife need a staff at all, complete with a $70,000 a year videographer?  Good question.  But apparently, that's the current setup in New York City, which should surprise no one.  The Daily Mail has released some details on Chirlane McCray's setup and it's pretty astonishing.  Not only does she have 14 people on her "staff" — the taxpayers are on the hook for about $2,000,000 as a result.

Chirlane McCray staff enjoys $2M staff of 14 amid NYC budget crisis.  There's no money for regular trash pickups or to maintain city parks, but Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife enjoys a 14-member staff — including a $70,000 videographer who captured her baking cookies during the pandemic.  Some of the Chirlane McCray staffers, who cost city taxpayers nearly $2 million a year combined, work for the first lady's $1.25 billion mental health initiative ThriveNYC, which has come under fire for its lack of metrics.  "Whatever happened to ThriveNYC?" asked City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Queens).  "How much taxpayer money will the mayor's wife pilfer before leaving office?  How can she sleep at night hiring these hacks knowing so many other city workers are facing layoffs this fall?  This is a disgrace!" Ulrich fumed.

Washington State Will Provide $40 Million In Coronavirus Relief For Illegal Immigrants.  After months of pressure from activists, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) has agreed to set aside $40 million in coronavirus relief for workers in the U.S. illegally.  As The Daily Wire previously reported, Seattle's city council sought $100 million in relief funds from the state for illegal immigrants who didn't qualify for the federal government's coronavirus stimulus.  The city passed a resolution in May that called for the creation of a "Washington Worker Relief Fund" that would provide "economic assistance to undocumented Washingtonians during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Chicago Spent $66 Million on Hospital That Treated 38 Coronavirus Patients.  Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot's (D.) decision to renovate a local convention center into a makeshift coronavirus hospital cost taxpayers nearly $66 million — though only 38 patients received treatment at the facility, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Friday [8/14/2020].  The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the agency Lightfoot tasked with overseeing the project, overlooked a bid from a construction company that offered to waive fees or donate them to coronavirus pandemic relief organizations.  Instead, officials gave the bid to Walsh Construction, a politically connected contractor, which billed the city $65.9 million to renovate the McCormick Place convention center.  The decision cost taxpayers more than $1.7 million per patient.  In contrast, the city spent $50 million total to equip three other centers in the Chicago area.

Why did it take more than 2 months to stop the largest fraud in Washington state history?  Revelations last week that this spring's $576 million unemployment fraud, the largest in state history, started much earlier than previously acknowledged have spurred a storm of new questions over the handling of the crime.  Data released Aug. 3 by the state Employment Security Department (ESD) shows that criminals were filing fake claims in the first week of March.  That's more than two months before ESD publicly disclosed the fraud and temporarily froze benefit payments, in mid-May, by which time a staggering 56% of the weekly claims ESD was paying were from criminals, many of them reportedly overseas.  But even before Monday's disclosures, some state lawmakers and others were questioning whether ESD had inadvertently abetted the scam by lowering fraud detection protocols to speed up legitimate claims by hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians left jobless by the pandemic.

Despite Funding Cuts, LAPD Stuck With $10M Electric BMW Pilot Program.  The "Defund The Police" movement has prompted the city to cut $150 million from the LAPD budget.  But what about those expensive electric BMWs that were exposed in several David Goldstein investigations?  David first reported on these LAPD BMWs back in 2017 — a $10 million pilot program that the department is still stuck with years later and for years to come despite calls to cut costs.  Last year we found an LAPD employee using one of the department's fleet of electric BMWs to commute to and from work.  Another one in 2017 using the car to get a manicure.  And we found hundreds of others vehicles rarely used.

Boxes of unopened coronavirus food for poor found dumped in Queens.  Piles of unopened boxes of emergency city coronavirus meals meant for the poor were found dumped on the side of a Queens underpass Monday [7/27/2020].  The outrageous sign of waste — after Mayor Bill de Blasio predicted up to 2 million New Yorkers would go hungry this summer amid the pandemic — was enough to make passers-by sick.  "Why wouldn't you go give it to people in the streets?" local resident Juan Heno said of the 34 brown cardboard boxes of food piled on top of each other along a concrete wall below the Queens Midtown Expressway, around 57-45 74th St., in Middle Village.  "The city has a lot of homeless right now," Heno noted to The [New York] Post.

Florida man fraudulently obtained $3.9 million in PPP loans and used some of it to buy [a] Lamborghini, feds say.  A Florida man has been arrested and is facing charges after federal prosecutors say he "fraudulently" obtained nearly $4 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and used some of the money to buy a Lamborghini sports car.  David Hines, 29, of Miami, was charged with one count of bank fraud, one count of making false statements to a financial institution and one count of engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds, the Department of Justice announced in a press release on Monday [7/27/2020].

The Editor says...
You don't think this case is unique, do you?  This is just the guy who got caught.

IG report:  NASA's Orion is a program of lies.  In a report released today [7/16/2020], NASA's inspector general confirmed unequivocally what I have been saying for years, that the agency's project to build the Orion capsule has been built on lies, from the beginning.  First of all, the report slams NASA for purposely excluding from its public budget almost 60% of the total cost for the entire Orion project. [...] In other words, since 2006 NASA has been illegally mislabeling 59% of Orion's cost to hide this from the public.  Through 2030 it expects Orion to cost almost $30 billion, but it has been advertising the cost as only $12 billion.  It appears that to Congress NASA has been more honest, though they and Congress have worked together to try to keep this fact quiet.

California Gov. Newsom Helps Chinese Get $1 Billion in COVID Aid.  [...] I've learned my lesson this time:  Don't give Democratic governors the benefit of the doubt.  I thought I'd learned it the first time.  When New York's Andrew Cuomo looked like he was showing strong leadership in the opening week or two of the coronavirus crisis, I thought maybe we could put aside our petty differences and praise a politician from the other side.  In fact, I did just that.  And then it all ended in tears.  It wasn't the rambling, empurpled news conferences that made the much-criticized presidential media briefings look like relative models of restraint.  No, for me the moment I made a clean break was when I learned the much-hailed hand sanitizer production program Cuomo was fond of touting consisted of little more than inmates rebottling an outside product inside the Empire State's prisons in order to make the governor look good.

Claire McCaskill's Multimillionaire Husband Took PPP Loan.  The real estate investment firm founded by the multimillionaire husband of former Democratic senator Claire McCaskill took a Paycheck Protection Program loan worth up to $1 million, continuing its strategy of capitalizing on government programs to maximize profits.  Sugar Creek Realty, a St. Louis firm founded by Joseph Shepard, was one of thousands of companies to receive money from the small-business relief program, which was designed to help companies keep employees on the payroll during the coronavirus pandemic.  The firm took between $350,000 and $1 million on April 6 that allowed it to keep 75 people employed, according to figures released by the Small Business Administration.

Chinese Real Estate Company At Center Of FBI Investigation Raked In Millions From PPP Loans.  A Chinese real estate company at the center of an FBI bribery probe involving a Los Angeles city councilman raked in somewhere between $4 million [and] $10 million in coronavirus relief loans provided under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Daily Caller reported Thursday [7/9/2020].  Shenzhen New World Group, owned by Chinese billionaire Wei Huang, received the lump sum over two separate loans for hotels operating in Los Angeles.  The group's chairman is also however, accused by federal prosecutors of bribing Los Angeles City Council member Jose Huizar with $260,000 in poker chips and $600,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Millions In Coronavirus Relief Loans Went To Chinese Real Estate Company At Center Of FBI Bribery Probe.  The Trump administration loaned between $4 million and $10 million in coronavirus relief funds to a real estate company whose chairman allegedly bribed a Los Angeles city councilman with nearly $260,000 in poker chips, escort services and $600,000 in payments to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit.  Jose Huizar, the city councilman, was arrested on June 23 on charges that he accepted $1.5 million in bribes to help the developers of various real estate projects in downtown L.A.  A federal criminal complaint filed against Huizar said that a Chinese billionaire — identified in court filings only as "Chairman E" — provided bribes to Huizar for help advancing a development project to build a 77-story skyscraper in Los Angeles.

Only after being caught:
Florida Democrats return PPP money amid scandal.  The Florida Democratic Party announced late Wednesday [7/8/2020] that it was returning at least $780,000 in small-business loans after its own lawmakers criticized the acceptance of the money as highly questionable if not illegal and unethical.  The party immediately applied for the loan after Congress first passed the $670 billion Paycheck Protection Program, known as PPP, even though there was discussion at the time that the money should go to neither lobbyists nor political causes.

Democratic candidates benefit from PPP loans they criticized.  Several Democratic Senate challengers in key races who criticized the distribution and transparency of government Paycheck Protection Program loans indirectly benefited from the funds.  Last month, Cal Cunningham in North Carolina, Mark Kelly in Arizona, and Sara Gideon in Maine all took swipes at the program, which was created as part of the emergency coronavirus relief CARES Act and intended to help small businesses through the pandemic-related economic downturn.  The program did not adequately distribute funds to the most in-need businesses or communities, they argued.  But the candidates appear to be fine with loans going to companies they are connected to, which were not widely known until the Small Business Administration disclosed all the companies that received loans on Monday [7/6/2020].

De Niro-backed Nobu restaurants took more than a dozen PPP loans.  The Nobu group of luxury sushi restaurants and hotels took 14 loans from the U.S. small business relief program for as much as $28 million, according to government filings.  The chain, founded by actor Robert De Niro, celebrity chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa and film producer Meir Teper, got funding for properties scattered across the country, from California to Texas and New York, according to data released Monday [7/6/2020].  Restaurants were among the biggest recipients of the Paycheck Protection Program, a key component of the government's response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  The news that big, well-funded chains like Shake Shack and Ruth's Hospitality Group had initially gotten loans set off a furor in April, prompting the administration to warn companies to make sure they qualified for the program.

Madeleine Albright's Consulting Firm Took Millions in Coronavirus Relief Funding, Records Show.  An influential Democratic consulting firm that employs former Chinese government officials received as much as $5 million in federal coronavirus relief funding, according to records released on Monday [7/6/2020].  The Albright Stonebridge Group, a Washington-based "commercial diplomacy firm" with strong staff links to Joe Biden, connects multinational businesses and nonprofits with political powerbrokers in the United States and abroad.  The company is chaired by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright.  Records show that the firm raked in between $2 million and $5 million from the Paycheck Protection Program that was meant to provide relief to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Company Connected to Pelosi's Husband Scored Coronavirus Bailout.  A company connected to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) husband received a loan from the Trump administration's $669 billion Paycheck Protection Program, a Small Business Administration-led fund designed to provide financial relief to businesses in the wake of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

Questions remain about 'temporary morgue' as COVID-19 deaths decline.  The administration of Gov. Tim Walz made a decision in May to spend up to $6.9 million to buy a building in St.  Paul and convert it into a temporary morgue for a possible surge of COVID-19 victims.  The decision was largely based on a COVID-19 model by the University of Minnesota and Minnesota Department of Health that projects the possibility of 16,000 to 44,000 deaths over the first year of the pandemic.  Then came June.  Instead of deaths surging, they dropped from 696 in May to 402 in June for a total so far of 1,411 since March.  If one thing is certain about COVID-19, it's the uncertainty about what comes next.  But for now, the decision to spend millions on the temporary morgue will continue to be a target for the governor's Republican critics in the legislature.

Secret Service provided security for Hunter Biden on 400-plus trips during Obama years.  Hunter Biden has already made headlines with his pursuit of global business, raising questions about conflicts of interests by landing lucrative deals in Ukraine and China while his father Joe was vice president.  And now it's his proclivity for globetrotting travel that is garnering attention.  The son of the former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential nominee in waiting used Secret Service protection on at least 411 international and domestic trips during the Obama years, according to records released this month under the Freedom of Information Act to the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch.  The records show Hunter Biden made at least 29 international trips between January 2009 and July 2014 and hundreds more criss-crossing the United States.

A group getting millions in state tax money is leading Madison's protests and calling for defunding of police departments.  Freedom Inc. isn't shy about pushing its radical rhetoric.  The Madison-based nonprofit has advocated for the release of all African Americans from jail and the defunding of police departments.  As for the current protests, the group's leaders say "all actions against racist state violence are justified."  "Stop murdering black people, and your glass will be safe," Monica Adams, co-executive director for Freedom Inc., said while leading the third day of police protests in the state's capital on Monday [6/1/2020].  "Thank all the youth freedom fighters who were in the streets fighting (Sunday) night and Saturday night," said Mahnker Dahnweih, community power-building coordinator for Freedom Inc.  "Every action is a contribution to liberation."  So where does a group like this get the money it needs to promote its agenda?  A lot of it comes from you.

California Tried to Bail Out Illegal Aliens - and It's a Disaster.  California's illegal alien population is its shadow economy and with many of the industries that employ them shut down, the Democrats who depend on ghost districts populated by illegals decided that something had to be urgently done to keep the illegal aliens from fleeing back across the border.  The Democrats figured that giving them checks would be cheaper than building a wall to keep them in.  But who knew that a $125 million stimulus program for illegal aliens would become such a disaster?  Illegal aliens were eligible to apply for up to $1,000 with $75 million coming from the California taxpayers bailing out illegals who don't pay taxes.  And another $50 million was supposed to be donated by wealthy lefties.  But while the taxpayers of the state were forced to put up their $75 million, the wealthy politically correct elites who have poured fortunes into electing Democrats didn't pay up.

Millions lost and no one has been fired?  ESD is political cronyism at its worst.  I've heard the same tragic story from hundreds of listeners.  They've lost their jobs because of a government shutdown of our society.  And then, when they needed government the most to financially survive, they for weeks, and even months, have been unable to get through to the state unemployment hotline.  Has a state agency ever been more tragically misnamed than Washington's "Employment Security Department" (ESD)?  It provides neither employment nor security.  The mismanagement of unemployment benefits is another [...] indictment of Jay Inslee's leadership "skills."  The sending out of unemployment checks to citizens in our state is further delayed by the unimaginable scam that hit ESD.  Nigerian fraudsters siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars to out-of-state banks using suspicious emails accounts.  All this after ESD says it spent $44 million on software that should have caught such fraud.

$21 Million Brooklyn Field Hospital Shutters After Seeing No Coronavirus Patients.  A $21 million field hospital in Brooklyn, New York, authorized by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic opened and closed without seeing any patients.  The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook was one of several makeshift hospital sites throughout the city intended to relieve the city's overcrowded hospitals brimming with coronavirus patients, the New York Post reported.

$21M Brooklyn field hospital never saw a patient amid coronavirus pandemic.  A roughly $21 million Brooklyn field hospital authorized by the de Blasio administration at the height of the coronavirus pandemic opened and closed without ever seeing one patient, according to city officials.  The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook was one of several sites across the five boroughs converted into a medical facility as a way to relieve the city's overburdened hospital system as the COVID-19 crisis mounted.  Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans on Mar. 31 — a day after the USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in New York Harbor to aid in the coronavirus fight — for the $20.8 million Red Hook field hospital with an estimated capacity for 750 beds.  The field hospital was built by Texas-based construction company SLSCO.

Hospitals flush with cash got billions in coronavirus bailouts.  Hospitals hoarding massive piles of cash got billions of dollars in federal coronavirus bailouts while vulnerable health centers were forced to scrape by, a new report says.  The feds have given more than $5 billion in grants to 20 big hospital chains that already had more than $108 billion in cash, the New York Times reported Monday [5/25/2020].  The money was among $72 billion in grants the Department of Health and Human Services has distributed to hospitals and other providers since April under the CARES Act — the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill that Congress passed in March to shore up struggling businesses amid the pandemic, according to the paper.

Pelosi's Leninist Stimulus Bill.  As soon as the Bolsheviks took over Russia in October 1917, Vladimir Lenin began churning out rubles.  In fact, he spent half the state's revenue on just the printing of new currency.  Within a year, the ruble was worth 100,000,000 times less than it had been before the communists took over.  Existing rubles, and any investment denominated in rubles, were worthless.  Lenin's inflationary program was not a response to the need for an increased money supply.  It was a deliberate strategy designed to eliminate money as a means of transactions and, with it, to crush capitalism.  From that point on, the state would directly control the means of production and distribution, and the people would, in theory, be dependent on the state for all goods and services.

'Hundreds of millions of dollars' lost in Washington to unemployment fraud amid coronavirus joblessness surge.  Washington state officials have acknowledged the loss of "hundreds of millions of dollars" to an international fraud scheme that hammered the state's unemployment insurance system and could mean even longer delays for thousands of jobless workers still waiting for legitimate benefits.  Suzi LeVine, commissioner of the state Employment Security Department (ESD), disclosed the staggering losses during a news conference Thursday afternoon.  LeVine declined to specify how much money was stolen during the scam, which is believed to be orchestrated from Nigeria.  But she conceded that the amount was "orders of magnitude above" the $1.6 million that the ESD reported losing to fraudsters in April.

Virginia governor spent 65 days on taxpayer-funded jaunts to his NC beach home since start of 2019.  On a Saturday night in the dead of August last year, Virginia taxpayers footed the bill as a state-operated plane roared from Richmond to one of North Carolina's desirable beach destinations.  The King Air 350 turboprop made the journey twice in six hours.  The VIP passengers?  Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and his wife, Pamela, the first lady of Virginia.  The listed purpose for a back-and-forth jaunt?  The Northams took a brief break Aug. 31, 2019 from their Outer Banks beach vacation home in Manteo, N.C., to attend a horse race at the Colonial Downs track back in their home state and ceremoniously hand out a trophy to the winner.  Then, they went back to the beach.

Ben Sasse:  Fire Officials Who Approved Pandemic Aid For 'Big Abortion' Provider Planned Parenthood.  Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) called for President Trump to fire the bureaucrats who illegally approved millions of dollars worth of small-business loans for Planned Parenthood clinics.  Sasse issued a strong statement on Wednesday slamming the well-known abortion provider for taking advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that it is ineligible to receive.  "Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion business, tried to defraud taxpayers during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression," Sasse said.  "The Paycheck Protection Program is supposed to be a lifeline for small businesses, not a slush fund for Big Abortion.  The administration needs to reclaim that money and fire the bureaucrats who signed off on this scam."

Trump Admin May Slap Criminal Charges on Planned Parenthood for Fraudulently Obtaining Coronavirus Funds.  After news broke that the Planned Parenthood abortion business fraudulently received $80 million in funds meant to help small businesses deal with the economic fallout from the coronavirus, the Trump administration has wasted no time in acting.  As reported, Planned Parenthood received $80 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program meant for small businesses.  That is despite the fact that the rules and regulations associated with the program specifically prohibited affiliates of larger organizations with more than 500 employees from applying.  That covers Planned Parenthood as Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PFFA) alone has had more than 600 employees.

Tom Cotton:  Defund States Giving Coronavirus Relief to Illegal Aliens.  Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has introduced legislation that will defund states and localities providing American taxpayer-funded coronavirus relief money to illegal aliens.  Cotton's legislation, titled the No Bailouts for Illegal Aliens Act, would prohibit sending additional federal funds to states and localities that issue stimulus checks to illegal aliens.

Illegal Aliens Jam Phone Lines as California Offers $500 Each in Coronavirus Relief.  The State of California is offering $500 each to illegal aliens as part of a $75 million coronavirus relief program — even as it asks federal taxpayers for help paying for its $54 billion deficit.  The program, which launched on Monday [5/18/2020], saw phone lines jammed as "undocumented immigrants," who are ineligible for the federal aid provided thus far, called a state hotline.

Judicial Watch sues to stop Newsom from giving 75 million tax dollars to illegals.  Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch is asking a California Court to appeals to issue a temporary restraining order to stop Governor Newsom from paying out $75 million tax dollars to people here illegally.  The Lower Court found that JW's lawsuit is likely to succeed on the merits since Newsom has no right to dole out the money, but illegal aliens need the money and that outweighs everything.  Today's [5/18/2020] filing asks the Court of Appeal to command the Superior Court to issue the restraining order against California Governor Gavin Newsom and his Director of the California Department of Social Services Kim Johnson, enjoining them from making what is now an imminent, May 18, 2020, illegal expenditure of $79.8 million of taxpayers' funds to illegal aliens pending the final determination of the taxpayer action brought by Judicial Watch in the lower court.

State Department sends $22 million in coronavirus aid to terrorist breeding ground Bangladesh.  The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just the News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government.  The award is named for the horseshoe-shaped toilet seats for military airplanes that cost the Pentagon a whopping $640 each back in the 1980s.  We are awarding the horseshoe this week to the State Department for sending $22 million to Bangladesh to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.  Over the course of the past 20 years, Bangladesh has received more than $1 billion in U.S. funds aimed at public health efforts. [...] According to a congressional probe released last year, migrants from terrorist nations are trying to enter the United States via the southern border at record-high rates, including a 300% increase in Bangladeshi nationals attempting to enter illegally across the border in Texas.  In 2019, a Bangladeshi citizen was arrested in Houston for running a smuggling operation to bring illegal aliens into the U.S.

Pelosi's $3 trillion coronavirus bill lets her play left-wing Santa Claus with your tax dollars.  It's a good seven months until Christmas, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is already playing Santa Claus with taxpayer money.  The California Democrat is proposing a $3 trillion bill, titled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act, that is packed full of gifts to Democrats.  And incredibly, this is the pared-down version.  The New York Times reports that the original Democratic bill asked for $4 trillion.

House Bill Is a $3 Trillion Left-Wing Bonanza.  This is, in summary form, some of what the bill contains:
  •   Nearly $1 trillion for state and local governments, ostensibly to make up for anticipated budget shortfalls due to the virus.  $540 billion is earmarked for the states, divided according to a formula. [...]
  •   Another round of $1,200 payments to individual Americans.
  •   $175 billion to health care providers, to reimburse them for lost revenue because "nonessential" health care has largely, and unnecessarily, been made illegal in most states.
  •   $100 billion for "stimulus funding" for education.  This has no apparent relationship to the coronavirus.
  •   Forgiveness of federal and state student loans, up to $10,000 per person.  Again, no relationship to the disease.
  •   $75 billion in "assistance for homeowners."  I take it this is to make up for missed mortgage payments.  Also, $100 billion "to help low-income renters avoid evictions."  So taxpayers will be paying other people's rent as well as mortgages.
  •   State transit authorities would get $15 billion.  I am not sure why.  So more mass transit can help the next disease to spread faster?
  •   $75 billion for the U.S. Postal Service.  Just because.

D.C. Prep School Beloved by Dem Leaders Refuses to Return Gov't Loan.  A $50 million endowment, a massive capital campaign in the works, and a wealthy, well-connected board — none stopped a D.C. prep school from taking one of the largest coronavirus loans issued.  Sidwell Friends School, a Quaker-affiliated independent school known for enrolling top lawmakers' children — including the daughters of former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — accepted a $5.2 million loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Congress's bailout fund for small businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis.  The school, which brings in over $40 million in tuition annually, declined to give back the loan after Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin called on "private schools with significant endowments" to "return" PPP funds.  In a letter to the community, the board of trustees cited its "fiduciary responsibilities" as well as "our Quaker values" in its decision to keep the money — with the latter claim particularly raising eyebrows among critics.

The Editor says...
Here is some more about the Sidwell Friends School: [1] [2] [3]

Tucker:  Inside the Democrats' $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill.  When the smoke clears, only China will be able to bail us out from our mountain of debt.  [Video clip]

Democrats' new $3 trillion coronavirus bill includes $5 MILLION for lawmakers to buy new laptops and upgrade WiFi.  House offices will receive funding to buy new laptops for themselves and their staffers if the new $3 trillion coronavirus package passes as is, a draft of the legislation revealed Tuesday [5/12/2020].  In the seventh section of the massive package, there are only two stipulations for financial assistance for the legislative branch, including $5 million to increase technological advances and inventory for members of Congress and their staff.  That number will include money to upgrading 'imaging solution' to meet the demand for 'House imaged laptops.'

IRS stimulus checks labeled 'DECD' sent to deceased people anyway.  The Internal Revenue Service appears to have known it was sending coronavirus stimulus checks to decreased individuals because the label "DECD" is printed on the check.  "Stimulus checks to dead people:  Check says deceased right on it!" Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, tweeted on Monday with a photo of a check the IRS sent to a deceased person with the "DECD" label next to their name.  When asked about the checks, the IRS directed Just the News to a link to the agency's webpage containing frequently asked questions about stimulus checks that advises relatives of deceased people to return the stimulus payments made via direct deposit or check.

The Editor says...
How many of these deceased individuals will also receive a mail-in ballot?

'Western Pact' states seek $1 trillion more in federal aid.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday [5/11/2020] that he and his counterparts in Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Nevada were calling for the federal government to provide an extra $1 trillion in aid to their coronavirus-ravaged states.  "These budget shortfalls are so much bigger than any state," the governor said at his daily coronavirus briefing, Deadline reported, referring to the Western pact, an alliance to increase the states' buying power for medical supplies.  Much of the aid will go to help public safety officials like policemen, firefighters and EMT's, as well as to schools.

The Editor says...
In other words, the state governments are asking the federal government to print a trillion dollars and distribute it to the (Democrat-controlled) state governments to keep local government operations afloat.  What's the down-side?  Printing money causes inflation.

Coronavirus stimulus cash:  Foreign workers, relatives of dead asked to send $1,200 checks back.  The IRS issued updated guidance on Wednesday regarding how both nonresident aliens and family members, relatives or friends of dead individuals who received economic impact payments can send those checks back to the government.  On its website, the agency clarified that neither nonresident aliens nor dead Americans are eligible for the payments and instructed that, unless the payment was made to joint filers and one spouse is still alive, the entire check should be returned.  The return instructions differ based on whether the payment was made by paper check or direct deposit.

Pelosi continues push to get stimulus cash to illegal immigrants with guaranteed income plan.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that any guaranteed monthly income plan that Congress works on should apply to illegal immigrants with tax ID numbers.  The IRS issues Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to illegal immigrants and other non-citizens who lack Social Security numbers to allow them to file tax returns.  Individuals with ITINs are not eligible for direct stimulus payments in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that Congress passed.  Earlier this week, Pelosi suggested including guaranteed minimum income for individuals in the next coronavirus stimulus package.  She didn't specify the set amount of guaranteed income being considered.

Judicial Watch Sues California to Stop Governor Newsom's Initiative to Provide $75 Million in Cash Benefits to Illegal Aliens.  Judicial Watch announced it filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles on behalf of two California taxpayers, Robin Crest and Howard Myers, asking the court to stop the state from expending $75 million of taxpayer funds to provide direct cash assistance to unlawfully present aliens.  The lawsuit alleges California Governor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority and violated federal law when, without affirmative state legislative approval, he took executive action to create the "Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Project" and provide cash benefits to illegal aliens who otherwise are ineligible for state or federal insurance or other benefits due to their unlawful presence in the United States.

Pelosi's Congress Should Shelter At Home For The Rest Of The Year.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is as determined as President Franklin D. Roosevelt to exploit this crisis for political gain, on the well-founded calculation that if Democrats ask Republicans to unleash a horde of locusts, they'll agree to half the locusts.  Maybe even three-quarters!  Despite failing so far to use the pandemic to get race and sex quotas for corporate boards, insane emissions requirements on airlines, more money for Democrat politicking funneled through unions, student loan bailouts, and bigger tax credits for solar panels, Democrats have already commandeered it to send pork to the Kennedy Center, bail out the U.S. Postal Service, get raises for Congress as 26 million Americans filed for unemployment, fund PBS stations, and upcharge for refugee resettlement.  And they're just getting started.  Pelosi has started talking about moving beyond blanketing the nation with deficit-funded checks into a "guaranteed income."

The Media Took Millions in Loans Meant for Small Businesses.  Even while the media is blaring stories about the abuse of the Payroll Protection Plan loans from the Small Business Administration, its own industry took millions in loans and wants billions more. [...] The Seattle Times maxed out its PPP loan with a $10 million payout.  The Seattle Times is not only Washington State's largest daily, but its parent company, the Seattle Times Company, owns two other papers, and had, as recently as 3 years ago, put out 7 papers.  It also owned multiple newspapers in Maine which it sold off for over $200 million.  It had two printing plants, one of which it sold.  The Rotary Offset Press, which it still owns, continues to print a variety of magazines and newspapers.  But while the Seattle Times is, like the New York Times, a multi-generational family property, the McClatchy Company owns 49.5% of voting stock and 70.6% of voting stock in the Seattle Times Company.  McClatchy has dozens of papers and had revenues of over $800 million in 2018.

South Carolina island gets $1M coronavirus relief loan, returns it after backlash.  A homeowners association for a luxury South Carolina island has decided to reject a $1 million loan approved through the government's Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program after facing backlash from the public, including a U.S. congressman from the state, according to a recent report.  First-term Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham slammed the homeowners association for ritzy Kiawah Island, which is part of the region he represents, on Thursday [4/30/2020], calling its initial decision to accept the coronavirus relief aid inappropriate, according to The Post and Courier.

More than 200 public companies were granted $854 million in small business relief and 12 have now returned the huge loans.  More than 200 deep-pocketed public companies secured at least $854.7 million in loans from the relief fund Congress created to help small businesses devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, according to new analysis.  The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was created to provide emergency loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees and without access to other forms of capital to help keep workers on the job and bills paid on time.  The initial $349 billion allotment ran dry less than two weeks after the program opened on April 3, sparking outrage as early reports showed that dozens of multi-million dollar loans were granted to big public companies while hundreds of thousands of small businesses seeking relatively tiny amounts were left empty-handed.

Why Illinois Is In Trouble — 109,881 Public Employees With $100,000+ Paychecks Cost Taxpayers $14B.  Illinois could soon be the first state in history to have its bonds rated as "junk." [...] In many ways, Illinois may have already crossed the Rubicon.  Our analysis at shows that an Illinois family of four now owes more in unfunded pension liabilities ($76,000) than they earn in household income ($63,585).  In a state of 13 million residents, every man, woman, and child owes $19,000 — on an estimated $251 billion pension liability.  Our auditors discovered 110,000 public employees and retirees who earned more than $100,000 last year.

Los Angeles Lakers return $4.6 million loan received from Paycheck Protection Program.  The Los Angeles Lakers applied for and received $4.6 million from the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program but returned the money "so that financial support would be directed to those most in need," the Lakers said in a statement.  "The Lakers qualified for and received a loan under the Payroll Protection Program," the statement from the team read.  "However, once we found out the funds from the program had been depleted, we repaid the loan so that financial support would be directed to those most in need.  The Lakers remain completely committed to supporting both our employees and our community."  The Lakers are worth $4.4 billion and were No. 1 in operating income at $178 million, according to the latest 'Forbes' NBA team valuations.

The Editor says...
Why would the Small Business Administration have any contact with any professional sports franchise?

If 800k Americans Are Out Of Work in NJ, Why Is Gov Considering Paying Illegals $600 Every Week?  New Jersey is, unsurprisingly, very broke.  Even at the best of times, the Garden State isn't known as a model of fiscal continence.  These aren't, as you may perhaps have noticed, the best of times.  New Jersey's nearly out of money.  Its ability to replenish that money is going to be severely tested by the fact that it's being hit with cataclysmic unemployment and business closures, meaning its tax base — already shrinking thanks to an exodus of residents — is drying up.  An infusion of cash if the Democrats are able to secure their much sought-after bailout for the states won't help much, considering the fact that it still won't solve long-term structural issues that existed before all this.

The Axios Bailout.  As Congress and the U.S. Treasury shovel billions of dollars to struggling businesses and fraudsters alike, we must be thankful for media organizations that are providing some accountability for the public.  Publicly traded companies that cut to the front of the line for the Paycheck Protection Program have been browbeaten and berated.  But what would the media do when the perpetrator was one of their own?  Axios, a digital media property with billionaire backers and a sponsorship roster that reads like a who's who of the Fortune 100, has provided us the opportunity to find out.  In a brief post on Wednesday, Axios CEO Jim VandeHei informed readers that the site had received just shy of $5 million in the first round of PPP funding.

Newsom Ordered by CA Supreme Court to Defend $75 Million Giveaway to Illegals.  Californians struggling to make ends meet during extended coronavirus shutdowns were not amused when their governor, Gavin Newsom, announced the creation of a public-private partnership to give away $125 million ($500/person) in pandemic relief grants to illegal immigrants who are ineligible to receive unemployment benefits or federal stimulus checks (because they are not here legally, duh).  Newsom further explained that of the $125 million in funding, $75 million would come from taxpayer funds (without explaining any legislative process appropriating such funds) and that "a group of charities" had promised to chip in $50 million.

To Help Out with the Pandemic and Unemployment, California Will Now Pay Seniors to Order From Restaurants.  If you're a restaurant-lovin' California senior citizen and lookin' to make a few extra bucks, you're in luck.  Assuming you fit the profile, the state will now pay you to wine and dine yourself — if you order your grub.  On Friday [4/24/2020], Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new program wherein local, state, and federal money (so if you're local, will you be triple-taxed for this?) will be paid out to eligible seniors who order food from nearby restaurants.

Coronavirus and the era of big government.  It's hard to know how much money Congress has forked out to combat coronavirus and attempt to salvage the American way of life and the economy since late February.  There's no precise, econometric way to calculate the "three-and-a-half" bills Congress has approved in recent weeks.  But, the grand total is pushing $3 trillion.  The measures have varied from an initial bill costing $8 billion — which started around $1.2 billion — and exploding to a staggering $2.2 trillion on another.  Now, the real action is set to begin on Capitol Hill — at least behind the scenes.  Democrats already have been calling for more as Republicans try tapping the brakes.

Luxury Hotel Company Is Biggest Beneficiary of Small-Business Funds.  Hotels, luxury resorts and management companies that funnel money back to a single company have secured about $53 million in federal virus aid, the largest known amount to benefit one firm and the latest example of how the government's small business relief program is also helping big companies.  Ashford Inc., an asset management firm based in Dallas, makes money partly by advising two real estate investment trusts:  Ashford Hospitality Trust and Braemar Hotels & Resorts, which together own more than 100 properties.  Those companies reported in public filings that their hotels had received millions in forgivable loans through a government program meant to help small businesses.  The so-called Paycheck Protection Program ran out of its initial $349 billion on April 16, leaving many small companies with no assistance.

Some inmates receiving coronavirus stimulus payments, watchdog warns.  Some inmates are receiving the $1,200 coronavirus economic stimulus payments that are part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, according to a government watchdog.  "We have no doubt that inmates are receiving checks for the same reason dead people are receiving checks," Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, told Just the News.  "The IRS is relying on 2018 or 2019 tax returns, and does not know whether the taxpayer is deceased, incarcerated, or divorced, all of which, among other factors, would impact their eligibility to receive stimulus checks today," he also said.

Ivy League schools including Harvard, Princeton and Yale net millions in coronavirus bailouts despite billions in endowments.  Ivy League schools have been criticized for netting millions in taxpayer-funded coronavirus bailouts despite swimming in endowments worth billions.  The country's most prestigious private universities including Harvard, Princeton and Yale are among the beneficiaries of Washington's $2 trillion rescue package to keep businesses afloat during the epidemic.  Higher education institutions have been apportioned $14 billion of the aid provided under the CARES Act to weather the financial hits landed by the lockdown.

Harvard Backs Down:  University Says It Will Not Take Coronavirus Aid.  Harvard University said it will not take the $8.6 million in aid with was granted as part of the U.S. government's efforts to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus lockdown, reversing itself and bending to U.S. President Donald Trump who said Tuesday [4/21/2020] that the university should not take the money.  "Harvard is going to pay back the money and they shouldn't be taking it," Trump said Tuesday at a White House press briefing.

Illinois Dems' $41 Billion Demand Includes $10 Billion Pension Bailout That Has Nothing To Do With Coronavirus.  Illinois Democrats are demanding $41 billion from the federal government for coronavirus relief, including $10 billion for Illinois's cash-strapped and underfunded public pension plan.  The most fiscally mismanaged state in the union that has criminally neglected funding its public pension fund for two decades wants Washington to pull its chestnuts out of the fire?  Certainly, states should get something.  But what Illinois is asking for is shocking.

Non-Essential Workers?  Most Are in Government.  There's a stark contrast in suffering between the private and public sectors in this era of unprecedented government intrusion into American life and business.  Millions of mom-and-pop shops are shut and their income is decimated and large-company employees are furloughed.  But we hear virtually nothing about government workers being laid off — or even taking a pay cut.  Let that sink in: the folks whose work and taxes underwrite bureaucrat pay are cut off from livelihood while those they support in government are not only not hurting, but many are being given what are essentially paid vacations.  And we're hearing talk about non-essential workers?  The vast majority of non-essential jobs are in government.

Wasteful Spending?  State Department sends hip-hop stars to India for cultural understanding.  The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just the News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government. [...] This week, our award is being given to the State Department for funding a $70,000 program called "Bridging Cultures Through Hip-Hop."  The goal of the project is to "explore the commonalities and differences between India and the United States through this influential music genre," according to a State Department grant description.

Gov. Inslee owes US Army, Feds an apology.  A week ago, Jay Inslee slammed our federal government for not doing enough for our state.  "The fact is, we cannot get as much help as we would like from the federal government", he said.  This was a week after the United States Army, under orders from the Trump administration, sent hundreds of soldiers to build a 250-bed hospital at the Century Link Field Events Center.  That hospital has sat empty ever since.  Not one patient.  On Wednesday [4/8/2020], Inslee announced that he wanted the facility disassembled and sent back to the federal government.  How much do you think think this assembly and disassembly is costing taxpayers?

The Federal Government Is Spending $60 Billion To Keep Mostly Empty Commercial Planes Flying Over the U.S..  Pending minimum service rules would require airlines to keep operating a certain number of flights, regardless of how little demand there is for air travel.

Airlines Make Out Like Bandits in $2.3 Trillion Coronavirus Aid Bill.  Despite the best efforts of Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), the House of Representatives just passed the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act by a voice vote.  The Senate had already approved the bill by a 96-0 vote on Wednesday [4/1/2020], so it now goes to President Donald Trump's desk.  That's good news for the country's airlines, which are set to receive roughly $60 billion in financial assistance.  That includes $32 billion in cash grants to air carriers to prevent employee layoffs, with $25 billion of that going to passenger airlines and $4 billion to cargo carriers.

Democrats Introduce Measure to Extend Coronavirus Relief Check to Illegal Aliens.  Democrats on Friday introduced a measure to amend the $2 trillion CARES Act, extending the cash payment benefit to non-citizens, including illegal aliens.  Three House Democrats, Reps.  Lou Correa (CA), Judy Chu (CA), and Raúl Grijalva (AZ), introduced the Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act designed to amend the cash payment portion of the CARES Act — the $2 trillion emergency economic relief measure designed to help U.S. citizens who are facing economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic — to extend to non-citizens.

House Democrats introduce bill giving coronavirus aid to illegal immigrants.  House Democrats introduced legislation Friday that would allow illegal immigrants to receive money from the coronavirus relief package.  California Rep. Lou Correa and two other lawmakers introduced the Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act that would amend the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, according to the Daily Caller.  "I was appalled to learn hardworking, taxpaying immigrants were left out of the $2 trillion CARES Act," Correa said in a statement Friday [4/3/2020].

Watch for Waste in Stimulus Spending.  With the pork stuffed into some of the COVID-19 stimulus proposals — like Democrats' plan to bail out the U.S. Postal Service's debt, reform small newspapers' pension programs, and give a $35 million payout to D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts — we need to be vigilant to ensure this stimulus doesn't turn into a slush fund as others have.  A decade ago, President Barack Obama enacted an $862 billion stimulus package to reverse the Great Recession that followed the financial crisis.  The program fell short of its lofty job creation, infrastructure, and growth goals, in part because too much stimulus money was spent on irrelevant and inefficient programs.  Many people have heard about the $535 million in stimulus money wasted when failed solar panel company Solyndra went under, but waste, fraud, and abuse under the previous stimulus program were widespread.

Our Crooked Congress.  Democrats decided that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic was a great time to try and backdoor their long laundry list of Leftie goals.  While Americans are fearing for their lives and livelihoods, Pelosi and her crew were treating the crisis as though it were a political gift — a genie in a bottle who could make all their wishes come true.  Green New Deal, open borders, funding sanctuary cities, forcing unions on mid-sized companies (500-10,000 employees) if they take government funds, ballot harvesting, and a cool $350 million for migrants and refugees, among other items.  But even more insulting is that the Democrats decided it was time to take advantage of a crisis to hand out goodies for their friends:  $75 million for the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio, $50 million for the Office of Museum and Library services that already got funded for the year, $8 billion for tribal governments, $10 billion for the U.S. Postal Service, $25 million for the Kennedy Center (because nothing says helping the American people like giving the Kennedy Center a facelift even though it's sitting on a $140 million endowment), and — wait for it kids — a $25 million pay raise for the House of Representatives as well as $20 million for the FBI to cover "salaries and expenses."

In Light of the Kennedy Center Layoffs, a Republican Congressman Introduces a Bill to Get Back Our $25 Million.  Last week, Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill and — like Kermit the Frog's romantic dreams — there was a bit of pork involved.  As you likely know, the bill included $25 million for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  And, as I relayed on the 28th, after the relief package was passed, the Kennedy Center laid off 96 orchestra members.

Leaked Audio:  Kennedy Center President Deployed Lobbyist to Secure $25 Million in Coronavirus Stimulus, But Not a Cent for Workers.  The Gateway Pundit has received audio of a video conference call between Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter, members of their human resources department, and 200 of their employees.  The audio was first obtained by Jack Posobiec of One America News.  As the Gateway Pundit previously reported, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts infamously received a controversial $25 million from Democrats in the coronavirus relief package — and just hours later they told their performers and employees that they will not be getting paychecks.

Kennedy Center Tells Musicians It Will Stop Paying Them Hours After $25 Million Bailout Is Signed.  The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts informed members of the National Symphony Orchestra that they would no longer be paid just hours after President Trump signed a $25 million taxpayer bailout for the cultural center, according to an email obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. Nearly 100 musicians will no longer receive paychecks after April 3, according to an email from the orchestra's Covid-19 Advisory Committee.  "The Covid-19 Advisory Committee was broadsided today during our conversation with [Kennedy Center President] Deborah Rutter," the email says.  "Ms. Rutter abruptly informed us today that the last paycheck for all musicians and librarians will be April 3 and that we will not be paid again until the Center reopens."

Coronavirus: Illegal Aliens Demand $1.2K Each in Taxpayer-Funded Checks.  Illegal aliens are demanding they too receive $1,200 in federal checks from the government as part of a Chinese coronavirus crisis relief package.  Open borders organizations like the George Soros-funded United We Dream, the National Immigrant Justice Center, and the National Immigration Law Center — all of which represent the roughly 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living in the United States — are pleading with the federal government to cut federal checks to illegal aliens who have Individual Tax Identification Number (ITINs).

$5 trillion down the drain.  In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, everyone should read Robert Higgs' economic classic "Crisis and Leviathan."  The critical warning of this masterpiece is that government always uses a crisis — from the Civil War to the Great Depression to World War II — to expand power, not only during the emergency but also afterward.  Emergencies tend to ratchet up the cost and power of government permanently.  That expansion of government authority is especially unwise now, given that when this coronavirus fiasco is finally over, it may go down in history as one of the greatest government screwups in American history.  That's saying a lot.

The U.S. Navy is spending $400K to fix clogged toilets on its newest aircraft carriers.  Two of the Navy's newest aircraft carriers require a unique system to keep the toilets unclogged and cost $400,000 to fix each clog, a government watchdog said in a report released Tuesday [3/24/2020].  The USS Gerald R. Ford and USS George H.W. Bush, both based in Virginia, were constructed with a toilet system similar to those used on a commercial plane.  But with 4,000 people on board the ship, the toilets require an acid flush of the system.  "While each acid flush costs about $400,000, the Navy has yet to determine how often and for how many ships this action will need to be repeated, making the full cost impact difficult to quantify," the congressionally-mandated report by the Government Accountability Office said.

13 Key Things to Know About the Senate's Giant Coronavirus Bill.  Congress's response to the economic consequences of the coronavirus should be targeted, temporary, and directed at public health efforts while limiting politically motivated bailouts and abuse.  Unfortunately, the Senate's version of the CARES Act, which continues to be held up amid political fights, misses this mark by including special benefits to specific industries that will exceed $200 billion.  And that's not the only thing wrong with the legislation.  The $1,200 checks going out to most Americans will add substantially to our debt — while providing taxpayer funds to plenty of people who don't need more money.  The legislation also gives the Treasury Department too much control over huge loans to businesses — loans that don't come with enough strings to ensure they're strictly used for business situations caused by COVID-19.

The Stimulus Package That Will Not Stimulate.  First, a reminder for Congress and the White House that money doesn't grow on trees and we've already been spending like drunken sailors for 20 years.  Sure, this is a highly unusual situation, but because of the corrupt and obscene spending that is part of life in Washington, we just can't throw money at things.  We're not financially sound enough.  Second, stimulate what?  We're not supposed to be out there "consuming."  Stimulus packages, if you are a Keynesian, which I am not and last I knew most conservatives were not, operates on the principle that the economy can be goosed by the government injecting money into it.  That is an unproven theory at best as it seems that FDR's endless spending and federal programs in the 1930s prolonged the Great Depression.  Obama's stimulus package in 2009 after the last panic set the stage for the worst economic recovery in the history of recorded economic recoveries.  But also, we've all but pushed pause on the economy, so there is about zilch to stimulate.  This is a bailout.  And guaranteed that once it gets to Congress, it will be larded up further.

Feds spending $7.5 million on retirement village for chimps.  The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just the News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government.  The award is named for the horseshoe-shaped toilet seats for military airplanes that cost the Pentagon a whopping $640 each back in the 1980s.  This week, we are awarding the coveted title to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for a $7.5 million contract awarded to Charles River Laboratories to house retired government chimpanzees used in prior research.  Though the facility estimates an ability to house up to 288 chimpanzees comfortably, there are only 40-50 elderly chimps in the program.  Meaning between $150,000 and $187,000 will be spent on the eldercare of each ape.

Much-touted Crescent Dunes solar plant goes bust.  Do readers remember the Crescent Dunes solar power plant in Tonopah?  The project commenced some 10 years ago and was financed in part with a $737 million federal loan guarantee.  Nevada Energy fully supported the project, promising to buy power at a rate almost six times as high as the market at the time.  At the same time, the company was destroying Nevada's residential solar businesses by pushing through a measure to reduce the "buyback" of energy generated by households to less than one-sixth of the going rate.  How is the Crescent Dunes doing?  It ceased operations in April.

$11.6 Million for Zombies.  In an effort to identify and prevent payments after death, the Social Security Administration (SSA) established a program under which states and US territories can voluntarily contract with SSA to provide the agency with death data to compare with its records.  States electronically submit death reports to SSA, and SSA automatically posts the state death information and terminates payments to deceased beneficiaries.  Unfortunately for taxpayers, Puerto Rico does not have such a system in place, which has led to millions of overpayments to dead people.  The Puerto Rico Department of Health provided SSA's watchdog, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the vital records data of approximately 568,000 Social Security number holders who died in Puerto Rico from January 1992 through December 2016. [...] OIG found that SSA issued approximately $11.6 million in posthumous payments to 149 beneficiaries who died in Puerto Rico during that time period.

California Lottery gave away $212,500 in Scratchers on 'Ellen.' Some call it a misuse of funds.  Comedian Ellen DeGeneres drew wild cheers from the studio audience of her television talk show in December when she announced each person in attendance would receive a $500 bundle of Scratchers tickets from the California State Lottery.  Lottery officials saw it as a publicity boon, but a whistleblower complaint filed by some lottery employees argues the agency's giveaway of the tickets — which have a combined face value of $212,500 — should be investigated as a "misuse of funds," according to documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.  The controversy comes just weeks before a state audit is scheduled to be released on lottery finances in response to a string of recent scandals that included allegations of wasteful spending, improper gifts and nepotism.

Report: Missing $1.8 Billion in Aid Linked to Corrupt Oligarch Who 'Bankrolled' Ukraine Revolution.  In a live video presentation, Thursday night, conservative radio host Glenn Beck accused the Obama administration of funneling $1.8 billion in taxpayer dollars to Ukraine in order to fund the Ukrainian revolution against Russia.  Calling the scandal bigger than the Reagan-era "Iran Contra" scandal, The Blaze founder said that his research team made the discovery while looking into the phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky, which spurred the Democrats' now-failed impeachment charade.

$225M new N.J. port still hasn't created the jobs that were promised, mayor says.  Nearly three years after a $255 million state-funded marine terminal opened in Gloucester County, the Port of Paulsboro is still only bringing in steel from Russia and the effort to diversify and increase the cargo may be several years away.  The port, maintained by the South Jersey Port Corp, was touted as the first new marine terminal on the Delaware in nearly 50 years when it opened in winter 2017.  It was formerly a 190-acre petroleum storage field that had to be cleaned up and redeveloped.

This $1 Billion Solar Plant Is an Obsolete, Expensive FlopBloomberg reports that a planned $1 billion solar plant was out of date and obsolete before it could even be completed.  The Crescent Dunes plant opened outside of Las Vegas in 2015, when its technology was already behind, and the solar boom since then has completely eclipsed it.  Now, the closed and abandoned plant is the subject of huge ongoing lawsuits.  In a way, Crescent Dunes was like the Elon Musk dream solar farm of its heyday after construction was approved in 2011.  It covers about 300 acres with thousands of solar collectors that power a central molten salt tower.  In 2011, a handful of companies presented plans for the plant and received over $700 million in government loan guarantees.

The feds bet $737 million on a salt tower for solar power.  You'll never guess the result.  An inconvenient truth is that the sun sets each day, but the Obama Administration's green planners had an app for that.  They decided to invest in the Crescent Dunes facility that would use molten salt to store heat from the sun, produce steam, and generate electricity even at night.  The utility NV Energy had already agreed to buy the electricity.  Government support would carry the project to sunny success.  In September 2011, the Energy Department described how the 110-megawatt facility would "be the first of its kind in the United States and the tallest molten salt tower in the world," powering more than 43,000 homes a year.  The precedent was Solar Two, a small pilot plant decommissioned in 1999 that had shown it was technically feasible to use molten salt to store and generate power.  But in a 2006 report the Energy Department said the 10-megawatt facility "was never expected to be a viable commercial-scale plant and, in fact, did not validate economic feasibility."  No worries.  It's only taxpayer money, [...]

Illinois Takes Steps to Ensure Undocumented and Transgender Students Can Apply For Aid.  Illinois has massive financial problems, but it's good to know they are prioritizing things so well.

Computers spew checks like this because they operate without sanity.
IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 'Unauthorized' Aliens at One Atlanta Address.  The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to "unauthorized" alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).  That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically used by thousands of "unauthorized" alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011. In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to "unauthorized" aliens were in Atlanta.  The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.  Other locations on the IG's Top Ten list for singular addresses that were theoretically used simultaneously by thousands of unauthorized alien workers, included an address in Oxnard, Calif, where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,874; an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212; an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608; an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302; an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027; and an address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,877.

Taxpayer group cites AOC as 'Porker of the Year' for 2019.  A watchdog group named Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday its "Porker of the Year" for 2019, citing her sponsorship of the costly "Green New Deal" proposal.  Citizens Against Government Waste President Tom Schatz said the New York Democrat received 54% in the group's online poll, easily beating out Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who garnered 25%, and four other candidates.  "The results are not surprising, as Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's $93 trillion proposal exemplifies the Congress's failure to protect the taxpayers' hard-earned money," Mr. Schatz said.  "For pushing a radical plan that would destroy the American economy, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez deserves the distinction of 2019 Porker of the Year."

Citizens Against Government Waste Names Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 2019 Porker of the Year.  Today [1/7/2020], Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) announced the results of its online poll for the 2019 Porker of the Year.  There were six worthy candidates who were guilty of plugging pricey policies, promoting earmarks and wasteful practices, and pushing a big-spending agenda.  After the votes were tallied, the dishonor went to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who was named CAGW's March Porker of the Month for introducing the egregiously expensive "Green New Deal."  Rep. Ocasio-Cortez received 54 percent of the vote, more than twice as much as the 25 percent for runner-up Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).  Senator Warren was named CAGW's 2019 May Porker of the Month for proposing "free" college and a taxpayer-funded bailout of all student loan debt.

Two tribes aren't recognized federally.  Yet members won $500 million in minority contracts.  Companies set up by members of a self-described and state-recognized Creek Indian tribe in Alabama have received more than $240 million in federal minority-business contracts, despite a determination by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs that there is no credible evidence the group has Native American ancestry, a Los Angeles Times investigation has found.  Federal contracts worth an additional $273 million have gone to two companies run by a member of a different Native American group in Alabama with no federal recognition as a tribe.

Trump's Biggest Wins Of 2019.  [Scroll down]  Space Force:  Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act into law Dec. 20, which formally created the U.S. Space Force.  The Space Force became the 6th independent branch of the military, and was the first new military service to be created in more than 70 years.  Along with NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, Trump has redoubled American efforts to be the leader in space exploration and defense.

The Editor says...
If a Space Force exists, why are we still paying for NASA?

Senator Rand Paul Releases Over $50 Billion Waste Report — $466,991 Frog Mating Calls Study, $34 Million For Textbooks For Afghan Students.  For years, former Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) would publish what became known as his "Wastebook."  Now, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is bringing to light the wasteful and unconstitutional spending of the federal beast.  In his 2019 "Festivus" Edition of "The Waste Report," Paul lays out just how Americans' tax dollars are being spent without their authorization per the Constitution, and then he lit up Twitter with a barrage of tweets highlighting some of the top wasteful spending in the past year.  Senator Paul, chairman of the Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management (FSO) Subcommittee for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), released his 2019 Festivus edition of The Waste Report, which is his fifth edition.

Afghanistan Papers Prove US Gov Blew $3 Trillion, Lied About It.  Less than a day after 2000 documents were published proving the govt knew the Afghanistan War was unwinnable, Congress approved nearly a trillion dollars more.  It's rare that I read something on the Washington Post that I don't find highly biased, even repugnant.  But with their recent article on the Afghanistan Papers, they truly knocked the ball out of the park.  The facts they shared should have every American protesting in the streets.  Trillions of dollars have been spent on a war that the Pentagon knew was unwinnable all along.

Ted Cruz Blasts Spending Bill:  Funds Planned Parenthood, Gun Control.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blasted the $1.4 trillion spending bill that passed the House and Senate this week and was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Friday.  The 2,313-page piece of legislation spends $1.4 trillion and will fund the government until September 30, 2020, through most of what is anticipated to be a combative election season. [...] The senator said the spending deal benefits the "lobbyists who are bankrupting this country," and told CBS 11 it represents "lobbyists' Christmas present."

House Funds Key Programs but Adds to Government Bloat, Waste.  The House passed two spending bills totaling $1.4 trillion Tuesday [12/17/2019] to fund the federal government through the remainder of fiscal year 2020, which began Oct. 1.  Although the first bill would provide much-needed funding and budget certainty to core constitutional responsibilities, such as national defense, the second "minibus" is a Christmas tree of bloated spending and add-ons that have no place being voted on through an appropriations bill.  The House passed the two bills, introduced late Monday afternoon, in less than 24 hours.  The Senate is expected to consider the two measures later this week.  The fact that the House voted on more than 2,000 combined pages of text within 24 hours of introducing the two bills is a troubling symptom of Washington's budget dysfunction.  This is not the way that the budget process is supposed to work, and it leads to wasteful spending and other negative impacts for American taxpayers.

Climate change policies are going to be costly, says U.N.-backed report.  Tighter government climate regulations by 2025 could wipe up to $2.3 trillion off the value of companies in industries ranging from fossil fuel producers to agriculture and car makers, an investor group warned in a report.  Rules aimed at lowering carbon emissions are expected to accelerate in the coming years as countries scramble to meet obligations under the 2015 Paris climate agreement limiting global warming.

The Editor says...
Before any of this effort is undertaken, it should first be proven that the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is harmful, that man-made sources of CO2 outweigh natural sources, and that the greenhouse effect is approaching a "thermal runaway" condition.  None of these has been proven.  Thus it is apparent that the government is in a big rush to solve a problem that doesn't exist.  There is no "climate crisis."  There is no "planetary emergency."  There is no "existential threat."  Not only that, there is no global warming.

Wasted Spaces:  How the Federal Government Runs Its Real-Estate Empire.  In a months-long investigation, we learned that no one really knows just how many buildings the federal government has — not even the feds themselves.  In recent years, the government's own estimates have ranged from about 120,000 to 400,000.  And these figures do not even include the Defense Department and Intelligence agencies.  According to its most recent reporting, DoD has about 280,000 buildings in the U.S. and abroad.  All totaled, the federal government may own and lease about two-thirds of a million buildings.  Maintenance expenditures for government facilities are also not fully known.  Government estimates range as high as $21 billion spent annually on government-owned buildings, nearly $7 billion to lease office space, and about $2 billion to maintain empty properties.  A large part of the discrepancy in the number of buildings owned and leased is due to who is doing the counting and how each agency identifies its buildings' status.

New York City to Free 125K Accused Criminals, Give Taxpayer-Funded Housing, Job Training.  The state of New York is likely to free at least 125,000 accused criminals from prison next year and provide many with taxpayer-funded housing and job training services thanks to criminal justice reform laws.  As Breitbart News has reported, the state's series of bail reforms will ensure that suspects accused of crimes deemed "non-violent" are not jailed before their trial dates and do not have to post bail. [...] Across the county, jailbreak legislation is helping to free thousands of accused and convicted criminals from prison.  Federally, the First Step Act that was signed into law by President Trump has thus far freed about 240 sex offenders, nearly 60 convicted murderers and assailants, as well as almost 1,000 inmates convicted of drug crimes.  Also freed by the First Step Act is Joel Francisco, a notorious former leader of the "Latin Kings" gang who immediately returned to a life of drugs after his release and is now accused of murder.

Pentagon's Second Audit Identifies 1,300 New Problems.  The second ever audit of the Department of Defense ended, predictably, in a second consecutive failure. [...] The recently completed audit uncovered 1,300 new problems with the Pentagon's budgeting and record-keeping.  That's on top of the 2,410 separate findings and recommendations made last year, when auditors cracked open the department's books for the first time in history.  Auditors also identified 25 "material weaknesses" — broad areas, such as the F-35 fighter program, where managerial and record-keeping failures put taxpayer dollars at risk.  Auditors gave Pentagon officials credit for resolving about 500 of the issues identified last year.  That should prove that the Defense Department was wrong to resist audits for so long, and it gives us some measure of hope that the biggest black hole in the universe of federal spending might someday be reduced in size.

Cornell's new library exposes students to more than literature.  The sleek new library at Cornell University has a design flaw that allows people to see up the skirts of anyone browsing for books, students and reports say.  The state-of-the-art building — which took more than $21 million to build over five years — features elevated platforms with see-through grated floors that put visitors on full view as people pass below, the students say.

The Editor says...
Yes, and this design would allow smoke and fire to spread throughout the whole building in a matter of seconds.  And if you drop an earring on the floor, there's no way to know how far it will go.  Moreover, all this assumes that the library patrons are all well-behaved citizens who act like adults.  Never mind the view from below — what about a homeless drunk on the uppermost floor vomiting (or worse) on everyone below?

It's Time To Let The Crony Export-Import Bank Die.  The Export-Import Bank — the poster child for corporate welfare — was due to expire at the end of September.  But it has been given a temporary reprieve while congressional leaders plot to renew it on the sly by attaching it to a must-pass spending bill, meaning the bank will never get the scrutiny taxpayers deserve.  Ex-Im subsidizes export transactions using sweetheart terms — including below-market-rate loans — that are backed by the American taxpayer.  According to the bank's website, the agency provides financing when "private sector lenders are unable or unwilling to" and "assumes credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept."

The Editor says...
Articles like this have circulated for years.  Nothing is going to change.  Similarly, some have been clamoring for the elimination of public funding for Sesame Street, too, but that's not going to change.  Farm subsidies, ethanol subsidies, windmill subsidies, boondoggles, earmarks, white elephants, pork barrel spending, bridges to nowhere, robots on Mars, and endless spending on things that nobody asked for will continue uninterrupted until the U.S. currency collapses under the weight of the national debt.

Trickle-Down Bureaucracy Is Destroying Vermont.  So much money is spent on reports, studies, and employment for state workers that Vermont's property tax rates are some of the highest in the nation.  To the extent that any of the money does come back down, it is indeed a mere trickle.  Vermont demonstrates the government bloat that plagues many states, and the effects are becoming apparent.  Vermont now has fewer than 700 conventional dairy farms — but the Vermont Department of Agriculture and the UVM Extension Service steadily increase employees, and salaries.  This is quite typical of the virus-like quality of the Vermont bureaucracy — it grows, and citizens lose wealth or leave.  Vermont has nearly twice as many full-time state employees per 10,000 residents as New Hampshire, yet Vermonters are struggling much more than their thriving neighbors.  There is no growth, and the governor has infamously offered $10,000 bribes to out-of-state earners to reside in Vermont.

Newsom's Gas-Tax Switcheroo.  [Scroll down]  My favorite local example involved the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District, which scared the heck out of residents about West Nile virus and an encroaching menace: the red imported fire ant.  Such pests could be handled by, say, calling an exterminator if you found a nest in your backyard.  Instead, voters gave the district more money.  Its main priority after the increase was to increase its workers' pensions by 62 percent.  A few years later, the agency tried to spend from $1 million to $10 million hatching a mosquito museum.

Robocop Fail raises questions.  [Scroll down]  So here's this woman witnessing a violent confrontation and she's frantically pushing the helpful looking button on the robot that says "Emergency Alert."  But nothing happens.  Her friend finally dials 911, but by the time the cops arrive (fifteen minutes later) there's a woman being wheeled out to an ambulance and the assailants are long gone.  The (human) police had an explanation.  As it turns out, the Emergency Alert button was never connected to the 911 dispatch office.  The messages were being sent instead to the manufacturer of the robot, where they either didn't receive them or had no idea what to do with them.  And after yelling at the women to get out of the way, the robot reportedly continued gliding smoothly along past the ongoing fight, continuing on its route through the park playing some sort of science fiction melody as it went.  So how much did you pay for this robocop again?

Money down the drain in Puerto Rico.  Imagine having the task of distributing the most aid money ever for a natural disaster responsibly to a government mired in corruption and under FBI investigation.  That's what's happening right now in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico two years after two hurricanes, Maria and Irma.  You have $91 billion reasons to care.  That's how much of your tax money is intended for recovery.  Today, we go to Puerto Rico to follow the hurricane money and the fraud.

Senators chide NEA for spending taxpayer money on Che Guevara portrait.  Florida's two senators demanded answers Tuesday after revealing the National Endowment for the Arts paid $45,000 for a traveling art exhibition featuring a portrait of socialist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, saying U.S. taxpayers shouldn't subsidize the idolization of a man involved in "mass murder."  Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott said it was an insult to exiles who lived through the Cuban revolution to see their tax money go to aggrandize Guevara.

Fools, hacks, and liars:  Democrats out to destroy America via Pres.  Trump.  Almost without exception, most who run for political office, as well as their appointees, smile, and preen for the aforementioned media with lies of "I just want to serve."  No one stands up and says "I want to Destroy America."  With idiotic civil rights laws and a national voting rights laws, all passed in the name of "all men are created equal" we see wretched bureaus like the CIA, FBI, a litany of cabinet-level tax-soaking offices running the lives of the citizens while smiling into cameras with phony dictums of having served the people.  And the service of most of these departments are not allowed by the constitution nor for the most part, do they perform the service for which they advertise.  As an example, The Department of Energy finds no energy source.  The Education Department teaches no one.  The agriculture Department grows nothing (but debt).  The Commerce Department does not engage in commerce.  They simply provide jobs for bureaucratic servants.

Feds rush to spend 20% of $500 billion in one month in 'use it or lose it' spending spree.  Federal agencies have shelled out tens of millions of dollars on cars, movie cameras and other items in a contract spending spree that happens across government at the end of every fiscal year.  The State Department dropped more than $33 million on passenger cars in the first two weeks of this month and the Justice Department spent more than $3 million on movie cameras, records show.  Not to be outdone, the U.S. Mint has spent more than $60 million on raw gold and silver.  An estimated $66 million has gone to debt collectors trying to claw back money spent on student loans, records show.

Can we stop subsidizing beach houses now?  "This is beyond just a fiscal problem," Jeb Hensarling said in 2017.  "This is a moral problem."  The former Texas congressman and Financial Services chairman was specifically addressing the federal National Flood Insurance Program.  At the time, the program was about to be tapped to pay claims by residents along the Texas Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey.  It was already $25 billion in debt.  Today, with new claims on the way, it is only $21 billion in the red, but that's only because Congress forgave an additional $16 billion that the program owed the U.S. Treasury — owed, that is, to taxpayers.  But money is not and never has been the real issue.  The ongoing failure of this program to break even is merely a sign that it is only fixing the symptoms and not the problem.

Court Rules Idaho Must Pay for Trans Sex Offender's Transition Surgery.  A federal appeals court has ruled that the state of Idaho must pay for a transgender inmates' sex reassignment surgery.  Inmate Adree Edmo, a convicted sex offender, was diagnosed with gender dysmorphia in 2012.  His attorney, Deborah Ferguson, argued in January that the state was placing him at risk of suicide if they refused to fund his surgery.

The Editor says...
Someone who can't decide if he's a man or a woman is so fundamentally confused and miserable that he's likely to be a suicide risk no matter what.

Idaho Governor Criticizes 'Activist Court' for Ordering Gender Surgery for Convicted Child Molester.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that Idaho taxpayers must pay for a 31-year-old prison inmate to undergo "gender confirmation surgery" — the opinion does not call it sex reassignment — allowing the inmate to remove the bits that show the inmate was born a male.  Mason Dean Edmo, now called Adree Edmo, pleaded guilty in 2012 to sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy at a party.  Idaho Gov. Brad Little, frustrated by the "activist court," said his state plans to appeal once again, this time to the U.S. Supreme Court:  [Video clip]

New Jersey Awarded $3.8 Million in Financial Aid to Illegal Aliens.  A local news report revealed that the state of New Jersey awarded $3.8 million in financial aid to illegal immigrants during the 2018-2019 school year.  According to a report from, the state of New Jersey gave $3.8 million in financial aid to 749 illegal immigrant students in the last academic year.  More than a quarter of the funding went to 328 illegal immigrants that attend Rutgers University.  New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a law last year that allowed illegal immigrants to apply for financial aid.

Far-Left Blue State Gave Nearly $4 Million to Illegal Aliens In Financial Aid.  When New Jersey debuted a new program last year offering college aid to immigrants living in the country illegally, it was unclear how many undocumented students would sign up.  After a year, advocates and state official say the program has been a success.  During the 2018-2019 academic year, 749 undocumented students were awarded $3.8 million in state financial aid to attend New Jersey colleges, according to new statistics released by the state Higher Education Student Assistance Authority.

New $53M Texas high school football stadium has state's largest video board.  The latest cathedral to pigskin is the new $50+ million Children's Health Stadium, which will host Prosper (Texas) High School.  Prosper is a northern suburb of Dallas.  In total, the stadium will seat 12,000 fans and houses the largest video board in any Texas high school stadium, football or otherwise.

U.S. Spends $907 Million On Useless "Nutrition Education" For Food Stamp, WIC Recipients.  Besides spending tens of billions of dollars on fraud-infested programs to feed the poor, the U.S. government wastes an additional $907 million to give recipients useless "nutrition education" courses with rates of effectiveness that cannot be assessed.  It marks the latest scandal to rock the government's famously bloated and corrupt food stamp program as well as a multi-billion-dollar sister project that feeds millions of low-income women and their children.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) operates and funds both programs and spends a fortune on them annually.  The grand master is food stamps, renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by the Obama administration to eliminate the welfare stigma.  Under Obama the food stamp tab reached a ghastly $80.4 billion in one year to provide a record 46 million people with the welfare benefit.

HUD official Lynne Patton says $16 billion [was] recently given to Baltimore.  Department of Housing and Urban Development regional administrator Lynne Patton appeared Monday [7/29/2019] on Fox News and took note of just how much federal money has been steered into Cummings' district, which is nearly 53% percent black.  "President Trump has given $16 billion in 2018 alone to Elijah Cummings' district in federal grants," Patton explained.  "We have given more money in homeless funds to Baltimore than the last administration.  We have given more money in 'community development grants.'"  Patton then asked, "What are you actually doing with the money so that it benefits residents in the community for once instead of deep-pocket, crooked politicians?"

More about Baltimore.

Climate Trillions Frittered in the Wind.  This year, the world will spend $162 billion (US) subsidising renewable energy, propping up inefficient industries and supporting middle-class homeowners to erect solar panels, according to the International Energy Agency.  In addition, the Paris Agreement on climate change will cost theworld from $1 to $2 trillion (US) a year by 2030.  Astonishingly, neither of these hugely expensive policies will have any measurable impact on temperatures by the end of the century.

Trump Says Lawmakers Reach Bipartisan Deal to Suspend Debt Limit.  President Donald Trump announced a bipartisan deal to suspend the U.S. debt ceiling and boost spending levels for two years, capping weeks of frenzied negotiations that avert the risk of a damaging payments default.  Congressional leaders pledged to support the bipartisan compromise that left all sides unsatisfied but focusing on the provisions they could count as a win.

New Budget Deal Puts Final Nail in the Tea-Party Coffin.  President Trump and congressional leaders are nearing a deal that would raise the discretionary-spending caps by $320 billion over two years and offset less than one-quarter of those costs (and even those offsets would take a decade to materialize).  The budget deal would essentially repeal the final two years of the 2011 Budget Control Act and raise the baseline for future discretionary spending by nearly $2 trillion over the decade.

The Editor says...
Apparently spending cuts are out of the question.

9/11 Victims compensation fund and what you don't know about it.  Inclusions in the Victims compensation fund bill you should hear about.  First, this bill compensates victims until 2092.  It is not limited to First Responders and crash site workers, "Passersby" now qualify.  I am not a wizard at math but 9/11 occurred in 2001.  We are talking 90 years.  In an unheard of action, there are simply no limitations placed on any amount of money to be paid.  This boondoggle is not limited to First responders and those who worked the clean up sites even now.

The Editor says...
Why is the government using taxpayer money to compensate victims of terrorist attacks?  What part of the Constitution authorizes payments of this sort?  (I know — what difference at this point does it make?)  Such compensation could only be justified if the government caused the 9/11 attacks, and was proven to be at fault.  But the official story is that hijackers acting on behalf of the Religion of Peace crashed into the Twin Towers, both of which collapsed (each one falling straight down onto its own footprint as if professionally imploded) within two hours of being struck by the airplanes.  This happened even though no concrete-and-steel building had ever collapsed before as the result of a fire.  Oh, and World Trade Center Building 7 collapsed, too, the same day, even though no plane had hit it, and there were only minor fires in progress at the time.  But you're not supposed to remember that — and how could you remember anyway, since that even was barely mentioned in the news media — and if you speak in public about the collapse of WTC-7, you'll be ostracized as a "9/11 Truther."  In the very long term, it doesn't matter who was the mastermind behind the 9/11/2001 events.  Those responsible will pay for their sins in a lake of fire — forever.

Democrats 2020: Trillions and Trillions and Trillions More.  We're currently witnessing one of the greatest attempts at mass bribery in history.  With each passing week the Democrats running for the 2020 nomination offer yet another bribe for winning more votes. [...] Consider the 10-year cost estimates for some of the major plans that most, if not all, of the potential 2020 nominees have already embraced:  Medicare for All, otherwise known as socialized medicine, is $32.6 trillion.  The Green New Deal, also known as coercive environmental socialism, is $93 trillion.  Universal basic income, in which people would become paid wards of the state, is $38 trillion.  Slavery reparations would cost $14 trillion, but once that Pandora's box is opened, where do you actually draw the line and decide who would get money and why?  As for erasing college debt and free college, that's about $2.4 trillion in the first decade — which counts as "modest" in this context.  The cost of all of those plans combined in the first 10 years is $180 trillion.  That's just one decade.

Public Servants Or The Public's Masters?  California's cities, counties, and public agencies have secured a record tax windfall in recent years, as property tax collections soar, yet they continue to cry poor-mouth.  There's not enough money, they say, to provide adequate public services.  Government officials and public-sector unions already have hatched a plan for the 2020 ballot that would dramatically raise property tax on commercial property owners by undermining Proposition 13's tax protections.  But a new report from the Orange County Register's Teri Sforza hints at why these agencies never have enough money to do their jobs.  Based on data from the state controller's office, she found that "More than 100 city and county workers earned total compensation exceeding a half-million dollars in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties last year."  One need only look at the Transparent California database to see that this is no aberration.

Corey Johnson announces $19M in new LGBT programs as city celebrates World Pride weekend.  City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced $19 million in funding for LGBT support programs in honor of Pride, including big boosts to help transgender people.  On World Pride weekend in the city, Johnson said the move to nearly double funding for the programs marks a sea change in New York's approach to the gay community.  "Acceptance is not enough," Johnson said.  "Our local government must fund programs that support the LBGTQ community, particularly transgender people."

Fake women being offered Pap smears and breast screenings, but real women are not.  Ordinarily, catering to people who think or claim to be a gender other than the one nature assigned them is silly but harmless.  But now Public Health England (formerly the National Health Service) has implemented a practice that could prove deadly.  It has begun inviting men who identify as women to come in for annual Pap smears and breast screenings despite their lack of a cervix on which to administer the first test.  But PHE has also stopped inviting women who identify as men to come in for these crucial screenings out of fear of offending them.

California's 3 top paid county workers all made $1 million last year — at 1 hospital.  It pays to be a doctor.  It really pays to be a neurosurgeon.  It really, really pays to be a neurosurgeon at San Joaquin General Hospital.  The eight highest-paid county employees in California last year were all physicians or physician managers for San Joaquin County, with three of them making more than $1 million in 2018, according to wage data released Tuesday [6/25/2019] by the state Controller's Office.

Florida city agrees to pay nearly $600,000 after ransomware attack.  A Florida city has agreed to pay hackers who incapacitated their computer system nearly $600,000 in ransom.  The Riviera Beach, Fla., City Council voted unanimously Monday night to have its insurer pay a hacker's demand for 65 bitcoin, valued at $592,000.  The city will pay an addition $25,000 to cover its deductible, according to The Palm Beach Post.  The attack began on May 29, when a police department employee in Riviera Beach, a city of 35,000 people north of West Palm Beach, downloaded an infected email attachment, The Palm Beach Post reported.

Can California Be Saved, or Is It Too Late?  Jerry Brown's imaginary high-speed rail that was to initially run from Bakersfield to Merced in Central California is a bust.  The cost was projected to be $77 [billion] but has forecast to be $98 [billion]!  It most likely will never be completed.  Billions have been wasted.

Border Agency Buying 2.2 Million Diapers to Help Migrants.  The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is buying 2.2 million diapers to help deliver economic migrants and their young children into Americans' worksites, schools, and neighborhoods, according to an online contract request.  The purchase implements the welcome policy set by a bipartisan panel in Congress, which in February directed the Department of Homeland Security to help the migrants — despite the impact on Americans' wages, schools, and neighborhoods — instead of helping Americans by giving the agency the legal authority needed to block the migration.

$586 Billion Later, Health Care Is Worse Than Before Obamacare — Thanks Obama.  "I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last."  That was how then-President Barack Obama pitched Obamacare to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9, 2009.  He described a health care system in crisis and promised that his reforms would "provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance.  It will provide insurance for those who don't.  And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government."  Nearly a decade after having his vision realized, how have his promises worked out?  Based on polling data, Obamacare has been a miserable failure, and Obama will be far from the last president to grapple with this issue.

Registered sex offenders in NY got Medicaid money for erectile dysfunction.  Registered sex offenders in New York received $63,000 worth of erectile dysfunction drugs and other sexual treatments courtesy of the state's publicly funded Medicaid program, according to an audit released Wednesday [6/5/2019].

A Government Coup by NASA's Bureaucracy.  Every single big space project since the founding of NASA has always been proposed and approved by elected officials.  NASA officials might have lobbied for one version or another, but always, always, it was understood and accepted that the project did not exist without first getting an enthusiastic and very public authorization from elected officials.  What was understood without question was that the right to make these fundamental policy decisions belonged only to the lawmakers, elected as they were by the citizenry under the Constitution.  NASA's new Lunar Gateway project, however, is something altogether different.  It was conceived, designed, and proposed by the big aerospace companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing as a justification for the continuing construction of SLS and Orion.  It was added as a budget line item by NASA bureaucrats who supported it, and it now exists as a growing major space project comparable to Apollo, the Space Shuttle, ISS, and SLS/Orion.  Yet no president has ever officially and publicly proposed the Lunar Gateway.  No Congress ever reviewed or endorsed the program.

Schools from New York to California shell out money for illegals.  Schools spanning the United States offer benefits to illegal alien applicants and students.  These range from scholarships and "creative workshops" to mental health counseling and free food.

NYC goes stone-age Green.  New York City politicians intend to "lead the way" to combat "climate change."  Last week, the City Council voted almost unanimously for a package of six bills that comprise the "Climate Mobilization Act" for the nation's largest city.  Of the 44 council members voting, only two opposed this legislation.  What will happen that is predictable is the immediate cost.  The centerpiece of this legislation is the $4 billion energy efficiency mandate on the City's largest buildings, on top of the already substantial property taxes and construction costs.  But that is just the beginning of Mayor Bill de Blasio's estimated $14 billion strategic plan — his own "Green New Deal" — unveiled on Earth Day to reduce the City's "carbon footprint... before it's too late."

California spends $178 million per fish to bring back salmon.  Leftie greenies recently hailed the return of ... five ... salmon, swimming upstream to the San Joaquin river to spawn.  Paradise restored!  In water-starved California, that was quite an achievement, given that each salmon required 50,000 gallons of water to get the job done, coming at a price tag of $890 million at the low end and $2 billion at the high.  And that water came out of the hides of California's farmers, who got very little of the water they were promised, and paid for, as a result.  That's some use of resources to get those five salmon to swim upstream.

Should we shutter the Department of Education?  Since its inception 40 years ago as a political payoff from President Jimmy Carter to the National Education Association, the Department of Education has engaged in scores of dubious actions that have made millions of Americans yearn for its expulsion.  The most recent example of comes from a long string of audits showing the federal department is doing a lousy job keeping tabs on the $38 billion it receives to administer federally funded K-12 programs.  "Complex and persistent" is how Congress' spending watchdog, the Government Accountability Office, described the agency's mismanagement of data, oversight, and evaluation.

Denver airport's $14.5M sign busted after less than 2 years in use: reports.  Denver International Airport built a wall of sorts — a 1,000-foot-long collection of illuminated poles interrupted by large television screens for displaying ads — but now the wall doesn't work right.  The $14.5 million Panasonic sign has broken down after only 16 months in operation, leaving many questioning if the sign will ever rake in enough ad dollars to recoup the large investment, according to a report.

Future of New Orleans in peril as $14B flood protection starts sinking.  The $14 billion upgrade to New Orleans' system of levees to fortify the city is sinking, according to engineering experts.  After investing an amount of money that is five times greater than the gross domestic product of the island country of Aruba, the Army Corp of Engineers said levees may not be adequate enough to protect New Orleans and the surrounding region from major flooding associated with a 100-year storm.

The $14 billion system of levees and floodwalls built after Hurricane Katrina is already sinking.  The $14 billion system of levees and floodwalls built around New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is already sinking just 11 months after it was completed, experts have said.  The Army Corps of Engineers said in an impact study notice earlier this month that the flood control system could loose its intended ability protect against a 100-year flood as soon as 2023.

Trump Is Right:  Puerto Rico Shouldn't Get More Hurricane Subsidies.  While there is some disagreement over the exact figure that Puerto Rico has received, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has reported $20 billion in hurricane recovery funds, while the Federal Emergency Management Agency has funded an additional $8 billion and the Small Business Administration has approved $2 billion in loans.  Yet we are told Puerto Rico needs more of American taxpayers' money.  Democrats are insisting that American taxpayers continue to further fund Puerto Rican leaders' additional demands.  The fact of the matter is, not one more dime in funding should be sent to Puerto Rico until it gets its political house in order, either of its own accord or by the Trump administration forcing systematic change.  Putting more money into a broken system won't fix anything.  Most importantly, it will only continue to hurt our fellow citizens — the people of Puerto Rico.

Most of the $33 Billion in Remittances to Mexico Flow Via U.S. Govt.  Banking Program.  Though President Trump said he would block money transfers to Mexico to fund a much-needed border wall, Mexicans in the U.S. sent a record $33.48 billion in remittances last year and a big chunk of it flowed through a government program operated by the Federal Reserve.  This means that, amid an onslaught of illegal immigration, the U.S. government is largely responsible for the billions in remittances flowing south of the border from illegal aliens.  Figures released by Mexico's central bank show that 104 million transactions were executed in 2018, nearly six million more than the previous year.  Uncle Sam facilitates the process with a program called "Directo a Mexico" (Direct to Mexico), launched by the Federal Reserve, the government agency that serves as the nation's central bank, more than a decade ago.

Florida housing agency paid $3,650 to teach embattled boss to be nice, stop being abusive to staff.  A Florida housing agency paid $3,650 to a consultant to teach their boss to be nice and stop being abusive to his staff.  St. Petersburg Housing Authority CEO Tony Love came under fire amid revelations of complaints made by senior staffers who claim that he acted inappropriately by shouting and demeaning them.

Money in the Toilet — The Billion Dollar Cost of Public Bathrooms.  The fastest rising item in the country isn't gold or bitcoin, it's the cost of a public bathroom.  In '08, a San Francisco Weekly article fumed that a park restroom in Golden Gate Park was costing taxpayers $531,219.  Fast forward, a decade later the cost of a park restroom in the Golden Gate Boathouse had ballooned to $2 million or $4,700 per square foot.  The modern bathroom had a third All-Gender option that the '08 bathroom didn't.  But adding a non-gender shouldn't have quadrupled the price.  Inflation would have kept the cost well below a million.  Why did a 15-foot by 28-foot bathroom cost millions?  Part of the answer may be that San Fran privileges minority businesses and requires that 15% of work hours be carried out by "disadvantaged" workers.

The government is now a check-writing, wealth-redistribution machine that costs trillions.  Today, the one thing the federal government does above all else is write checks.  Lots of checks.  Nearly $3.2 trillion worth of checks.  Each and every year. [...] In other words, 70 percent of everything the federal government will spend this year will amount to writing checks to benefit individuals.  That's up from 28 percent in 1968 and 50 percent in 1991.

The Editor says...
The writer of the USA Today article sees nothing wrong with the government taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor.  He only regrets that the poor aren't getting paid enough.

Duke University to pay $112.5 million settlement for faked research.  Duke University agreed to a deal Monday [3/25/2019] that will require it to repay the federal government $112.5 million to settle claims it falsified scientific research at taxpayers' expense.  The prestigious private school in Durham, North Carolina, said it will take additional steps on "research integrity" and says it already has implemented more monitoring of research in the wake of the scandal, which involved a health researcher and her supervisors.

Duke Whistleblower Gets More Than $33 Million In Research Fraud Settlement.  Duke University is paying the U.S. government $112.5 million to settle accusations that it submitted bogus data to win federal research grants.  The settlement will also bring a $33.75 million payment to Joseph Thomas, the whistleblower who drew attention to the fraud when he worked for Duke.  Thomas, a former Duke lab analyst, sued the university on behalf of the federal government, saying that a Duke researcher fudged data to help the university win and keep lucrative grants from two agencies, the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency.

De Blasio's program spent $300M to create only 3,000 jobs.  Mayor Bill de Blasio spent $300 million to create just 3,000 jobs, a top city official admitted Monday [3/18/2019].  Testifying at a City Council hearing, James Patchett, president of the city's Economic Development Corp., defended the slow progress of the mayor's $1.35 billion "New York Works" program, launched in 2017.  The program is supposed to create 100,000 jobs each paying at least $50,000 by 2027.  Patchett said the city has spent $300 million so far investing in job training and infrastructure for companies that expand or relocate to the city.

There are just nine steps from freedom to socialism to societal breakdown.  Step 1.  Massive Government Spending.  Socialist states have government at the center of their economies and feature enormous spending programs.  In early 1990s Sweden often cited as a socialist state, government spending exceeded 70 percent of its economy.  Under President Jefferson, government spending was approximately 2 to 3 percent of the economy.  Today, we are at 36 percent.  Sweden, now walking away from socialism, has reduced its spending share to just over 50 percent.  Government education, retirement, and medical care — nearly cradle to grave spending — are three cornerstones of future socialist states.  Obama once said you can create a governing majority of those dependent on government.  Elizabeth Warren is now promoting "universal child care," which would extend that dependence.

Feds Pay Millions for Lobster Tail, Booze, Toys in End of Year Spending Binge.  Federal agencies billed taxpayers millions for lobster tail, alcohol, standing desks, golf carts, and more frivolous expenditures before budgets ran out at the end of the fiscal year.  A new analysis released by found 66 agencies spent $97 billion last September, the final month of fiscal year 2018.  The end of the year taxpayer-funded spending spree included contracts with Coors, millions on iPhones, furniture, and CrossFit equipment.  "In the final month of the fiscal year, federal agencies scramble to spend what's left in their annual budget," said.  "Agencies worry spending less than their budget allows might prompt Congress to appropriate less money in the next fiscal year.  To avoid this, federal agencies choose to embark on an annual shopping spree rather than admit they can operate on less."

De Blasio wants to spend $10B to make Manhattan bigger.  Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to spend $10 billion to "climate proof" lower Manhattan by building out the coastline by two blocks into the East River from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Battery.  "It will be one of the most complex environmental and engineering challenges our city has ever undertaken and it will, literally, alter the shape of the island of Manhattan," the mayor wrote in a New York Magazine op-ed.  The buildout will include a half-billion dollars for "grassy berms in parks and removable barriers that can be anchored in place as storms approach," according to the mayor.

The Editor says...
[#1] Maybe you should wait until you actually have a problem before spending ten billion dollars of someone else's money.  [#2]  It is not possible to "climate proof" Manhattan.  The climate will still take its toll, even if the mean sea level recedes.

Feds splurge on lobster, pianos, golf carts in race to spend 'use it or lose it' budget.  It turns out September, not April, may be federal taxpayers' worst nightmare.  The end of the government's fiscal year usually brings an orgy of spending as agencies look at their budgets, see extra cash lying around, and figure they'd better use it all up or risk getting cut in the future.  The "use it or lose it" mentality explains why the Defense Department shelled out $9,241 on a Wexford leather chair, $2.3 million on crab and another $2.3 million on lobster tails in September, according to a study released Thursday by OpenTheBooks.  All told, taxpayers shelled out $97 billion on contracts in September — including a staggering $53 billion in the final week, or more than the entire month of August.

New Jersey city agrees to pay $27M to lease property it sold for $1.  The city of Newark, N.J. has agreed to pay $27 million over 30 years to rent property that it previously sold in 2017 for just $1, leading some to question why the city didn't just hold on to the land in the first place.  "We're paying them for something that we gave them.  This is basic math, it doesn't add up," Newark resident Debra Salters told Wednesday during a City Council meeting, where the deal was narrowly approved in a 5-4 vote.

De Blasio and 'co-mayor' wife have wasted $1.8B of taxpayer money.  Who's got a billion to burn?  Well, Bill de Blasio for sure.  But also mayoral spouse Chirlane McCray, who has just been revealed as a world-class boondoggler in her own right.  Hey, the family that preys together stays together, right?  And it's only (your) money — even if it is quite a lot of it. [...] Fast-forward to Wednesday, when the City Council was startled to discover that McCray and Team Thrive are closing in on having spent an eye-popping $900 million since the program's inception — and nobody seems to have a clue on what.  That is, nobody appears to have kept receipts; the subways and street corners are still overrun with crazy people, and nobody in charge knows what's to happen next.

Sugar Subsidies Are Welfare for the Rich.  America's biggest welfare recipients are often politically connected corporations — like America's sugar producers.  The industry gets billions of dollars in special deals while deceitfully running ads that say, "American farmers don't get subsidy checks."  That ad confused me.  If they "don't get subsidy checks," then what is America's multibillion-dollar sugar program?  "It costs taxpayers nothing," claim ads from the American Sugar Alliance.  "We are a no-cost program, no cost to the taxpayer."  "That's absolutely bogus," says Ross Marchand of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance in my newest video.  Americans "pay as customers and they pay as taxpayers."  He's right.

Congress Spends 40 Times More On Foreign Aid Than Border Security.  While Democrats and Republicans battle over funding for the border, there's one thing they can agree on — sending that money to other countries.  One America's Pearson Sharp explains how Congress has approved 40 times more on foreign aid than for protecting the U.S. border.

$1,973 LEDs and the Green New Deal.  The Green New Deal that Democrats unveiled last week has a grand ambition to eliminate fossil fuels in 10 years, retrofit every building in America, and guarantee high-paying jobs in the bargain.  If you want to see how that works in the real world, consider the public housing projects near Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's New York office.  The New York City Housing Authority (Nycha) has a more modest goal of a 30% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2027.  As part of its plan, Nycha is switching to LED lighting, which lasts longer than incandescent bulbs and consumes less energy.  Sounds smart, until you see how many union workers it takes to screw in a light bulb.  One recent project focused on 23 housing developments, and changing the light bulbs and fixtures there cost $33.2 million.  Supplies account for a fraction of that cost.  Under Nycha's Project Labor Agreement, electricians make $81 in base pay and $54 in fringe per hour, and overtime is usually time and a half.  Add administrative and contracting expenses.  All in, Nycha paid an average of $1,973 per apartment to install LEDs.

Netflix paid Nothing in federal or state taxes in 2018 despite posting record profits of $845 million, and even got a $22 million rebate.  Netflix didn't pay a cent in state or federal income taxes last year, despite posting its largest-ever U.S. profit in 2018 of $845 million, according to a new report.  In addition, the streaming giant reported a $22 million federal tax rebate, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).  Senior fellow at ITEP Matthew Gardner said corporations like Netflix, which has its headquarters in Los Gatos, California, are still 'exploiting loopholes' and called the figures 'troubling'.

Billions in TSA 9/11 Security Fees Diverted by Congress for Other Causes.  Money to sustain the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) continuously flowed into the government's coffers via a special security fee collected from every passenger, yet Congress didn't release the funds during the shutdown.  Known as the September 11 Security Fee, air carriers collect $5.60 per one-way trip and $11.20 round trip to help fund the TSA.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports an average daily air passenger flow of 2.6 million, which translates into $14.5 million per day in TSA fees.  That amounts to more than $507 million collected during the 35-day government shutdown yet the agency's 51,000 employees didn't get paid, igniting an onslaught of hardship stories in the media.  What happened to the money?

Feds Spending $1,489,703 Studying Sleep Habits at Mexico Border.  The National Institutes of Health is spending roughly $1.5 million on a study of the sleep habits of Mexican Americans living along the U.S. border.  The "border health" study began last year and is being conducted by the University of Arizona.  The study is recruiting 1,100 people in the tiny border town of Nogales, Ariz., to see how well they sleep.  Researchers claim Mexican Americans do not sleep as well as their peers, blaming "social" factors at the border.

Atlanta Spent $23 Million Building a Pedestrian Bridge for the Super Bowl That Pedestrians Can't Use.  In anticipation of hosting this year's Super Bowl at the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the city of Atlanta spent more than $23 million to build a pedestrian bridge linking the stadium to the nearby Vine City public transit station, allowing fans to cross a busy street without needing a crosswalk.  The bridge was originally supposed to cost about $13 million — already pretty pricey for a simple pedestrian crossing over a four-lane road — but city officials approved an extra $10 million in funding last year to ensure the project would be finished in time for the big game, which kicks off Sunday evening [2/3/2019].  The serpentine bridge — decked out with dazzling, customizable LED lights and wrapped with diamond-shaped aluminum panels — did indeed get finished in time for the Super Bowl.  But it won't be used by the vast majority of the expected 80,000 people heading to the game on Sunday.  Because of it's location adjacent to the stadium, the bridge has been deemed a security risk and will be closed to everyone except credentialed staff and media, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this week.

You Paid For It:  Vivaldi-listening Cats, Coked-up Quails, and Monkey Marriage Proposals.  And the winner of Senator Joni Ernst's (R-IA) January 2019 Squeal Award is... the National Institutes of Health (NIH)!  As Sen. Ernst explains in her press release:  "The [NIH] supported ten different cat studies — funded from grants totaling $1.3 million of your money — that concluded classical music has an effect on cat behaviors.  For example, a study found that after playing classical music for cats every day, they were less likely to poop outside of the litter box or cough up hairballs."  Kudos to Sen. Ernst for letting the cat out of the bag about this boondoggle.  Her report provides yet another a case study for why more transparency and accountability about federal spending on animal experiments are so badly needed.

Feds Spend $453,592 Giving Financial Support to Transgender Women.  The National Institutes of Health is spending over $450,000 to provide transgender women of color financial tips and "gender transition supports."  Virginia Commonwealth University began the project last year, which studies "economically disadvantaged male-to-female" transgender individuals in Richmond, Va., and St. Louis, Mo.  "Transgender women (TGW) face persistent discrimination and structural disadvantages including high rates of unemployment, unstable housing, poverty, and dramatically elevated rates of HIV," according to the grant for the study.  "The proposed research, using a randomized experimental design, seeks to develop and test an integrated microeconomic intervention, and to assess the feasibility and efficacy of the intervention to improve the financial status of TGW and to reduce participation in high-risk income-generation strategies."  The study will recruit transgender women as "key informants" to assess their "current experiences and preferences."

What you don't know about the lucrative travel our leaders enjoy on your dime.  We have long noted Pelosi's abuse of the perks of public office that granted her access to luxury military travel.  This current expedition is hardly new for her.  In 2009, during Pelosi's first speakership, we uncovered documents from the Department of Defense detailing her multiple requests for military air travel.  The documents included internal DOD email correspondence detailing attempts by DOD staff to accommodate Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker's last-minute cancellations and changes.  In response to a series of requests for military aircraft, one Defense Department official wrote, "Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi's team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend? ... [T]here's no need to block every weekend 'just in case'..."  The email also notes that Pelosi's office had, "a history of canceling many of their past requests."

New York to spend millions putting DREAMers through college.  New York state lawmakers approved a measure that aims to dole out millions in taxpayer-funded aid to Dreamers — who entered the country illegally — attending college.  The now-Democratic controlled New York state legislature on Wednesday passed the Dream Act, legislation that would make thousands of Dreamers eligible for financial aid to attend public colleges in the state.  The bill, which has attracted praise from Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would cost $27 million.

The Editor says...
From the Democrats' perspective, it makes perfect sense to send illegal aliens to college, because the colleges inject socialism into every class.

Taxpayers Funded Shrinks Who Deem Masculinity Harmful to Health.  Taxpayers helped finance research used by the American Psychological Association to label traditional masculinity harmful.  The APA's "First-Ever Guidelines for Practice with Men and Boys" received input from dozens of psychoanalysts who believe masculinity is a social construct, are passionate about social justice, and think there is a danger in a role model like John Wayne.  Several contributors to the guidelines have received federal funding from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Education, totaling more than $4.4 million.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus PAC Spent $300K at Luxury Resorts Last Cycle.  The political action committee linked to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) disbursed hundreds of thousands of dollars of its funds on luxury resorts, upscale restaurants, nightclubs, and tickets to Vegas events throughout the last election cycle, Federal Election Commission filings show.  The CHC BOLD PAC, the fundraising arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, came under fire this week for a delegation trip to a seaside resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico, during the government shutdown where its members mingled with more than 100 lobbyists, attended a viewing of the Broadway show "Hamilton," and met with Puerto Rican officials.  The trip was met with condemnation from a number of Republican leaders.

The War on Terror Has Cost $5,900,000,000,000 & Still Isn't Being Fought Properly.  According to Brown University's Cost of War Project, the war on terror has cost approximately $5.9 trillion since September 11, 2001, including $2 trillion for operations in various foreign countries and $924 billion for security at home.  And what do we have to show for it?  Not much.  The jihadis haven't struck again in America on the scale they did on 9/11, but they have struck, in Boston, Fort Hood, Chattanooga, Little Rock, San Bernardino, New York City, and elsewhere.  The jihad threat is still very much with us.

The War on Terror's Total Cost: $5,900,000,000,000 : Is America any safer?  By any reasonable estimate, the monetary and human costs of the U.S.-led war on terrorism has been considerable.  To the political scientists at Brown University, the numbers have been astronomical.  The Ivy League university's Cost of War Project calculates that Washington will spend approximately $5.9 trillion between FY2001-FY2019, a pot of money that includes over $2 trillion in overseas contingency operations, $924 billion in homeland security spending, and $353 billion in medical and disability care for U.S. troops serving in overseas conflict zones.  Add the cost of interest to borrowed money into the equation, and the American people will be paying back the debt for decades to come.

We Could Build 2 Border Walls By Just By Eliminating 'Improper Payments,' Audit Shows.  Trump's $5.7 billion would fund 234 miles of border.  Eliminating just half of the government's "improper payments" would provide enough money to build a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border, with $21 billion left over.  The GAO has also found "tens of billions of dollars" in savings simply by reducing overlapping and duplicative federal programs.  For example, the federal government spends almost $3 billion on 163 separate STEM education programs across 13 agencies.  "Nearly all of these programs overlapped with at least one other program," the GAO found.  Citizens Against Government Waste has identified 636 examples of wasteful government spending that, if eliminated, would save $430 billion in the first year alone.

Border Wall Is An Ineffective Waste, Democrats Say.  Here's the Real Waste.  Among the goodies the open-borders Democrats want are $12 billion more for international affairs programs, or 29 percent more than the president wanted.  That includes $2.9 billion more for economic and development assistance to foreigners in the Middle East.  Why funding to Israel, Syria, and Pakistan is more important the security at the southern border of our own country is a mystery, as is the "$700 million more than requested for the United Nations, including restoring funding for the United Nations Population Fund."  Of course, that funding contains money, OMB observed, that would "undermine the President's Mexico City Policy ... which prohibits the funding of foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform abortions."  The House bill also included "$2 billion in excessive Environmental Protection Agency funding, providing funds beyond the Agency's core mission and including funding for programs that can and should be executed at the local level."  More unnecessary — and blatantly unconstitutional — spending includes $7.1 billion for "rental assistance programs" in the Housing and Urban Development Department, itself a massive unconstitutional agency.

Things Democrats Have Funded that Cost More than the Border Wall.  [#1] "Rural Utility Service."  This program costs taxpayers $8.2 billion/year and has no actual purpose after its original intent — bringing electricity to rural communities — was long ago achieved.  It's now being used to bring broadband access to small communities (usually with populations of less than 20,000). [...] [#4] The United Nations.  As the United Nation's largest contributor, the U.S. in 2016 donated $10 billion to the U.N. [...] [#8] Waste, Fraud, and Abuse.  The Government Accountability Office estimates taxpayers are spending more than $137 billion annually on "payment errors," which covers all manner of waste, fraud, and abuse within Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  The feds could implement the same kind of fraud protections credit card companies used to ensure against abuse, but don't.

Missouri: Entrepreneur Uses Gun Buy Back Program to Sell Junk Guns for Cash to Purchase New Ones.  Yes, every time that government seeks to overstep its bounds and do things it was never intended to do or ban certain items, they simply spark human ingenuity and entrepreneurship to work around their pretended legislation.  In this case, government decided to engage in an unlawful "buy back" of guns with taxpayer money, something they are not authorized to do.  One entrepreneur in Missouri had his eye on new guns and decided that he could put together scrap metal as guns and sell them off to the "no questions asked" buy back program for cash to purchase new ones.  He succeeded.

Migrants' Remittances to Mexico, Central America Jump to $53 Billion in 2018.  Legal and illegal migrants sent $53.4 billion in remittances back to Mexico and Central America in 2018, or more than double the cost of building a border barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a World Bank report.  Remittances to Mexico reached $33.7 billion in 2018, up 21 percent from roughly $27.8 billion in 2016, the bank reported.  Remittances from the three Central Americans countries are being spiked by the growing inflow of asylum-seeking migrants into blue-collar jobs throughout the U.S. economy, via the border's catch-and-release laws.  The outflow to Central America rose to $19.7 billion in 2018, up from $15.8 billion in 2016, according to the bank.

Congressional day care center with miniature National Mall to open, with $12 million taxpayer-funded outlay.  The 26,000-square foot facility, which an host up to 120 toddlers, services both members of Congress and their staff, in an effort to make working on Capitol Hill more appealing.  In early 2018, the waiting list for the House day care facility reportedly topped 175 names, and newborns at both the House and Senate day care centers typically waited between two and three years for a slot to open.  The delays were so lengthy that many House employees signed up before they became pregnant.

Government shutdown exposes redundancy in Washington.  Back in 1979, when Jimmy Carter proposed spending about $6 billion to fund a brand new Department of Education (F.Y. 2019 budget is $60 billion), one of the strongest selling points was that education programs were scattered in every department and agency across the government.  Just think how much money we can save if we bring all those programs under the control of one, federal department!  It didn't work.  Today, there are still education programs in many federal agencies, and the Education Department has become a gigantic presence.

Illegal Aliens Cost Taxpayers $100+ Billion Annually.  [Scroll down]  In fact, if all Americans paid taxes at the same rate illegal aliens did, the budget deficit would be at least quadruple what it is now.  According to prior estimates of mine based off the size of the 2017 labor force, if we were to replace the entire labor force with illegal immigrants and have them pay all their taxes (including state and local) to the feds, the federal government would've collected approximately $240 billion in tax revenue in 2017, as opposed to the $3.3 trillion that the Federal government actually collected.

IRS unable to recoup nearly $1 billion in Obamacare subsidies.  The IRS overpaid nearly $4 billion to Obamacare customers through tax credits last year, and because of the way the law is written it can't even try to collect on a quarter of that, the Treasury Department's inspector general reported this week.  All told, the Treasury Department paid out roughly $27 billion in Obamacare subsidies in the 2018 tax-filing season, with overages accounting for $3.7 billion of that.  Only $2.7 billion was recaptured.

After Defense Flunks Audit, What Next?  The first-ever comprehensive audit of DOD and its $2.7 trillion in assets was a resounding failure, with officials saying it should take years for the Pentagon to get its books in order.  "We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it," Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters. [...] Critics have slammed DOD for the audit, which showcases substandard accounting practices that have resulted in transaction records that differ from those of the U.S. Treasury.  DOD also hasn't recorded all of its real estate and property assets.  Its management of expenses led to $665 million in waste last year.

Rand Paul issues 'Festivus Edition' of The Waste Report.  Every Christmas since he took office, Senator Rand Paul has issued a "Waste Report" on government spending.  This year, Senator Paul has outdone himself in finding the stupid, inane, shocking, maddening, and depressing examples of how our federal government spends the hard-earned tax dollars of citizens. [...]
  [#1]   Since 2009, the State Department has allocated more than $76 million to provide stipends to the nearly non-existent Somali army.
  [#2]   The Agriculture Department spent more than $13 million to promote the already overcrowded farmers' market industry.
  [#3]   The U.S. embassy in Rwanda spent more than $250,000 to teach citizens how to lobby.
  [#4]   The National Endowment for the Arts spent $15,000 on "theatrical research" to combat poverty.
  [#5]   NIH spent more than $800,000 to study the sex lives of quails high on cocaine.
On and on it goes — thousands upon thousands of line items in the budget for useless programs that not only are questionable expenditures on their face, but raise questions about whether the federal government should even be funding these things.

City to pay $480G in medical costs for suspect injured after allegedly shooting police officer: reports.  Taxpayers in Omaha, Neb., will pay nearly $480,000 in medical bills for a suspect whom police wounded with gunfire after he allegedly shot an officer on Sept. 11, city council members decided this week in a 6-1 vote.  The officers struck suspect John Ezell Jr., 36, multiple times after he fired at Omaha Police Gang Unit Officer Ken Fortune, 42, striking the officer in a shoulder, during a traffic stop in the city, authorities said, according to Omaha's FOX 42.

Louis Farrakhan Is Getting Cash From U.S. Government.  Our federal government has been paying the Nation Of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan to teach religious study programs in federal prisons.  Per the Washington Examiner, "the Nation of Islam and its leaders have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the U.S. government since 2008.  Its leaders have received at least $364,500 in contracts and awards from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice between fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2019.

Omaha taxpayers hit with $250,000 medical bill of gang member who shot police officer.  A man allegedly shot a police officer — and now taxpayers have to help pay his medical bill.  The city of Omaha has been hit with a $239,670.63 bill after a 36-year-old gang member needed treatment while in police custody, according to The Omaha World-Herald.

Overpaid public-sector employees.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that state and local government employee total compensation is now 47 percent higher than for private sector employees.  Total compensation for federal, state, and local government employees cost taxpayers $1.9 trillion in 2016, or about $15,176 per household.

From Your Table to Their Farm.  Forget all the tongue clucking about Washington being so divided and nasty that Democrats and Republicans cannot work together.  As the Senate and House proved this week in passing the $867 billion farm bill, when it comes to spending money they don't have, party leaders really can reach across the aisle.  With the national federal debt approaching $22 trillion, President Donald Trump has praised the bill, which provides food stamps for the poor, but also hands out subsidies to American farmers, even though it does not include needed reforms or even modest spending cuts.  Conservative think tanks dismiss the farm subsidies as corporate welfare.  On the left, environmentalist groups have opposed them as well.  Fiscal hawks are appalled at the failure of Congress to do anything to ease the deficit.  And yet the farm bill lives.

Subsidies For All! — The Farm Bill's Creeping Socialism.  As the Washington Post noted, Congress passed the $867 billion farm bill "with strong bipartisan support, spurred in part by pressure from farmers battered by President Trump's trade war with China."  Sorry, don't blame the trade war with China for this debacle.  The Farm Bill is a disaster on its own.  It's filled with literally hundreds of billions of dollars of market-distorting subsidies to U.S. farmers.  But the bill that passed excluded the one good idea it originally contained:  A work requirement for able-bodied welfare recipients.  How bad is the bill?  Even Iowa Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley, himself a farmer, was outraged because the package granted federal subsidies even to distant relatives of farmers that don't farm.

Obama Used 310 Million Taxpayer Dollars for Illegals' Legal Fees.  An investigation by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has revealed that the Obama-era U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in apparent violation of federal immigration law, awarded multiple high-value contracts, worth over $310 million, to a single nonprofit group in 2015 and 2016.  All of these contracts were awarded for the purpose of providing legal representation to unaccompanied alien children (UACs).  A significant number of the so-called youth were tied to MS-13.  The money was sent to the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera), a nonprofit group that provides immigrants with access to legal services.  One of the former directors, Christopher Stone, also served as president of George Soros' Open Society Foundations from 2012-2017.

Alabama sheriff's office mistakenly orders 24,000 rolls of toilet paper.  Officials in an Alabama county have a financial mess to wipe up after the sheriff's department mistakenly ordered 24,000 extra rolls of toilet paper.  WAFF-TV reports the Marshall County Sheriff's Office mistakenly spent $22,000 on toilet paper and another $9,000 for 450 cases of trash bags.  That's a big problem, because its entire budget for janitorial supplies for next year is only $15,000.

$280 Million USAID Program Was To Help 75,000 Afghan Women - It Helped 60.  Since 2015, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has spent $280 million on a program intended to help tens of thousands of Afghan women enter their country's work force and gain promotions.  According to a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the program has helped somewhere between no women and roughly 60.

SF spends $300,000 to register noncitizen voters — a whopping 49 sign up.  San Francisco's effort to get noncitizen parents to the ballot box is pretty much a bust the first time out, with only 49 signing up to vote in the Nov. 6 election.  Back in July, the city began registering noncitizens — including undocumented immigrants — to vote in school board elections.  The program is the first-of-its-kind in California and followed passage of a 2016 San Francisco ballot measure opening school elections to noncitizens who are over the age of 18, city residents and have children under age 19.  The city spent about $310,000 setting up the new registration system and encouraging people to sign up.

California's $77 billion bullet train will be one of the state's great embarrassments:  Larry Ellison.  Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are on the same page when it comes to California's $77 billion high-speed rail project.  "Trains leave when you don't want to leave, from a place you don't want to leave from, and take you to a place you don't want to go to, at a time you don't want to get there, and then you have to get into a car and go wherever you're going.  It is a crazy system," said Ellison during an exclusive interview with Maria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria" on Thursday [10/25/2018].  Ellison, who said he hasn't spoken to Musk about the train, noted that their views are in-line.

Costly path-to-citizenship program comes under fire.  U.S. Customs and Immigration empowers 866 regional centers around the country to oversee EB-5 investments.  Recent years have seen numerous high-profile scandals at the centers.  One in Vermont was shut down this summer over allegations its principals misused over $200 million in a Ponzi-like scheme.  The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a Florida center blew a large chunk of $43.9 million in EB-5 investments.  And last year in California, two fraudsters pled guilty to stealing millions from EB-5 investors and trying to sell visas to people on China's "100 Most Wanted List."

Mogadishu, Minnesota.  When it was noted that the carry-on bags of multiple airline passengers traveling from Minneapolis to Somalia contained millions of dollars in cash, on a regular basis, law enforcement was naturally curious to know where the money came from and where it was going.  It soon emerged that millions of taxpayer dollars, and possibly much more, had been stolen through a massive scam of Minnesota's social-services sector, specifically through fraudulent daycare claims.  To make matters worse, the money appears to have wound up in areas of Somalia controlled by al-Shabab, the Islamic jihadist group responsible for numerous terrorist outrages.  Starting in the 1990s, the State Department directed thousands of refugees from Somalia's civil war to Minnesota, which is now home to the largest population of Somalis outside Somalia itself.

Air Force squadron spends $56,000 on metal coffee cups.  An Air Force squadron spent almost $56,000 to replace broken just dozens of metal coffee cups over the past three years, in the latest example Pentagon procurement pricing irregularities.  The cups are used by the 60th Aerial Port Squadron at Travis Air Force base in California because they can reheat coffee and tea on air refueling tankers in flight.  But, because of the container's design, the handle breaks easily whenever the cups are dropped.

Since there's plenty of money available...
Gov. 'Moonbeam' says California to launch climate satellite.  California Gov. Jerry Brown said Friday [9/14/2018] that [...] state officials will work with the San Francisco-based company Planet Labs to develop a satellite to track climate-change causing pollutants.

Millions Of Water Bottles Found Rotting In Puerto Rico As San Juan Mayor Continues To Bash Trump.  San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz has repeatedly attacked President Donald Trump over the U.S. government's response in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, even as 12 million bottles of water were discovered this week rotting on an airport runway in Puerto Rico.  BuzzFeed News reports that "Justo Hernández, deputy federal coordinating officer of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), told reporters that the 19,841 pallets of water were left on the runway at José Aponte de la Torre Airport and that as a result, 'some of that water was spoiled.'"

Massive stockpile of bottled water found in Puerto Rico a year after Maria.  Hundreds of thousands of water bottles meant for victims of Hurricane Maria are still sitting at a Puerto Rico airport — nearly a year after the deadly storm, according to a report.  A photo showing the bottles in boxes and covered in a blue tarp on a runway in Ceiba was shared widely on social media Tuesday evening.  "Although you don't believe it... almost a million boxes of water that were never delivered to the villages," posted Abdiel Santana, a photographer working for a Puerto Rican state police agency who took the pictures.  "Is there anyone who can explain this?"  FEMA acknowledged to CBS News on Wednesday [9/12/2018] that the bottles were brought inland in 2017 in the wake of the hurricane and that they were turned over to "central government."

A Portland-Area Effort To End Homelessness Shows How Not To Do It.  The Seattle Times published an interesting story today [8/27/2018] about the failure of an attempt by the city of Portland to offer shelter to everyone who needed it.  The so-called "no turn away" policy started, as these things often do, with a genuine desire to help families living on the street and ended two years later with a blown budget.

The Editor says...
Unfortunately, a "blown budget" is not perceived as a problem by most Democrats.  That's how we have accumulated a $21 trillion national debt.

Chicago Plans to Take on $10 Billion More Debt to Make Up for $28 Billon Pension Hole.  The Democrat-led city of Chicago has a new plan to try and make up the difference of a $28 billion pension deficit:  take on another $10 billion in debt.  As the pension for Chicago's municipal workers, including its police and firefighters, continues to spiral out of control, Democrat Mayor and former Barack Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is launching a scheme to float an additional $10 billion taxable bond offering, according to Fox Business Network.

A $2.2 million loss:
Failed VA wind turbine to be torn down in 2019.  A failed wind turbine at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center will be torn down. [...] The turbine was built in 2011 and never produced any energy for the VA.

50 Wacky Ways The Government Spends Your Money.  [#23] Fruit Of The Loons:  The University of Tennessee used $5 million of taxpayer money allowing student to dress up like fruits and veggies in an attempt to promote healthy eating habits.  "Students created the term 'fruved' to describe 'the process of eating FRUits and VEgetables.'"

Scott Pruitt used that $43,000 phone booth to call the White House once.  Remember earlier this year when the now-departed Scott Pruitt spent about $43,000 in taxpayer money to construct a secure phone booth in his office as director of the Environmental Protection Agency?  That seemed a little excessive even for a government agency that deals with sensitive — and controversial — environmental issues in an age of hacking. [...] When the initial $20,000 phone booth purchase price and $23,000 installation costs came out, Pruitt likened it to a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, a highly-secure location used by government officials for secure conversations and document-reading.  The EPA already has one of those SCIF rooms.  But the director would have had to go to a different floor from his office. [...] Now, we learn from newly-released agency records that Pruitt used the secure telephone booth only once to call the White House, which has its own very secure phone system.

Obama administration gave out $434 million in improper Obamacare payments:  Watchdog.  The Obama administration improperly paid out $434 million to Obamacare customers to pay down the cost of insurance in 2014, the first year the law's health insurance marketplaces went online, a federal watchdog reported Monday [8/13/2018].  Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General released a report Monday that outlined the improper payments during Obamacare's first year.

No justice for taxpaying Americans.  There are two systems of justice, but it's not so much about race as it is about immigration status.  If you're an American, chances are you get hard time.  If you're an illegal immigrant, you get everything, and I do mean everything, including an EBT card, MassHealth and a Sect. 8 housing certificate.  First, when the "racist" cops say you have the right to remain silent, the illegal says "no habla" English.  He gets a translator.  He claims he's "indigent," so he gets a public defender.  If he's charged with OUI, the public defender hires a psychologist (also on the taxpayers' dime) to say that the illegal immigrant "lacks the enzyme" to metabolize alcohol and thus can't be held accountable for killing some gringo.  But the real double standard kicks in when the undocumented Democrat gets to the courtroom.  A taxpaying American can only dream of the kid-gloves treatment these Third World fiends get.

Smug Seattle keeps throwing money after streetcar, bike lane fiasco that's totally off the rails.  Seattle was one of the first cities to get electric streetcars in the U.S., with the first electric car entering service in 1889.  With over a century of experience, you would think the city would know how to handle public transit.  Not so.  Taxpayers are paying a big price for the incompetence of city officials.  The public transportation system in Seattle is a mess.  Construction costs for new and upgraded streetcar and light rail lines are skyrocketing well above estimated costs.  One of the more unbelievable mistakes made was the purchase of 10 new streetcars last fall.  Apparently, when the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) ordered the cars no one thought to check the measurements.  The order was placed for street cars that are likely too big for the tracks and the maintenance barn.

Seattle's new streetcars may be too big to fit tracks, maintenance barn, mayor's office says.  The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) ordered 10 new streetcars in the fall, at a cost of $52 million, as it planned to link the two existing streetcar lines with a new line along First Avenue through downtown.  But Durkan halted that work in March and ordered an independent review of the project's finances, after a Seattle Times report said costs to operate the new system could be 50 percent higher than SDOT had publicly stated.

Seattle's $52M streetcar fiasco.  The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reportedly ordered 10 new streetcars last year, to help expand the Seattle Streetcar system by linking the two existing streetcar lines.  Questions [were] raised as to whether 10 new streetcars ordered by Seattle will fit current tracks[.]  But the new streetcars also are reportedly heavier and longer than the ones currently in use, raising concerns about whether they'll be used at all.

Florida domestic violence chief is paid $761,000 a year.  Tiffany Carr runs the state's top domestic violence organization, a nonprofit that uses public money — state and federal — to finance shelters and other essential services.  And she makes a good living.  How good?  In a June 30, 2017 report, the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence disclosed she is paid $761,560 annually, a salary that is approved by its board.  She hit that mark after receiving pay raises totaling $313,475 over a two-year period.

Jeb Bush's Florida do-gooder with a $761,000 salary.  [Scroll down]  So this woman, who runs this non-profit group that supposedly helps battered women, is really, truly worth her $761,560 salary, and the state just has to cough up for her because of all the value she brings, or else all is lost.  The racket is perpetrated not by civil service classifications, which are transparent to all, but by the contracting-out system, where less than transparent boards of directors sign off on these outrages, and who knows, get something they want from it.  The Herald reports that $761,000-woman Carr's group gets nearly all its money from the government.  She owns three houses, two of them expensive vacation homes, as part of a program set up by, surprise, then-gov. Jeb Bush.

15 Former Chicago Aldermen Collect 6-Figure Pensions.  Of the 38 former elected Chicago officials currently receiving pensions, 15 former aldermen see yearly payouts exceeding $100,000, according to documents from the Municipal Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, or MEABF. Two additional aldermen receive annual pension payouts just a few thousand dollars shy of $100,000.  On average, the 15 former aldermen collecting six-figure annual pensions have accumulated $768,500 in total gross pension benefits.  Four of those ex-aldermen have accumulated more than $1 million in gross benefits.

More about Chicago.

Wasteful spending will sink our country.  When government spends more money on projects to reduce global warming, for example, it is at the expense of increased costs of other goods people buy.  No one claims that it would prevent global warming because climate is determined by natural forces, and man-made global warming is only part of it.  Moreover, since electricity produced by wind and solar power is more costly than electricity produced from fossil fuels, businesses and consumers have to pay the higher utility costs, and consumers will have to pay higher prices for domestically produced goods.

Wasteful spending will sink our country.  There can be little doubt that federal government spending is excessive on a wide range of programs in nearly every department and agency.  Depending on whom you use as the source, there are 78 to 137 independent federal government agencies, most of which you probably never heard of.  How much it costs the federal government to ignore the cost of overspending in the programs of these agencies and how much it costs the private sector because too much is spent by the federal government is unknown, but it has to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Unbelievable Nerve:  Illegal Detainee Complaints Cross The Line.  Previous reports about illegal detainees haven't discussed the topic of food.  The detainees must be feeling more entitled to what they want.  Complaints of food not following "religious beliefs" are pretty shocking because these people are just lucky they survived crossing.  In other words, beggars shouldn't be choosers.  That might sound harsh but we are keeping thousands and thousands of these illegals at taxpayer expense.  America is over 20 TRILLION dollars in debt so you have to ask yourself how long we can be the world's babysitter.

Wasteful spending will sink our country.  The GAO reports that five federal agencies alone spent $3.1 billion on workers placed on administrative leave in a two-year time span.  The Heritage Foundation reported that Washington spends $25 billion annually maintaining unused or vacant federal properties; government auditors spent the past five years examining all federal programs and found that 22 percent of them — costing taxpayers a total of $123 billion annually — fail to show any positive impact on the populations they serve.  The Congressional Budget Office published a "Budget Options" series identifying more than $100 billion in potential spending cuts.  Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) wrote in a recent report that there was over $473 billion in wasteful spending in one recent year.

Feds order Georgia sheriff to return $69G spent on Hellcat muscle car.  A Georgia police department is in hot water over the purchase of a Hellcat muscle car.  Fox 5 reports that the U.S. Department of Justice has asked the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office to pay back $69,258 that it received from a federal program that distributes seized drug money to law enforcement agencies, which was used to buy the 707 hp Dodge Charger Hellcat in May.

Money laundering:
Inspector General:  Obama Paid $300 Million To 'People Who Don't Exist'.  Barack Obama will always be remembered for a series of highly irregular overseas payments to authoritarian regimes, however according to a report by the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, those wasted millions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Obama's largesse.  According to special inspector general John Sopko, Obama wasted at least $300 million on the salaries of "people who don't exist", who were supposedly operating in Afghanistan, far away from the prying eyes of U.S. oversight.

Atlanta airport reveals it spent nearly $4M on dog bathrooms.  Officials for the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport recently revealed that its seven new Service Animal Relief Areas, which were installed last year, cost a total of $3.9 million.  The airport installed the seven dog bathrooms, one in each concourse, last summer, but the cost to construct them was made public only this week, Fox 5 Atlanta reports.

A Mountain Of Surplus Cheese, Brought To You By The Federal Government.  The amount of surplus cheese is growing fast — up 6% in just the past year.  According to news accounts, the reason is that dairy production is climbing, while dairy consumption is falling. [...] In what other industry would you find producers continuing to ramp up production while demand slides, and then stuffing the growing pile of surplus into warehouses, hoping the federal government will buy some of it?  What makes the dairy industry different is decades of government efforts to "support" dairy farmers with various subsidy schemes.  The 2014 farm bill did away with old federal price support programs, but replaced them with heavily subsidized insurance that essentially guarantees margins for those who sign up.  This year, the dairy industry successfully lobbied Congress to expand this subsidy program.

How $21 Trillion in U.S. Tax Money Disappeared:  The following are highlights from the DOD IG "Summary of DOD Office of the Inspector General Audits of Financial Management":
  •   The financial management systems DOD has put in place to control and monitor the money flow don't facilitate but actually "prevent DOD from collecting and reporting financial information... that is accurate, reliable, and timely."  (p. 4)
  •   DOD frequently enters "unsupported" (i.e. imaginary) amounts in its books (p. 13) and uses those figures to make the books balance.  (p. 14)
  •   Inventory records are not reviewed and adjusted; unreliable and inaccurate data are used to report inventories, and purchases are made based on those distorted inventory reports.  (p. 7)
  •   DOD managers do not know how much money is in their accounts at the Treasury, or when they spend more than Congress appropriates to them.  (p. 5)
  •   Nor does DOD "record, report, collect, and reconcile" funds received from other agencies or the public (p. 6),
  •   DOD tracks neither buyer nor seller amounts when conducting transactions with other agencies.  (p. 12)
  •   "The cost and depreciation of the DOD general property, plant, and equipment are not reliably reported...." (p. 8);
  •   "...the value of DOD property and material in the possession of contractors is not reliably reported." (p. 9)
  •   DOD does not know who owes it money, nor how much. (p. 10.)

U.S. Post Office to pay $3.5M for using wrong Statue of Liberty on stamp.  The U.S. Postal Service was ordered last week to pay $3.5 million for mistakenly featuring Las Vegas' Statue of Liberty replica on a "forever" stamp instead of the original New York statue.  In a copyright infringement lawsuit, Las Vegas sculptor Robert Davidson sued the Postal Service five years ago over its 2011 forever stamp design.  Davidson created the replica Lady Liberty in the façade at the New-York-New-York casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

USPS must pay Statue of Liberty replica sculptor $3.5M.  They knocked off a knockoff — and now the US Postal Service must fork over $3.5 million to a sculptor who built the famously tacky Statue of Liberty replica in Las Vegas, a judge has ruled.  In an embarrassing and now costly move, the money-losing USPS used an image of Robert Davidson's "sexier" and "more fresh faced" faux Lady Liberty — instead of the majestic original in New York Harbor — on a popular patriotic stamp without permission, according to court records.  "We are satisfied that plaintiff succeeded in making the statue his own creation, particularly the face," Judge Eric G. Bruggink, of the US Court of Federal Claims, said last week.  "We find that defendant's use was infringing."

Handing them out like candy.
Seattle authorities luring homeless off the streets with plane tickets, rent payments.  Seattle is testing out other ideas, such as using tax payer money to purchase airfare for homeless people looking to stay with family in other places.  Last week, two people at the camp accepted plane tickets to Kansas to stay with friends in a more stable housing situation using the taxpayers' money.  Now [Mayor Jenny] Durkan is willing to dig deeper than just covering homeless people's airfare.  She is now proposing paying two months rent or even paying car repairs in order to keep people off the city's streets or give them opportunities to relocate.  Durken has described her plan of action as a diversion service.

Sounds like a slush fund:
New Jersey Funds the Media.  In the liberal mind, the way to prove you value something is by funding it with taxpayer money.  So if you love journalism, you take taxpayer money and give it to journalists.  It is a sacred mantra of the Left that corporate funding of media inevitably results in a pro-corporate media bias.  Consistency would dictate that government funding of media would lead to a pro-government bias.  Not in New Jersey. [...] Garden State legislators have approved a bill to use taxpayer money to support "grants to strengthen local news coverage," starting with an opening $5 million kitty.  The goal is to have $20 million allocated toward the "civic information" fund every year for five years.

Report: Taxpayers' Money Going To Islamic Charity Group With Ties To Terrorist Groups.  One of the largest Islamic charities in the world has financial ties to several terrorist organizations, according to a report obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.  Islamic Relief, the highly influential international nonprofit, receives funds from the Charitable Society for Social Welfare, for example, which was founded by Al-Qaida terrorist and "Bin Laden loyalist" Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani, the report says.  Islamic Relief is also accused of financially supporting Hamas, the militant and political Islamist organization regarded by much of the international community as a terrorist group.

French Research Agency Churning Out Pseudoscience on America's Dime.  Cancer research is big business, and with big business comes big corruption.  The embattled International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), based in Lyon, France, is in Congress's crosshairs again.  The U.S. House Science, Space and Technology (SST) Committee has been concerned about IARC's scientific integrity — and the millions of dollars of funding it receives from American taxpayers — since 2016.

US anti-narcotic effort in Afghanistan is a costly failure, official report finds.  Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan hit a record high last year, a US government watchdog has said, describing American-funded counternarcotics efforts in the war-torn country as a failure.  Since the American-led invasion in late 2001, the US has spent about $8.6bn on counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan, yet the country remains the world's largest producer of opium.  According to a new study by the office of the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (Sigar), opium cultivation reached about 328,000 hectares (1,265 square miles) in 2017 — a 63% jump from the year before and the greatest amount tallied since 2002.

The CIA studied the impact of space storms on psychic powers.  In late 2016 then-President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order on geomagnetic storm preparedness.  His plan, co-chaired by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, focused exclusively on guiding the country through damages to our power grid, which could cause an estimated $12 trillion in damages.  Apparently the Central Intelligence Agency took the issue with lack of concern over solar flare-induced psychic phenomena, however, dedicating part of its 824 page risk report on it.  The first part of the document, released to Michael Morisy, is entitled "Geomagnetic Factors in Subjective Telepathic, Precognitive and Postmortem Experiences."  It's just as bizarre as one might expect.

Restatement on Fozia Ali.  [Scroll down]  Fozia Ali served as the centerpiece of [Jeff] Baillon's story.  She stole $1.5 million from the Child Care Assistance Program over an 18-month period.  The media can't quibble with the facts of the Fozia Ali case.  Her guilty plea in federal court earlier this year told its own story, although the media somehow overlooked it.  Reviewing the facts of Ali's case I called and wrote the Minnesota Department of Human Services to ask one question:  "CCAP seems to be a program that is relatively easy to defraud.  How else to account for a case like Fozia Ali's and the multiplicity of similar cases?"  DHS responded:  "Any amount of fraud is too much.  DHS created the Office of the Inspector General in 2011 to address fraud, waste and abuse in public programs.  DHS has added resources and made recommendations to the Legislature to increase our ability to ensure public funds are used for those who need them."  DHS also instructed me not to attribute this nonresponse response to the person who provided it.

Robert Mueller Reveals The Price Tag For His Special Counsel Investigation.  The special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has cost nearly $17 million dollars so far, according to a new report from the Justice Department.  Robert Mueller's team of prosecutors and FBI special agents has spent by far the most money on covering salaries, followed by rent and information technology services, the statement of expenditures says.  The office has been operating for just over a year — since May 17, 2017, when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller, the former FBI director.

Mueller team spent $4.5 million in six months.  Special counsel Robert Mueller has cost American taxpayers another $4.5 million.  According to a new statement of expenditures released on Thursday [5/31/2018] showing expenses between Oct. 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, most of the money — $2.78 million — was spent on personnel compensation and benefits.  Mueller also announced an additional $5.476 million had been spent separately on the investigation by Justice Department officials not on Mueller's team.  He stated those costs "would have incurred" regardless of his own work and appointment by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Far from cages:  Feds pay $670 a day to make unaccompanied alien children 'comfortable'.  The image of two illegal immigrant children sleeping on the floor in a chain-link fence "cage" swept the internet last weekend, sparking misdirected anger from activists who blamed President Trump for the conditions — which were actually from 2014, when the photo was taken, under President Obama.  Here is another image:  illegal immigrant children set up in comfy dormitories, coloring with "multicultural crayons," watching their favorite soccer teams from back home on the extensive cable system, even kicking the ball around themselves on a beautiful new soccer field — all paid for by taxpayers.  There's "Spanish language yoga" for those that want it and trips to go bowling, to visit museums and even to hit up the amusement park, at $49 a ticket, also on taxpayers' tab.  The children chow on three meals a day plus snacks, since federal rules say they must be fed "until they are full."

Andrew McCabe Spent $70,000 On A Table.  The FBI Hid It From Congress.  Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who was fired for lying under oath, spent $70,000 in taxpayer dollars on a conference table.  The FBI also redacted the conference table's steep price tag from documents that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee requested, in an apparent attempt to hide it from Congress.  In a letter sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Wednesday, Sen. Chuck Grassley revealed that the FBI had redacted the cost of the table from a document he and his fellow members of the committee requested to see.  Grassley said many of the redactions within the documents made no sense, nor were they made to protect national security secrets.

Feds Spend $333,210 Studying Bars Along Mexico Border.  The National Institutes of Health is spending over $300,000 to study bars along the U.S.-Mexico border.  The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation is heading the project.  Among the study's aims are to examine whether bars in border towns like Mexicali have "more dancing" and "louder music."  The study, "Mexican American Drinking Contexts On and Away From the U.S.-Mexico Border," involves researchers going into bars for "unobtrusive systematic observations."

Mogadishu, Minnesota.  When it was noted that the carry-on bags of multiple airline passengers traveling from Minneapolis to Somalia contained millions of dollars in cash, on a regular basis, law enforcement was naturally curious to know where the money came from and where it was going.  It soon emerged that millions of taxpayer dollars, and possibly much more, had been stolen through a massive scam of Minnesota's social-services sector, specifically through fraudulent daycare claims.  To make matters worse, the money appears to have wound up in areas of Somalia controlled by al-Shabab, the Islamic jihadist group responsible for numerous terrorist outrages.

Minnesota Republicans call for crackdown on child care assistance fraud.  Minnesota Republicans said Tuesday [5/15/2018] they want to crack down on subsidized child-care providers who commit fraud, following a television news report that suggested illegally obtained funds may be going overseas to finance terrorist groups.  State and federal officials said Tuesday that they've seen no evidence of a link between Minnesota day-care operators and overseas terrorist groups, but that they welcome any additional resources to investigate fraud against the state's child-care subsidy program.  The legislation introduced Tuesday would enable the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to close child-care businesses that participate in the program but fail to fully cooperate with investigators.  It would also create new criminal and civil penalties for anyone who transferred fraudulently obtained money to countries on the U.S. State Department's travel ban list.

The Great Somali Welfare Rip-Off.  At the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the carry-on bag bulged with $1 million in cash from a welfare rip-off scheme.  The loot was headed for Somalia, some of it to regions controlled by the al Shabaab terrorist group, and this shipment was part of $100 million sent over the past year alone.  This scheme was not uncovered by the New York Times, CNN, "Frontline" or any "investigative" journalist in the old-line establishment media.  It came to light in [...] a story by Jeff Baillon of KMSP, a Fox News outlet in Minnesota and the subject of a Powerline blog by John Hinderaker on Monday [5/14/2018].  Back on March 5, Fox 9 got a tip about a man leaving the country with $1 million in cash, but this was only part of the story.

Millions of dollars in suitcases fly out of MSP, but why?  For five months, Fox 9 has been investigating what appears to be rampant fraud in a massive state program.  This fraud is suspected of costing Minnesota taxpayers as much as $100 million a year.  The Fox 9 Investigators reporting is based on public records and nearly a dozen government sources who have direct knowledge of what is happening.  These sources have a deep fear, and there is evidence to support their concerns, that some of that public money is ending up in the hands of terrorists.

FBI 'won't touch it' for fear of offending Muslims.
Refugees sending 'suitcases of welfare cash' home to Somalia.  Men and women pulling "suitcases full of cash" started showing up at Seattle's Sea-Tac Airport last year holding tickets for international flights bound for Africa.  Transporting large amounts of cash overseas is perfectly legal.  But it was who was carrying the money ... and where it was going that caught the attention of law enforcement, according to a report by KING 5, the local NBC affiliate for western Washington.  Those hauling the cash-laden cases were Somali-Americans who'd come to this country as refugees.  They routinely send money back to Somalia.  And many of the greenbacks headed to the jihadist-infested East African country come from welfare checks the refugees receive from the U.S. government, compliments of American taxpayers.  Carrying more than $10,000 while traveling out of the United States is legal as long as the traveler declares it by filling out a one-page federal form.  It was while looking at these slips of paper that terrorism expert Glenn Kerns found a disturbing pattern.

Here are 1,366 well sourced examples of Barack Obama's lies, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, hypocrisy, waste, etc..  [#36] During one of Obama's "stimulus" projects, $205,075 of combined federal and local government funding was spent to relocate and care for a single specimen of Arctostaphylos franciscana, a shrubbery which nurseries sell for $16.  [...] [#37] Obama's administration funded a study to see whether or not rats' enjoyment of the music of Miles Davis was increased when the rats were high on cocaine. [...] [#49] During Obama's presidency, the federal government repeatedly purchased soda for a cost of $3.40 per can. [...] [#50] Obama's "stimulus" paid to connect some households in Montana to the internet, at a cost of $7 million per household.[...] [#111] In 2012, the Obama administration spent $516,000 on a video game called "Prom Week." [...] [#115] Obama spent $27 million on pottery classes in Morocco. [...] [#122] In the summer of 2011, the Obama administration spent $50,000 on a George S. Patton impersonator.  [#123] The Obama administration spent $75,000 of taxpayer money on a bicycle. [...] [#159] In March 2013, it was reported that Obama was spending $277,050 of tax money per year for three professional calligraphists.  It was also reported that cheap computer software could produce the exact same calligraphy for a tiny fraction of that cost. [...] [#161] Obama spent $2.6 million to teach Chinese prostitutes how to drink responsibly on the job. [...] [#171] In May 2013, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $402,721 on underwear that detects the presence of cigarette smoke. [...] [#204] In July 2013, it was reported that Obama had spent $630,000 of taxpayers' money in order to get more Facebook "likes." [...] [#217] In July 2013, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $3 million to study the health risks of dating Mexican prostitutes. [...] [#324] In September 2013, the Obama administration spent $98,670 to build an outhouse at the Swede Park Trail Head in Alaska. [...] [#389] The Obamacare website was originally supposed to cost $94 million.  However, when it went online on October 1, 2013, it had already cost $634 million. [...] [#460] In August 2013, it was reported that the Obama administration would be spending $1.5 million to help women in Brazil quit smoking. [...] [#502] In December 2013, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $914,000 to study "romance as told in novels, films, comics, advice books, songs, and internet fan fiction." [#503] In December 2013, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $65 million on television ads to promote tourism in New York and New Jersey. [#504] In December 2013, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $1.5 million each year to tell the movie industry how to portray the FBI in movies. [...] [#542] In January 2014, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $2,797,979 so people in Veitnam could watch television. [...] [#522] In January 2013, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $544,338 for an "Enhanced Company Profile" on LinkedIn. [...] [#557] In February 2014, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $464,272 to find out why gay men in Peru get Syphilis. [...] [#690] In April 2014, the Obama administration spent $194,788 to study how transwomen use Facebook. [...] [#715] In May 2014, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $430,000 to renovate a house in Detroit, and then sold it for $80,000. [...] [#720] In July 2014, it reported that the Obama administration was spending $252 per day per child to house illegal aliens. [...] [#751] In June 2014, it was reported that the Phoenix VA Health Care System spent $20 million on solar panels while as many as 40 of its patients died while waiting for care. [...] [#797] Between 2010 and 2014, the Obama administration spent a total of $34 million of taxpayers' money to try to convince the people of Afghanistan to grow and eat soybeans. [...] [#865] In October 2014, it was reported that Obama had spent $466,642 of taxpayers' money to find out why obese teenage girls have a hard time getting dates. [...] [#874] In October 2014, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $667,000 of taxpayers' money to study the health benefits of watching reruns on television.  [#875] In October 2014, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $600,000 of taxpayers' money to find out why chimpanzees throw their poop.  [#876] In October 2014, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $350,000 of taxpayers' money to study the importance of imagination while golfing. [...] [#965] In December 2014, the Obama administration spent $33,341 to find out if gay and lesbian couples lived near stores that sold cigarettes. [...] [#1071] In 2014, the Obama administration spent $288,000 of taxpayers' money to relocate Diana Rubens, the director of the Philadelphia VA regional benefits office, a distance of 140 miles. [...] [#1075] In April 2015, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $410,265 of taxpayers' money to study gay men's level of satisfaction from their first sexual experience. [...] [#1087] In February 2015, the Obama administration spent $15,000 of taxpayers' money to have a comedian speak to employes of the U.S. Census Bureau. [...] [#1142] In September 2015, it was reported that Obama had spent $236,517 of taxpayers' money to create a video game to teach 11-year-old Kenyans how to use condoms. [...] [#1150] In October 2015, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $49,083 of taxpayers' money to create a network to support the gay, lesbian, bigender, and transsexual community in India. [...] [#1182] In November 2015, it was reported that the Department of Defense had spent $43 million of taxpayers' money to build a gas station in Sheberghan, Afghanistan, that was supposed to cost $500,000. [...] [#1189] In April 2016, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $336,413 of taxpayers' money to build a randomizer app that chooses left or right.  In the private sector, such an app can be built for $10.  [Or you could just flip a coin.] [...] [#1215] In March 2016, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $412,930 of taxpayers' money to study the "relationship between gender and glaciers." [...] [#1267] In August 2016, it was reported that the State Department had spent $185,000 of taxpayers' money on a piece of artwork that was made from balls of thread, and was displayed in Islamabad, Pakistan. [...] [#1275] In August 2016, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent taxpayers' money to try to convince lesbians to become farmers.

Feds Spend $318,876 on Mindfulness for Drunks.  The National Institutes of Health is spending over $300,000 getting drunks to practice mindfulness meditation.  The Wake Forest University study will seek to curb the cravings of "moderate to high" drinkers, which the researchers define as low as just one drink per day for women, and two drinks for men.  "The scientific premise of the Wake Forest Translational Alcohol Research Center (WF-TARC) is that the neurobiological substrates that contribute to alcohol use disorder (AUD) vulnerability and resilience are not fully understood," according to the grant for the study.  "Despite the fact that alcohol misuse contributes to 88,000 deaths in America each year, the effectiveness of currently available interventions is less than desirable and is demonstrated by relapse occurring in up to 70 [percent] of treated patients."

Amazon handling our national security:  Worse than you think.  The U.S. Department of Defense has more than 3,000 datacenters and countless applications.  The DOD smartly want to consolidate to save money.  In March, the DOD put out a request for a proposal about a compute cloud infrastructure.  Business Insider reports that Amazon is currently a shoe-in for the $10-billion contract.  One reason is because Amazon has already signed a $600M contract with the CIA to run a more secure datacenter in Washington, D.C.  Bryan Crabtree wrote an article talking about why it is a mistake for the U.S. military to choose Amazon.  Many don't realize there is already a free solution to this problem, called OpenStack.

Obama State Dept.  Gave Soros $9 Million To Support 'Socialist-Communist' Activities.  The Obama State Dept. and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2016 sent $9 million in U.S. taxpayer funds to a Soros-backed group, which used the money to fund far-left political activities in Albania, newly released documents show.  According to the watchdog website, Judicial Watch, which obtained the 32 pages of records through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the American tax dollars were used to help the country's socialist government push for highly controversial judicial "reform."  The records also provide insight into how the Soros operation "helped the State Department review grant applications from other groups for taxpayer funding."

DOJ announces $1M grant to cover costs associated with Parkland shooting.  The Justice Department has awarded a $1 million grant to Florida state and local law enforcement to cover expenses related to the Parkland high school shooting earlier this year.  The grant is intended to pay salary and overtime expenses for the first responders who arrived at the scene, according to a Justice Department release shared by ABC News.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that the department "stands ready to help them in any way we can."

The Editor says...
By what authority does the Justice Department give away a million dollars to cover the costs of cleaning up after an isolated criminal act?

Carving Off The Extra Bits Of Government Spending To Reduce The Deficit.  Ordinary Americans know what to do when they have too much debt.  They sit at the kitchen table and decide on what they can do without.  Clever families search their closets and sell items on eBay!  While eBay is not an option for the disposal of federal property, the President should follow Main Street's example and monetize excess property.  Not only would it help pay down the debt, but it also would be a clear demonstration to Main Street that President Trump is serious about changing an intrusive, wasteful federal government.

Now, EPA's Scott Pruitt buys a $43,000 phone booth.  President-elect Donald Trump promised the country he'd have the best Cabinet in history.  He didn't say when.  There's been considerable turnover as he sorts folks out.  David Shulkin is gone.  Rex Tillerson is gone.  Tom Price is gone.  Not to mention a battalion of White House aides.

Your taxes are funding terrorists.  U.S. economic aid to the Palestinian Authority — paid for by your tax dollars — averages $400 million a year.  The Palestinian Authority's 2018 budget includes approximately $360 million to support imprisoned terrorists and the families of dead terrorists — including murderers of Israelis and Americans.  These payments make about as much sense as having American taxpayers send monthly support checks to the families of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists or the family of the Las Vegas gunman who murdered 58 people last year.

A $76,000 Monthly Pension:  Why States and Cities Are Short on Cash.  A public university president in Oregon gives new meaning to the idea of a pensioner.  Joseph Robertson, an eye surgeon who retired as head of the Oregon Health & Science University last fall, receives the state's largest government pension.  It is $76,111.  Per month.  That is considerably more than the average Oregon family earns in a year.  Oregon — like many other states and cities, including New Jersey, Kentucky and Connecticut — is caught in a fiscal squeeze of its own making.  Its economy is growing, but the cost of its state-run pension system is growing faster.  More government workers are retiring, including more than 2,000, like Dr. Robertson, who get pensions exceeding $100,000 a year.

New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy Spends $13,000 on a Door.  New Jersey is already burdened by some of the highest property taxes in the nation, with the typical household paying 8% of their income in property taxes, or $8,353.  The State also charges an additional 1.4% — 8.97% income tax rate, for approximately another $4,000 paid by the median household.  That's somehow not enough to cover even a doorway for the State's new governor, Phil Murphy.

Dem New Jersey Governor Spends 13k In Taxpayer Funds On A Door For His Wife.  New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy spent nearly $13,000 of taxpayer money for his wife to have an office nearby.  The purpose of the taxpayer fund project was to turn a conference room down the hall from the governor's office into a private office for the first lady, New Jersey Advance Media reported.  The governor and first lady have spent $27,000 of taxpayer money refurbishing their respective work spaces since taking office in January.  The governor defended spending taxpayer money on a door Thursday [4/5/2018].

Obama State Dept used taxpayer dollars to fund George Soros group's political activities in Albania, watchdog group says.  The Obama administration sent U.S. taxpayer funds to a group backed by billionaire George Soros to fund left-wing activities in Albania, a conservative watchdog group says.  The group, Judicial Watch, obtained 32 pages of records from the Justice Department this week through a May 2017 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID.)  The new documents show USAID funds were sent through the agency's Civil Society Project to back Soros' left-wing "East West Management Institute" through USAID's "Justice for All" campaign.  USAID provided $8.8 million in 2016 to that campaign.

These 13 California legislators are getting two government checks a month.  Amid ongoing warnings about underfunded public employee pension funds, more than a dozen California state lawmakers are augmenting their $107,242 salaries by collecting retirement payments from previous government jobs, a practice that taxpayer activists condemn as "double dipping."  A string of reports in recent weeks have predicted greater financial challenges for state and local governments in meeting the financial obligations of public pension systems.  At the same time, taxpayer advocates are critical of policies that allow public officials to receive a government pension check while taking a salary from a different agency.  "The public never envisioned that kind of thing can be done, where you pile one check on top of another," said Jack Dean, vice president of the group California Pension Reform.

NASA awards Lockheed Skunk Works $247.5M supersonic X-plane.  Supersonic commercial air travel may once again become a reality under a partnership between NASA and Lockheed Martin.  The American space agency announced on Tuesday that it awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works to design, build and flight test the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator (LBFD), an X-plane that will be used by NASA to find ways to bring supersonic jet travel back to the skies.  The cost-plus-incentive-fee contract is valued at $247.5 million.

The Editor says...
If supersonic commercial air travel is economically feasible, that is, if there is sufficient demand for such a service, the airlines should pay for the development of the aircraft.  The Concorde proved there is insufficient demand.  Therefore this $247 million project is either a cover story or a white elephant.

Military Recruiting Slogans:  The Navy Sinks $457 Million.  With great fanfare the United States Navy has unveiled a new recruiting campaign built around the slogan, "Forged by the Sea."  The Navy paid its PR/advertising consultant Young & Rubicam $457 million to develop the new brand, which took 18 months to think up.

The Wall is National Defense.  What is defense?  Is it not to make Americans safe from foreign attack?  To prevent foreigners from imposing their way of life upon us, through invasion or other means?  To maintain the independence, peace, and prosperity of the already-existing American people?  Very little of what the government does in the name of defense accomplishes these things. [...] America maintains hundreds of overseas bases, builds and develops increasingly sophisticated conventional arms, continues to slog on inconclusively in Afghanistan, and, in spite of a smallish uniformed military, still spends mountains of money. [...] The substantial defense budget does nothing to prevent foreigners — whether mere economic migrants, violent drug gangs, or Islamic terrorists — from entering through our porous southern border.  Instead, it funds bases, multiple aircraft carriers, and super-weapons to protect us from ... who exactly?

Palestinian Government Still Paying Terrorists With U.S. Taxpayer Funds, Defying U.S. Law.  The Palestinian Authority is continuing to pay out salaries to convicted terrorists using funds provided by the American taxpayer, a policy that defies a recent U.S. law mandating the PA stop these subsidies or face a cutoff in U.S. aid dollars, according to U.S. and Israeli lawmakers who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.  Palestinian officials in recent days have rejected a new U.S. law, known as the Taylor Force Act, or TFA, that bans the PA government from providing salaries to terrorists and their families, a longstanding policy that had become the center of controversy after it was found U.S. taxpayer aid dollars to the Palestinians had been used to subsidize this practice.

HUD Gives Dicey Obama Plan to Transform Slums into Middle-Class Neighborhoods $5 Mil.  A controversial Obama program that's reaped enormous amounts of taxpayer money to transform slums into desirable middle-class neighborhoods just got a $5 million infusion from the Trump administration.  Known as Choice Neighborhoods, the costly experiment was the centerpiece of a broader Obama initiative to convert poverty-stricken neighborhoods into sustainable, mixed-income areas with affordable housing, safe streets and good schools. [...] During Obama's tenure Choice Neighborhoods received a breathtaking $375 million, according to HUD figures.  A substantial chunk of it — $120 million — was rewarded as a parting gift in 2016, the HUD numbers reveal and the largest portion — $122.27 million — was allocated in 2010 when Obama launched the program.  Like many of the former president's initiatives, large sums of cash went to leftist nonprofits and community groups that aligned with his liberal agenda.

Here's what Congress is stuffing into its $1.3 trillion spending bill.  [Scroll down]  Arts:  Federal funding for the arts goes up, despite GOP attempts to slash it.  The National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities will see funding climb to $152.8 million each, a $3 million increase over the last fiscal year.  Trump proposed eliminating the endowments.  The National Gallery of Art gets $165.9 million, a $1.04 million jump in funding.  The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will receive $40.5 million, which is $4 million more than the last fiscal year.

These 5 Horrible Bureaucrats Beat the Clock and Kept Their Pensions.  [#1] John Beale:  Beginning in 2000, eight years before he was eligible for retirement, Beale, a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency, began telling his boss he was moonlighting as a secret agent to get out of work.  He would leave his job for as long as 18 months at a time — adding up to two and a half years in total — claiming to be on top-secret missions to Pakistan while actually heading off to his vacation house in Massachusetts.  When he did travel for his actual job, Beale ensured that he traveled in James Bond-esque style by claiming to have lumbar problems that required him to be seated in first class.  While Beale did time for his numerous crimes, he retired in 2011 before he could be fired and, to this day, receives a full pension for his brave service.

FBI Scandal Over Andrew McCabe's 'Lost' Pension Isn't What You Think.  The outrage and self-righteous posturing over the fact that fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe might lose his FBI pension is misplaced.  What's truly outrageous is how large and lavish government benefits have become.

Interior spending $139K to upgrade doors in Zinke's office.  The Interior Department is spending nearly $139,000 to upgrade three sets of double doors in the office of Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Pass the Taylor Force Act to Curb Terror.  "It was just two years ago that Taylor Force, a 28-year-old American tourist and former U.S. Army captain who had served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was stabbed to death in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian terrorist who was then shot dead by Israeli police.  While the Force family mourned, the terrorist's family on the West Bank celebrated and pocketed cash from the Palestinian Authority, as do all terrorists' families. [...] The Taylor Force Act, named after a good American murdered by radicals, would stop all U.S. aid to the PA — $300 million a year — unless and until these sickening official rewards for terror cease.

Weeding Out Waste and Fraud at Federal Agencies.  [Scroll down]  The I.G. report noted that under the terms of the project, DOE was supposed to obtain invoices from [Summit Texas Clean Energy] prior to allowing expenses or reimbursing the company, but the I.G. found that DOE had approved more than $38 million in reimbursements without receiving proper documentation.  Among the expenses the IG deemed "potentially unallowable" were bills sent by Summit to DOE for more than $1.2 million in lobbying costs and $1.3 million in "questionable or prohibited" travel-related expenses.  Under federal law, companies partnering with the federal government are disallowed from charging the government for their lobbying activities.  The travel-related expenses included more than $650,000 paid to a consultant for Summit, which the consultant spent on items such as a spa service, alcohol, first-class travel, limousine services, receipts in foreign currency, and business meals.

America Is Finally Catching Up on Clean Coal.  That the Obama administration was out to severely curtail fossil fuel use is well known.  The former president's scorn for coal was abundantly obvious, and the Paris agreement was its embodiment.  Despite proclaiming the U.S. the "Saudi Arabia of coal," in May 2008, Obama soon back-flipped once in office and turned against the resource.  Within a year, Obama unleashed the war on coal when he proposed a nationwide cap-and-trade system targeting local plants, stifling coal companies with excessive regulation, and cutting billions in funding for clean coal projects across the country.  Worse, what remained of the federal grants for such projects was allowed to be willfully misspent.  In an example of the utter incompetence of the Obama White House, power firm Summit Power Group squandered parts of a $450-million stimulus grant on absurd excesses rather than using the money to advance a long sought after clean coal project in Texas.

California bullet train costs soar to $77B; opening delayed.  The projected cost of California's bullet train between San Francisco and Los Angeles has jumped to $77 billion and the completion date has been pushed back four years to 2033, according to a business plan released Friday [3/9/2018].  The plan by the California High-Speed Rail Authority presents the latest setbacks for a project that's been beleaguered by delays and cost overruns since voters first gave it the green[ ]light in 2008.

Understanding the California Mind.  A record of nearly $30 billion a year is forecast to be sent this year as remittances home to Mexico.  If the sum is assumed to be wired largely by the reported 11 million illegal aliens, then illegal immigrants are sending per capita around $2,700 home per year.  Again, in per capita terms, a household of five would average about $1,100 sent home per month to Mexico — a generosity impossible without the subsidies of the American taxpayer.

America's Missing Money.  On September 10, 2001, then U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld disclosed that his department was unable to account for roughly $2.3 trillion worth of transactions.  The next day, the U.S. sustained the terrorist attacks that changed the world, and this startling revelation was forgotten.  When an account discrepancy occurs that cannot be traced, it's customary to make what is called an "un-documentable adjustment."  This is similar to when your checkbook balance is off by, say, ten dollars; you add or subtract that amount to make everything balance with the bank.  In 1999, the amount that the Pentagon adjusted was eight times the Defense Department budget for that year; it was one-third greater than the entire federal budget.  By 2015, the amount reported missing by the Office of the Inspector General had increased to $6.5 trillion — and that was just for the army.  Using public data from federal databases, Mark Skidmore, a professor of economics at Michigan State University, found that $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments had been reported by the Defense and Housing and Urban Development departments between 1998 and 2015.

It's Not Enough to Get Paid for Not Working:  These L.A. Police and Firefighters Figured Out How to Double It.  Take a program that lets a public employee earn both a pension and a salary at the same time.  Add an extremely generous disability leave and workers' compensation program that allows public employees to be paid while not working for months or even years on end.  What do you get?  Massive corruption, obviously.  A new report from the Los Angeles Times attempts to quantify the costs and consequences of a program allowing L.A. police and firefighters to collect both salaries and pension returns in the years running up to retirement.  But these same employees often spend massive chunks of their final years on the payroll out on medical leave — so they're costing the city even more money without actually working.

Welfare for refugees — my, how the U.S. taxpayer does pay.  Taxpayers in the United States are shelling out a reported $867 million each year to support refugees who've been resettled in this country and make sure they have adequate food and clothing and the like.  In the overall federal budgeting scheme, that's maybe small potatoes.  But at the same time, if we're talking welfare — and we are — then it would seem the more American thing to pay for those already in-country, already legal citizens, before paying for those who are simply visitors.

Study: Welfare for Foreign Refugees Costs U.S. Taxpayers $870M Annually.  Every year, American taxpayers pay nearly $870 million on welfare for foreign refugees who are resettled across the United States by the State Department.  A new study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) reveals that annually, foreign refugees are being given about $867 million in welfare benefits that U.S. taxpayers pay for.  Every year, taxpayers are billed about $1.8 billion for the full cost of resettling foreign refugees, and after five years, American taxpayers will have spent about $8.8 billion on resettling foreign refugees.

The House That Pocahantas Built.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau exists to spend consumers' finances like drunken sailors who just found out they've been drinking fermented AIDS. [...] Socialist Opulence is, like government, what we all do together.  It's just that only a certain Elect get to benefit from it.

An Exclusive Peek Into Elizabeth Warren's Luxurious CFPB Headquarters.  The first thing that stands out is that the office space does not feel like a government building at all.  It could be an upscale hotel, a college campus or a corporate headquarters.  "There was interest to move this above a Class C Building," said a CFPB source familiar with the renovation and the operation of the building.  "Now it's a Class A building," he told TheDCNF.  The Building Owners and Managers Association International, which represents owners and managers of all commercial office buildings, describe Class A buildings as "the most coveted buildings in the marketplace."  The $124 million spent to date for the 303,000 square foot office building is $409 per square foot, more than Trump World Tower, which cost $334 per square foot or Las Vegas' Bellagio Hotel and Casino, priced at $330 per square foot.

FEMA Contract Called for 30 Million Meals for Puerto Ricans. 50,000 Were Delivered.  Two Democrats are calling for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be subpoenaed for documents relating to Hurricane Maria, suggesting the agency failed to provide tens of millions of meals after the storm devastated Puerto Rico.  US Rep. Elijah Cummings and Stacey Plaskett, the congressional delegate from the US Virgin Islands, signed a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy on Tuesday morning [2/6/2018], calling into question a $156 million contract awarded to a small Atlanta-based company, Tribute Contracting LLC.

This happened under Obama, not Trump:
Pentagon Auditor Can't Account For $800 Million In Spending.  The Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has reportedly "lost track" of hundreds of millions of dollars it spent, said Ernst & Young, the accounting firm conducting the first-ever Pentagon audit, according to Politico.  E&Y discovered that DLA "failed to properly document more than $800 million in construction projects," said Politico, which also reported this is just one of the many instances where millions of dollars went missing as the accountability system inside the Pentagon is broken.  Worse, according to Politico, the first-ever audit, covering the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2016, signals complete incompetence about how the Pentagon handles its $700 billion annual budget.

Obama's Administration Miscalculated $500 Billion.  [Scroll down]  These mistakes amounted to $278.5 billion in misstatements in financial notes altogether.  This was basically a half billion dollar error in budgetary resources and $19.5 billion in discrepancies of line items of the report that was not the same as those when the audit was first submitted.  All reports together suffered a $516 billion in corrections and additional $3.4 billion to the financial statement.  The Inspector General was aware of the HUD's corrections, but the difference in cost was substantial.  As stated earlier, the media didn't care for this story a lot, because it didn't fit them to care.  Instead, they focused on what President Donald Trump was doing, especially in the intensified last week of the elections.

An Illegal Immigrant Almost Killed My Family.  [Scroll down]  Thankfully, nobody in my family was seriously hurt, though my sister had braces and her mouth was bloodied.  By providence, the younger kids sitting in the back had been wearing their seat belts.  A few people in our vehicle had back pain after the accident, and I still have a herniated disk with the accompanying neck, shoulder, and arm issues, a result of the airbag blowing my arm back as my body went forward (my right arm and hand ache as I write this today).  The drunk driver was thrown from his car and almost died.  Bystanders who ran a bait shop on that road, along with arriving police officers, administered emergency care and helped save the man's life.  He was later airlifted to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  The man was not only drunk when he hit us, but had also snorted cocaine before heading down the road.  If the man hadn't hit us, we were told, it was likely he would have careened into a house or business on the other side of the road.  We moved on with our lives.  The police officers told us the man had no insurance, and was in the United States illegally.  Because of this, we assumed he was deported.

The Editor says...
How many un-recoverable taxpayer dollars were spent to airlift this perpetrator to (and treat him in) the Mayo Clinic?

Cuomo wants to let Dreamers go to college for free.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to give another break to immigrant Dreamers by extending free public college tuition to students who were brought into the United States illegally as kids.  Cuomo tucked a provision in his $168 billion budget plan that would amend state education law to make the undocumented students eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship program, which covers tuition costs for students from families with incomes of up to $125,000.  On Tuesday [1/23/2018], he said the state would continue providing Medicaid to Dreamers regardless of any federal changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Convicted Dems Corrine Brown and Chaka Fattah Still Receiving Taxpayer-Funded Pensions.  Former Democratic representatives Corrine Brown (Fla.) and Chaka Fattah (Pa.) are still receiving taxpayer-funded federal pensions despite being convicted and sentenced to prison on corruption charges.  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon that Brown is still receiving Federal Employees' Retirement System annuity benefits even though she was sentenced to prison for wire fraud and tax evasion — actions that stemmed from a sham charity founded by the former congresswoman.

Leftist Group that Blasted Trump Over DACA Gets Biggest Slice of $37 Mil HUD Grant.  A leftist group that attacked President Trump for terminating an Obama program that protects hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. is being rewarded with taxpayer dollars.  The Washington D.C. nonprofit, National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), will get the largest chunk — $999,962 — of a $37 million grant awarded this week to fight housing discrimination.  The cash is being distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), an agency long embroiled in a multitude of scandals and well known for waste and abuse.  The generous award comes on the heels of NFHA's Trump bashing over a contentious policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that shields nearly 800,000 illegal aliens under the age of 31 from deportation and lets them obtain work permits and drivers' licenses.

Some Mentally Ill, Some Radical Refugee Men Rejected by Australia Arrive in the States.  One is heading to New Jersey, another to Tennessee to study human rights which is the trade of the hard-left.  Others are going to North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, states the left wants to turn blue for the most part.  This is one group of at least forty.  No American, Australian or U.N. official will tell us who they are and where they are going in the States.  They were rejected by Australia and many have been radical left protesters while stranded on an island.  Others will require a lot of therapy we are told.  Hundreds of them are mentally ill.  We have nothing against these people and sure hope they succeed but the people behind it really are only being generous with your money and your welfare.  You have no idea how bad some of these refugees are.  They take a fortune to educate and some can't be educated well because of their intelligence and mental issues.

Overpriced Afghanistan Helicopter Upgrades Are A US Taxpayer Handout For Contractors.  [Scroll down]  DoD returned to Congress with improbable news that an Mi-17 cost $20 million, while a refurbished H-60 could be had for only $6 million.  The Pentagon also discounted the Hip's significant cargo capacity, its ability to carry substantial armaments while ferrying troops or cargo, and its use for close air support.  But $20 million for an Mi-17?  You don't want to take those DoD guys with you when you go new car shopping.  You can order a new Mi-17 from the maker, Kazan Helicopters, for $14-15 million "depending on extras and avionics."

Importing The [Bad Places].  Is there any question Haiti is a [bad place]?  Who's offended by that?  If it wasn't a [bad place] it wouldn't be one of the most prominent recipients of American charity aid on Planet Earth.  And it isn't like this country has ignored Haiti — we've been trying to lift it out of [bad place] status for more than a century, with absolutely no result whatever.  In 1910, President William Howard Taft granted Haiti a large loan in hopes that Haiti could pay off its staggering international debt and therefore achieve a larger measure of independence from Europe.  The result?  Haiti defaulted and U.S. tax dollars were poured into a bottomless pit.  In 1915, following the assassination of Haitian president Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, President Woodrow Wilson sent in the U.S. Marines to help establish order there — and the American military presence in Haiti didn't end until 1934.

A New CFPB Scandal — Cost Overruns for Its New Luxury Headquarters.  Renovation costs for the brand new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau headquarters have skyrocketed, posting 25 percent in cost overruns — significantly above the original budget set by the General Services Administration, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.  Original cost estimates for the CFPB's renovation were estimated at $55 million, but the bureau ran up the proposed cost to $216 million.  The Federal Reserve Inspector General rejected the proposal in 2014, saying there was no "sound basis" for the figure.  As the CFPB renovation costs continued to escalate, renovation was taken out of the CFPB's hands and transferred to the General Services Administration (GSA).  GSA's budget, however, was nearly twice the original $55 million, hitting $99 million.

A New CFPB Scandal — Cost Overruns for It's [sic] New Lux Headquarters.  Renovation costs for the brand new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau headquarters have skyrocketed, posting 25 percent in cost overruns — significantly above the original budget set by the General Services Administration, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.  Original cost estimates for the CFPB's renovation were estimated at $55 million, but the bureau ran up the proposed cost to $216 million.  The Federal Reserve Inspector General rejected the proposal in 2014, saying there was no "sound basis" for the figure.  As the CFPB renovation costs continued to escalate, renovation was taken out of the CFPB's hands and transferred to the General Services Administration (GSA).  GSA's budget, however, was nearly twice the original $55 million, hitting $99 million.

The Editor says...
Please note that the government is spending millions to refurbish the headquarters of an agency that shouldn't even exist.

'Mapping the Swamp' report finds 30,000 feds earn more than any governor.  The 40-page report, titled "Mapping the Swamp" and released by government watchdog group OpenTheBooks, focused on the "size, scope and power" of the federal government — and found salary spending for high-paid employees on the rise.  "The number of highly compensated federal employees is growing," the report said, describing six-figure salaries as increasingly common.  According to the report, the number of federal employees making $200,000 or more increased by 165 percent between fiscal 2010 and 2016.  Federal employees making $150,000 or more grew by 60 percent, with the number making more than $100,000 increasing by 37 percent in the same time period.

A Tally of Iran Sanctions Relief Includes More Than $10 Billion in Cash, Gold.  In the three years since a preliminary nuclear deal was struck with Iran, Tehran has received more than $10 billion in sanctions relief from around the world in the form of cash and gold, according to current and former U.S. officials.  The large shipments of gold and cash, from oil funds unfrozen in numerous countries, represent the kind of financial relief that made Iran's leaders eager to complete the international nuclear accord.

New York City subway construction 'is the most expensive in the world'.  Construction projects for New York City subways are the most expensive in the world thanks to overall mismanagement by transit officials, favoritism toward powerful special interests like labor unions and building firms, inefficient staffing, and a bloated bureaucracy, according to a report published on Friday [11/29/2017].  A lengthy expose by The New York Times reveals why New Yorkers are forced to foot the highest costs for the maintenance and expansion of their transit system than those in other world class cities.  The report found that the agency in charge of the subways, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, wastes massive sums of money by employing too many people to do work that can be performed in the same amount of time by half the number of personnel.

11 Outrageous Ways Government Wasted $473 Billion in 2017.  All we hear from Democrats about the tax cuts or border wall is that it will "blow a hole in the deficit" or something.  Well maybe, if the government would stop wasting billions of dollars on outrageous programs like these eleven, that money could be used for whatever shortfalls come from the tax cuts and border wall.  All of these programs are leftovers from the Obama regime.

Guess where high school dropouts can make $400 an hour.  It turns out I have just the job for you:  performing largely unskilled labor building subway tunnels in New York City! [...] But maybe the idea of working on subway tunnels, even at $400 an hour, doesn't appeal to you.  If you're willing to consider a small pay cut, consider working for the New York transit authority, where the average compensation is $140,000 a year.

New York City subway construction 'is the most expensive in the world' thanks to bloated staffing, inflated wages of up to $1,000 a day, and favoritism to unions.  Construction projects for New York City subways are the most expensive in the world thanks to overall mismanagement by transit officials, favoritism toward powerful special interests like labor unions and building firms, inefficient staffing, and a bloated bureaucracy, according to a report published on Friday [12/29/2017].  A lengthy expose by The New York Times reveals why New Yorkers are forced to foot the highest costs for the maintenance and expansion of their transit system than those in other world class cities.  The report found that the agency in charge of the subways, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, wastes massive sums of money by employing too many people to do work that can be performed in the same amount of time by half the number of personnel.

Propaganda costs money.
'Mapping The Swamp' Report Shows It's Even Bigger, Costlier Than You Think.  James P. Cochrane earns $250,335 annually as chief marketing and sales officer for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), making him the highest paid public relations employee of the federal government.  The USPS lost $5.1 billion in 2016.  Right behind Cochrane is Stephen Katsanos, who pulls down $229,333 as a public affairs official for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).  And the third highest-paid federal public relations employee is Titus Simmons, also of the FDIC, at $215,248, according to "Mapping The Swamp," a new report compiled by Open The Books, an independent nonprofit that tracks federal spending using the government's own numbers.  These three individuals are among the 3,618 federal workers who get an average of $101,827 annually to put the best possible "spin" on government every day.  That comes to $368.4 million a year.

Top 10 States That Rely Most on Federal Aid.  A new report by the Tax Foundation shows what percentage of each state's revenue comes from the federal government through federal grants-in-aid, a sum that in total has reached $600 billion a year.  Federal grants-in-aid to state and local governments include payments for Medicaid, education funding assistance, infrastructure project support, housing grants, and other payments, according to the Tax Foundation.  For fiscal year 2013, which is the latest year for complete data, the Tax Foundation found that Mississippi got 42.9% of its general revenue from the federal government, and Louisiana came in second with 41.9% of its revenue from the U.S. Treasury.

Why Trump Should Stop Funding the U.N.'s Palestinian 'Refugee' Agency.  Amid the Trump administration's threats about cutting funding to the United Nations and member states, the White House should seriously consider entirely defunding the scandalous U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which ministers to so-called Palestinian refugees.  The U.S. is UNRWA's single largest donor, and the Trump administration has reportedly been mulling whether to continue providing its annual contribution of more than $300 million.

Has Our Government Spent $21 Trillion Of Our Money Without Telling Us?  On July 26, 2016, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a report "Army General Fund Adjustments Not Adequately Documented or Supported".  The report indicates that for fiscal year 2015 the Army failed to provide adequate support for $6.5 trillion in journal voucher adjustments.  According to the GAO's Comptroller General, "Journal vouchers are summary-level accounting adjustments made when balances between systems cannot be reconciled.  Often these journal vouchers are unsupported, meaning they lack supporting documentation to justify the adjustment or are not tied to specific accounting transactions.  For an auditor, journal vouchers are a red flag for transactions not being captured, reported, or summarized correctly." [...] Given that the entire Army budget in fiscal year 2015 was $120 billion, unsupported adjustments were 54 times the level of spending authorized by Congress.

House GOP Agrees on $81 Billion in Disaster Spending.  The Refugee Act of 1980 created the official United States Refugee Admissions Program, and like any other government-funded industry, their original mission has long been forgotten.  Resettlement policies have devolved into another bureaucracy, where government and non-profit agencies work to protect their jobs and expand "services."  Currently, legitimate refugees must prove that they are persecuted for one of several reasons: political persuasion, religion, race, etc., but efforts are underway by the refugee industry to expand the definition to anyone moving anywhere for any reason.  The latest designation is the "climate refugee:"  people escaping changing weather patterns where they live are now "refugees" too.

Senate Dems Blew $20 Mil Studying UFOs as Kickback to Donor.  'Uniparty' talk is fashionable these days.  Yes there's a lot wrong with the GOP. But nobody matches the sheer level of crazy corruption of the Dems. [...] These are people who believe UFOs are real, but Islamic terrorists are imaginary.

$22 Million Spent on UFO Program Benefitting Friend of Harry Reid.  The Department of Defense spent $22 million on a program involving unidentified flying objects, with most of the funds going to a friend of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.).  The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which for years investigated reports of UFOs, was initially largely funded at the request of Reid, who has long held an interest in space phenomena, the New York Times reports.  The majority of designated funds went to an aerospace research company run by Reid's longterm friend Robert Bigelow.  The billionaire entrepreneur said in May he was "absolutely convinced" aliens exist and UFOs have visited Earth.

EPA spent millions in taxpayer dollars to push climate change propaganda via social media.  Under the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency was one of the most tyrannical, lawless institutions in the entire country, spitting out tens of thousands of unconstitutional regulations each year and compelling businesses to abide by the left's radical climate change agenda.  Mind you, these are regulations that the American people did not vote for, nor do they necessarily support; rather, the EPA's agenda under the Obama regime was wholly undemocratic and against the principles that America was founded upon.

Let's Kill the CDBG.  Nothing in President Donald Trump's first federal budget, issued earlier this year, produced more howls of indignation than the proposal to kill off a remnant of the War on Poverty known as the Community Development Block Grant program, or CDBG.  Politicians, advocates, the liberal media, and executives of nonprofits that receive these often-sizable grants denounced Trump's plan as devastating. [...] The overheated rhetoric came in defense of one of the nation's most wasteful and ineffective domestic-spending programs.  Conceived in the early 1970s as a way to give local officials a say in how federal poverty aid gets doled out, the CDBG has sent some $150 billion to impoverished neighborhoods in Baltimore, Buffalo, Newark, and other struggling cities, with little or nothing positive to show for it.  Worse, the CDBG has created a local patronage racket, funding politically connected nonprofits that do little to spur economic development.  And to build further support, Congress extended CDBG funding to wealthier areas, so that grants now help build tennis courts and swimming pools in neighborhoods with above-average incomes.

While Pleading For Help And Mired In Debt Puerto Rico Pays Out Christmas Bonuses.  It has actually been an annual tradition; a US territory sunk deep in a debt crisis doles out bonuses to federal employees at Christmastime, coming due in the coming week.  What makes this year's Yuletide largesse more pronounced is that the debt has not only worsened, but currently the country is pleading for Congress to shell out billions in hurricane relief aid dollars.  The bonuses themselves really are not the issue.  The island will pay out roughly $100 million in Christmas checks this year while facing tens of billions of dollars in the red.  At the same time as these payouts the Governor, Ricardo Rossello, is asking for just shy of $100 BILLION in relief aid for the island.  While the bonuses are not central to the island's financials they do typify some of the underlying issues leading to the debt crisis.

Puerto Rico gives out $100 million in bonuses after pleading for $94 billion in hurricane relief.  Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello Nevares last month asked federal taxpayers to shell out $94 billion to pay for the territory's recovery from Hurricane Maria — then turned around and paid out about $100 million in Christmas bonuses to island government employees.  The governor's aides say the bonuses are a longstanding tradition and part of the law, and were planned for in the budget approved last summer.  But that budget came well before Hurricanes Irma and Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, leaving much of the territory in ruin and leaving the government begging for federal assistance.

How Much Should Taxpayers Invest in Elon Musk?  Few people realize that [Elon] Musk played an important part in the creation of PayPal.  More familiar is Musk's role as the CEO of Tesla, an innovative and increasingly successful auto manufacturer that produces stylish electric cars.  He also helped found SolarCity, one of the leading companies in the United States that manufactures solar panels. [...] Like all celebrated inventors/entrepreneurs, however, Musk has had his share of failures and detractors, and more importantly his successes have always come at a price.  Increasingly, that price is borne by taxpayers, in the form of costly subsidies, tax breaks, and government contracts.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Musk's companies have received, or will receive, government subsidies and tax breaks totaling $4.9 billion!  It is thus reasonable to ask:  is Elon Musk worthy of such a giant investment of taxpayer dollars?

Washington Post inadvertently unmasks climate change scam.  Wait a second.  If carbon dioxide really were a threat to the planet, other countries would dig deeper in their pockets to pay for this. [...] So basically this is another foreign aid scam, which usually becomes a welfare program for dictators.

Pentagon pays for service member's gender reassignment surgery.  An active-duty service member has undergone gender reassignment surgery, the Pentagon said Tuesday [11/14/2017].  Defense Department spokesman Dana White said in a statement that the military's health coverage paid for the surgery because the doctor who performed the operation deemed it to be medically necessary.  "Military hospitals do not have the surgical expertise to perform this type of surgery, therefore it was conducted in a private hospital," said White, who added that that because the service member "had already begun a sex-reassignment course of treatment ... a waiver was approved by the director of the Defense Health Agency."

Pentagon Approves Gender-Reassignment Surgery for Service Member.  The Pentagon approved a gender-reassignment surgery for an active-duty military member, defense officials said on Tuesday, four months after President Trump abruptly announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military.  The surgery is the latest setback to Mr. Trump's effort to put a ban in place.  Two weeks ago, a federal judge temporarily blocked the ban, ruling that the justification for it was suspect and most likely unconstitutional.  Even before the ruling, officials at the Defense Department had been slow-walking Mr. Trump's orders, telling transgender members of the military that they could continue to serve openly while the Pentagon decided how to handle the ban.

That Teenage Illegal Immigrant That Got An Abortion?  Now She's Seeking Mental Health Treatment.  Remember in late October when a teenage illegal immigrant girl in Texas who was pregnant with a 16-week-old baby decided she wanted an abortion, and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Trump Administration, which was trying to save the baby?  The girl said through the ACLU, "People I don't even know are trying to make me change my mind.  I made my decision and that is between me and God."  Guess what?  According to the government, after killing her baby, the girl is seeking mental health treatment.

Should the American taxpayer be required to subsidize an industry that could not survive on its own?  Following news that President Trump's draft budget repeals the $7,500-per-vehicle federal tax credit for electric cars, Tesla's share price took more than a 7% dip.  Electric vehicles are the only kind Tesla makes, and it receives other subsidies as well.  At the state level, it receives carbon credits, which it can sell to companies that don't exclusively sell electric cars.  These credits have the effect of raising the price that consumers pay for non-electric cars.  So the middle class Deplorable in his Ford Explorer has been subsidizing the much richer guy in his Tesla.  Additionally, several states offer rebates to buyers of electric cars.  To the extent that state taxes are deductible from federal taxes, Americans in other states are subsidizing the "green" state cars.  This is not even to mention the various subsidies states and municipalities offer to induce green companies to build plants in their area, which also ultimately get passed via the state tax pass-through.

Congresswoman: Transgender 'Medical Condition' Disqualifies Someone from Military Service.  Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) said the U.S. military should be able to deny transgender individuals from serving for the same reasons it prohibits people with asthma, flat feet or diabetes from serving.  She told a story about a constituent who wanted to serve in the armed forces but was rejected entry due to asthma.  "The health risks outweighed the benefits to the military and precluded his service," she said during a "Keeping Our Military Ready" event at the Family Research Council last week.  "Having gender reassignment surgery prevents military members from deploying for up to 267 days for surgery alone and it costs the taxpayers billions.  Certainly, to be consistent and fair, this medical condition should be precluded as well."

IRS gives illegals welfare, forces Obamacare tax on Americans.  In 2011, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Collection released a shocking report detailing how illegal aliens are able to utilize a filing loophole to obtain $4.2 billion every year in Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) funds.  The ACTC, much like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), is refundable, meaning it's essentially a welfare payment through the tax code.  While the IRS requires tax filers to supply a valid Social Security number in order to receive the EITC, they purposely allow illegal aliens to get the ACTC by simply providing an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) supplied to them by the IRS itself.  It's yet another classic case of the fox guarding the hen house.  The IRS could easily check with DHS and the Social Security Administration to verify one's legal status and hold up any tax credits for illegal aliens, yet they concocted a scheme to ensure they get welfare.

"Germany's entire submarine fleet is now out of action".  The Associated Press reported all German submarines are out of commission.  All six of them.  Germany commissioned some 1,250 U-boats into the Kriegsmarine, according to Wikipedia.  Face it, Germany plays America for a fool.  We are its military.  It laughs at us and mocks our president.  We're the suckers for covering for them.

Per Capita Federal Spending Up Sevenfold Since 1941.  In fiscal 1941, real per capita federal spending was approximately $1,718.  In fiscal 2017, which concluded at the end of September, it was about $12,239.  Back in 1941, at the beginning of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's unprecedented third presidential term, the federal government spent $13,653,000,000, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget.  Although that was a massive increase from the $4,598,000,000 the federal government had spent in 1933, when Roosevelt first took office, it was a pittance compared to what it would spend in the years to come.

Feds Spend $246,785 on 'Facebook Intervention' for Young Gay Smokers.  The National Institutes of Health is spending over $200,000 on a "Facebook intervention" targeting young gay people who smoke.  The University of California, San Francisco received the funding for the project, which began in August.  The goal of the study is to create a "culturally-tailored intervention" on social media for LGBTQ teens. [...] The university received $246,785, and research will continue through February 2019.

One in four government workers makes $100K thanks to overtime.  One out of every four New York City government workers pulled in pay of more than $100,000 last year — thanks largely to overtime, according to a new study.  "New York City can be a hub of opportunity, and not just for aspiring Broadway stars.  All sorts of city workers earn big bucks," said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of the government watchdog, which conducted the study.  About 37,000 of 295,455 full-time city workers receive a salary that tops $100,000.

Why is rebuilding after storms the federal government's responsibility?  The hurricane devastation is severe.  What should the federal government do?  Give us lots of money, say many in the wounded states.  Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) demanded "about $150 billion" — just for Texas.  So far, Congress has agreed to $15 billion in hurricane relief.  But more will come.  Few Americans will object.  The House vote for the first $7.9 billion was 419-3.  But let's take a breath.  Why is rebuilding the federal government's responsibility?

Fannie Mae Charged Taxpayers $250,000 for a Chandelier.  Fannie Mae is charging taxpayers millions for upgrades to its new headquarters, including $250,000 for a chandelier.  The inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which acts as a conservator for the mortgage lender, recently noted $32 million in questionable costs in an audit for Fannie Mae's new headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C.  Fannie Mae will be the flagship of Midtown Center, which is scheduled to complete construction in June 2018.  The inspector general reported that costs for the new headquarters have "risen dramatically," to $171 million, up from $115 million when the consolidated headquarters was announced in 2015.

Record $135 billion a year for illegal immigration, average $8,075 each, $25,000 in NY.  The swelling population of illegal immigrants and their kids is costing American taxpayers $135 billion a year, the highest ever, driven by free medical care, education and a huge law enforcement bill, according to the the most authoritative report on the issue yet.  And despite claims from pro-illegal immigration advocates that the aliens pay significant off-setting taxes back to federal, state and local treasuries, the Federation for American Immigration Reform report tallied just $19 billion, making the final hit to taxpayers about $116 billion.  State and local governments are getting ravaged by the costs, at over $88 billion.  The federal government, by comparison, is getting off easy at $45 billion in costs for illegals.

Super-rich ex-presidents and the law that supports them.  Sen. Joni Ernst is taking a swing at the money we pay ex-presidents.  She's written a bill that caps what we pay them, but it doesn't go far enough.  With ex-presidents making tens of millions of dollars upon leaving office, why are we still paying multimillionaire ex-presidents obscene amounts of money every year?  We have politicians who have grown monumentally rich on the perks that come after our having hired them.  Speaking engagements, book deals, board memberships, you name it, they do it and the millions roll in.

Berkeley receives $100K to 'honor the legacy' of the Black Panther Party.  The radical Marxist revolutionary organization from the 1960s, the Black Panthers, will be the subject of an academic study conducted by the University of California-Berkeley to discover and honor the group's legacy.  The study is being funded by the American taxpayer via a grant for about $100,000 from, curiously, the National Park Service.

Goodbye, four billion dollars.
Cassini: NASA's £3 billion spacecraft explodes in Saturn's atmosphere after a historic 20-year mission.  In its thirteen years at Saturn and two decades in space, the $4 billion (£3 billion) Cassini probe has transformed our understanding of the ringed planet and its moons.  It has watched giant storms on the gas giant, recorded its ring system in stunning detail, and revealed incredible new insights on the potential habitability of Saturn's moons.

The Editor says...
We the taxpayers spent $4 billion to study "the potential habitability of Saturn's moons?"  How will that improve the lives of anyone outside of NASA?

Hurricane Harvey Relief Comes With an Extra-Large Side of Pork.  [Scroll down]  On the Harvey side, it included $7.4 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant program — which had been on the president's budget chopping block because its "allocation formula poorly targets funds to the areas of greatest need" and because "many aspects of the program have become outdated."  But because Harvey relief was linked to the continuing resolution, voting for money for Texas also meant, among other things, agreeing to extend the authority for the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, a project begun in 1999 and described by columnist George Will as a "saga of arrogance and celebrity worship."  He added, "Sixteen years later, and eight years after the project's 2007 scheduled completion, scores of millions have been squandered, and there is no memorial and no immediate prospect of building one."  It also meant a vote to extend the problematic Head Start base grants and allows for an increase in former presidents' pension.

Joni Ernst, GOP senator, demands cap on ex-presidents' payments.  A Republican senator introduced legislation Tuesday [9/12/2017] to cut down on the amount of money ex-presidents siphon from taxpayers, looking to limit their pensions and office expenses.  Sen. Joni Ernst, Iowa Republican, said that while presidents should keep getting taxpayer-funded security details, they don't need the more than $1 million in pensions and office equipment that former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush are each expected to cost in 2018.  Her bill would cap the annual pension payment at $200,000 per president, and would impose a cap on how much an ex-president's office can cost.

Feds Spend $138,000 Asking Four-Year-Olds About Their 'Internal Sense of Gender Identity'.  The National Science Foundation is spending over $130,000 on a study that asks four-year-olds about their "internal sense of gender identity." A grant for a two-year study was awarded to the University of Washington this summer.  The project will interview 250 children aged four to six, and their parents, asking a series of questions about "gendered behavior."  "Prominent theories of gender development have discussed the degree to which gender identity results from an internal sense of gender and socialization processes," according to the grant.

Social Security pays millions to people VA says are dead.  The Department of Veterans Affairs knew they were dead, but the Social Security Administration kept paying benefits to hundreds of people anyway, according to a new agency audit released Friday [9/1/2017] that says at least $37 million in bogus payments were made.  Investigators compared the VA's record to Social Security rolls and found nearly 4,000 people who were listed as dead by the VA, but were still getting checks.  Some of those people listed as dead were in fact still alive, but others were deceased — and their checks never should have been paid, the Social Security inspector general said.

NYPD needs to replace 36K useless smartphones.  The NYPD has to scrap the 36,000 smartphones it gave cops over the past two years because they're already obsolete and can't be upgraded, The [New York] Post has learned.  The city bought Microsoft-based Nokia smartphones as part of a $160 million NYPD Mobility Initiative that Mayor Bill de Blasio touted as "a huge step into the 21st century."  But just months after the last phone was handed out, officials plan to begin replacing them all with brand-new iPhones by the end of the year, sources said.

Feds Spend $174,932 on 'Implicit Bias' Conference.  The National Science Foundation is spending nearly $200,000 on an "implicit bias" conference.  The conference will gather "leading experts on racism and prejudice" to write a report on how to make unconscious bias training, which assumes that "everyone is a little bit racist or sexist," more effective.  "This project brings together experts on prejudice and discrimination to have a deep discussion and write up a report to understand what various measures of bias represent and best ways to measure implicit bias," according to the grant for the project.

San Antonio Drops ShotSpotter, System not Cost Effective.  One of the technological fixes that has been attempted is the use of sensors to pinpoint gunshots inside of cities.  The theory of the technology is fairly simple.  Spread audio sensors throughout the city.  Feed the input into a computer system, looking for gunshots.  With sophisticated programs, isolate the gunshots from the other noise, and pinpoint their location and time.  Ideally, this happens in near real time, to allow police response to gunshots.

ShotSpotter program stripped from proposed city budget.  A program intended to help police officers identify where a shooting happens, get there quicker and ultimately cut down on crime has been stripped from the proposed city budget because city leaders said it's not effective.  It cost the city $270,000 to put ShotSpotters on the city's crime-ridden east and west sides, but police Chief William McManus said the program's results don't match up with its hefty price tag.

Don't buy the spin on CPS. It's still a dumpster fire.  As all the world knows by now, Springfield is getting close to another fiscal crisis, this time over school funding.  At the center of the crisis is how much more to give to CPS.  The district and Mayor Rahm Emanuel make a good case for added money, particularly to help fund teacher pensions, which everywhere else in Illinois outside of Chicago are fully financed by the state.  But CPS admits that, even if it gets every penny of the roughly $300 million in net new aid it wants from the state, City Hall will have to come up with another $269 million — and that's just for this school year.  The truth is, CPS has been fiscally mismanaged for decades.

Feds Spend $438,699 Studying If 'Gender Norms' Make LGBTQ People Get Drunk.  The National Institutes of Health is spending over $400,000 studying whether gender norms of masculinity and femininity lead LGBTQ individuals to drink too much.  Trying to find the "meanings of intoxication" of sexual and gender minorities is the central question of a study that was awarded in late July.  The project will "examine the extent to which gendered norms shape risky drinking practices for sexual and gender minority (SGM) young adults," according to the grant for the study.  The grant states that alcohol is an "integral component of bars and clubs."

Our Government Spends Billions Promoting Itself.  Of course they do so under the cover of "public service."  In fact, the most recent data I could find was from Breitbart in 2015.  The report, obtained from, states that the government spends, or wastes, $4.34 billion on public relations.  That was two years ago. [...] Much of that money spent promoting itself is via the Ad Council.  We've all heard and seen those wonderfully inspiring & heartfelt radio & TV ads.  They promote ways to help us manage our lives — because we can't manage on our own.

Tacoma Looks To Spend $440,000 a Year To Protect Trespassing Immigrants.  [C]itizens of Tacoma, just like most cities, have problems that should come before protecting people who are unlawfully present in the U.S., who are, at a minimum, trespassing.

SSA gave $1.3 million in benefits to criminals.  The Social Security Administration gave $1.3 million in benefits to criminals, including individuals who had already defrauded the government, according to a new audit.  The inspector general for the agency found that just over 50 representative payees who were felons received benefits even though they should have been barred from receiving payments.  Representative payees are individuals who are responsible for administering benefits for someone who cannot manage payments themselves, such as their children or a disabled family member.

Obama EPA Employees Earned Overtime Pay Without Justification.  Environmental Protection Agency employees under the Obama administration earned emergency overtime pay without justification, in violation of agency policy.  The inspector general for the agency released an audit last week finding "numerous instances of noncompliance" of the emergency overtime pay system for employees in Seattle, Wash.  Employees must receive a waiver from biweekly pay caps if they are to receive extra pay for working during a natural disaster, or for conducting "mission-critical" work.  The inspector general found just a fraction of employees in the final three years of the Obama administration who received overtime pay had requested a waiver.

Illinois Has 63,000 Government Workers Making Over $100K.  Illinoisans are struggling under the highest property taxes in the nation, a declining population and the nation's worst income growth, but one group is still doing pretty well — government workers.  According to, Illinois has 63,000 public employees making more than $100,000, costing taxpayers $10 billion.  These government workers range from auto pound supervisors to corrections nurses to junior college presidents and more.  One of the most lucrative government fields is that of village and city managers, many of whom out-earn every U.S. governor.

L.A. County hands $1.3 billion to illegals for welfare.  Los Angeles County is a massive draw for illegals, with more than a million flocking there and setting up home — and now we know why.  Not only is it hallowed sanctuary ground; it's also, apparently, taxpayer-dole-out central.  Look at this, from Robert Rector with the Heritage Foundation:  "They get $3 in benefits for every $1 they spend," he said, speaking of the costs of education, police, fire, medical and housing that illegals get, compared to what they pay back by way of taxes.  This isn't conjecture.  It's based on analysis of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services database.  Among the findings:  In 2015, more than 58,000 families received $602 million in benefits.  In 2016, more than 64,000 families received $675 million.

L.A. County Paid Out $1.3 Billion In Welfare To Illegal Aliens.  On the bright side, it's expected that the Los Angeles County will spend $200 million less in 2017, as fewer illegal aliens arrive and more have left, mostly due to allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to do their job, to enforce the laws that are on the books, unfettered by politicians and political appointees.  We keep being told that illegal aliens are a boon for our economy.  Well, the illegals are getting $3 in benefits for every $1 they spend.  It sure seems that they are more of a drain on taxpayer money that giving more back.

Chicago Public Schools To Pay $850 Million in Interest on $500 Million Loan.  In July, Chicago Public Schools borrowed $500 million in long-term, high-interest loans.  These loans, taken out at interest rates between 7.25-7.65 percent, will cost the district more than $850 million in interest costs alone for a total cost of $1.35 billion, according to a Chicago Tribune analysis.  CPS will pay off the loans over 25 years, paying roughly $35 million a year in interest.  Adjusted for inflation, the total value of the interest on the loan is roughly $405 million.  As the Tribune notes, by the time the loan is paid off, CPS students entering kindergarten this fall will be in their mid-30s.  The district plans to use $229 million from the $500 million loan to recoup losses on bonds from previous years.

Why is it up to us to pay for this?
$10 Million to Fund English Classes, Legal Services for Foreigners Seeking Citizenship.  The U.S. government announced on July 27 that it will continue to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to fund English, history, and civics courses, as well as naturalization legal services to foreigners seeking legal American citizenship, according to Judicial Watch.  According to a Homeland Security grant obtained by Judicial Watch, the $10 million will be allocated to the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program, operated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  The program, which will distribute the money across 36 organizations, aims to provide hopeful immigrants with classes in U.S. history and government in preparation for the citizenship test, as well for activities that promote civic and linguistic assimilation.  "Naturalization requirements, such as knowledge of English and of U.S. history and civics, encourage civic learning and build a strong foundation upon which immigrants can fully assimilate into society," the Homeland Security grant states.

Why do we have an EPA museum?  [Scroll down]  The Trump administration is at odds with the EPA?  Half the country is!  This is the agency that destroyed the Animas River by allowing 3.5 million gallons of toxins and heavy metals to flood it while "cleaning up" an abandoned mine.  No one went to jail for that either.  But the EPA did spend more than $300,000 on this museum outside the EPA Credit Union, and opened it three days before President Trump took office.

$2 Million Bathroom.  No park bathroom needs to cost $2 million.  An entire six-bedroom house nearby was for sale for $539,000.  Everything costs more when government builds it.  "Government always pays above-average prices for below-average work," says my friend who makes a living privatizing government activities.
  •   Obamacare's website was supposed to cost $464 million.  It cost $834 million and still crashed.
  •   Washington, D.C.'s Visitor Center rose in cost from $265 million to $621 million.
  •   The Veterans Affairs medical center being built near Denver was projected to cost $590 million.  Now they estimate $1.7 billion.
Government spends more because every decision is tied up in endless rules.  Rigid specs.  Affirmative action.  Minority outreach.  Wheelchair access.

US military blows millions a year on Viagra for its troops.  The US military blows $41.6 million a year on Viagra for its troops — about five times more than the estimated medical costs for transgender servicepeople, according to a new report.  Spending on the little blue pills is part of $84 million total the military plunks down annually for erectile dysfunction medicines, according to the Washington Post, which cited a 2015 report by the Military Times.  The eye-popping stats resurfaced Wednesday, the same day President Trump announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military because of "the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."

Obama's IRS doled out more than $24 billion in potentially bogus refunds.  The IRS doled out more than $24 billion in potentially bogus refunds claimed under several controversial tax credits in 2016, according to a new audit that said $118 million was even paid to people who weren't authorized to work in the U.S. in the first place.  Some $16.8 billion in payments were made on improper claims under the Earned Income Tax Credit, signifying a 24 percent error rate.  Investigators also estimated $7.2 billion in improper payments for the Additional Child Tax Credit, representing 25 percent of the total, and $1.1 billion in improper payments, or 24 percent, for a higher education tax credit.

NYC Government Spends $2 Million on a Park Bathroom.  Did you see the $2 million dollar bathroom?  That's what New York City government spent to build a "comfort station" in a park.  I went to look at it.  There were no gold-plated fixtures.  It's just a little building with four toilets and four sinks.

The Editor says...
The facility was built in New York City, so it is safe to assume that it was built by unionized craftsmen (at their pace and by their rules), and it must also have been built to accommodate wheelchair access and include any other feature required by federal law.  But even in the most expensive city in the country, two million dollars sounds high, doesn't it?

Feds Subsidized Housing for 'Nonexistent Tenants'.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development spent over $500,000 on apartments for people who "did not exist," according to the agency's inspector general.  An audit released last month found that managers of Section 8 housing in Jefferson County, Texas, defrauded the government by stealing the identities of former tenants and falsifying incomes.  The government subsidizes the rent of 99 units at Beverly Place Apartments in Groves, Texas, and paid the complex $1.8 million between January 2013 and December 2015.

Brilliant business strategy:
The U.S. Postal Service has helped turn Amazon into a giant by undercharging them by $1.46 a package on postage.  There's a reason Amazon packages have become a common sight on front steps around the country, and that's because the U.S. Postal Service practically subsidizes postage for the internet giant.  As Josh Sandbulte, co-president of money management firm Greenhaven Associates, pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, the Postal Service has a legal monopoly to deliver first-class mail in the U.S. — in other words, non-urgent letters.  In exchange, the Postal Service is required to deliver, if needed, mail to every address in America, six days a week.  Since the invention of email, the amount of physical mail being sent has dramatically declined, so the Postal Service has supplemented that business with package delivery.

Pentagon to keep paying for sex-change surgeries.  Two-dozen House Republicans broke with their pro-defense brethren Thursday and helped Democrats kill an amendment that would have barred the military from funding transgender sex reassignment surgeries and hormone therapies.  The amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which sets out policies on America's $696 billion military budget, failed 214-209, with all Democrats and 24 Republicans opposing.  It means the military health care system will be called on to provide such surgeries as routine treatments for the first time, unless the Trump administration changes Obama-era policies that allow transgender troops to remain on duty.

Trump Admin Continues Obama-Era Tradition Of Giving Millions To Soros-Linked Groups.  The Trump administration gave $6.3 million to a group linked to liberal mega-donor George Soros as part of an effort to to develop "independent, professional media" in Moldova, The Daily Caller has learned.  The Agency for International Development (USAID) doles out millions of dollars to groups around the world, and frequently this money ends up in the hands of organizations supported by Soros.  The Daily Caller has previously reported that USAID during the Obama administration gave at least $15.8 million in Macedonia to groups ran by Soros and to organizations tied to his Open Society Foundations.

Feds Use Arts Funding to Subsidize Billion-Dollar Nonprofits.  The National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities is giving millions of taxpayer dollars to nonprofits with assets of over $1 billion., a transparency watchdog group, released a report this week highlighting egregious examples of arts funding going towards museums, universities, and nonprofit organizations that hardly need federal funding.  The National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities issued $20.5 million in grants to "asset-rich" nonprofit groups with assets of $1 billion or more in 2016 alone.

[Fighting] Climate Change has cost you at least $166 Billion so far.  The U.S. government spent nearly as much fighting "climate change" between 1993 and 2014 as was spent on the entire Apollo program between 1962 and 1973, according to a new report.  A May 2017 report from the Capital Research Center (CRS) states that "from FY 1993 to FY 2014 total U.S. expenditures on climate change amount to more than $166 billion."  The total includes more than $26.1 billion from President Obama's 2009 stimulus bill, as well as regular annual budget amounts and federal tax credits distributed over a period of 21 years.

Surprise!  You're still paying for Obama's vacations.  Former President Barack Obama's family may be out of office, but taxpayers are still footing the bill for their vacations, and you will be for life.  The Obamas began a nine-day vacation in Indonesia on June 30 by rafting along a river in a luxurious resort in Bali.  It was a homecoming for Obama, who grew up attending school there.  But taxpayers are footing the bill for this family trip down Memory Lane.  Under the Former Presidents Act, the president and his wife are allowed $1.5 million a year in travel expenses, not including their security detail and lavish, lifelong pension.

Taxpayers Have Now Spent $3.5 Million to Find Out Why Lesbians Are Obese.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has now spent over $3.5 million to determine why the majority of lesbians are obese.  The project, now entering its fifth year, received another grant worth $658,485 this summer.  The total funding for the research is now $3,531,925.  Funding has more than doubled since the study was first revealed in 2013.  Since, the study that is examining why three-quarters of lesbians are obese, but gay men are not, has survived sequester cuts, and continues to produce results such as the discovery that gay men have a "greater desire for toned muscles" than straight men.  Another scientific paper associated with the research concluded that lesbians have lower "athletic-self esteem" that may lead to higher rates of obesity.

Flint's Water Crisis Has Law Firms Swimming in Cash.  Michigan's legal bills for the man-made water crisis in Flint are piling up.  At least $14 million has been spent hiring lawyers from at least 33 law firms, according to an Associated Press analysis of state records.  Costs are only expected to balloon as Attorney General Bill Schuette's outside team of two-dozen attorneys and investigators turns toward prosecuting a dozen current or former state employees or appointees whose criminal defenses are being covered by taxpayers.

Salary hikes, bonuses abound at taxpayer-funded WGBH.  Boston public broadcasting behemoth WGBH, facing potentially severe budget cuts by the Trump administration, awarded big pay hikes and bonuses to executives and staffers last year while reporting a $38 million loss, new reports show.  The taxpayer-funded nonprofit's CEO, Jonathan Abbott, got an $85,000 bonus in the 2016 fiscal year, boosting his annual compensation to $624,930, according to tax reports filed with the state attorney general's office.  WGBH gave out a total of nearly $300,000 in bonuses to 10 employees, including Abbott, according to their financial reports.  New on-air host Jim Braude earned nearly $364,000 in the 2016 fiscal year, reports show, while seven other high-ranking staffers and executives also topped the $300,000-a-year mark.

EPA Ends $1 Million Taxpayer-Funded Gym Membership Program.  The Environmental Protection Agency has ended a nearly $1 million program that provided gym memberships for employees.  The new administration under EPA administrator Scott Pruitt identified the gym memberships as an abuse of taxpayer dollars.  Examples of the program's misuse included $15,000 for gym memberships for 37 EPA scientists in Las Vegas last year.

New York City Has Taken 7½ Years and $2 Million to Build a 400-Square-Foot Public Bathroom.  Urban development is one of those areas where a perfect shit storm of fiscal mismanagement can quickly appear while the politicians responsible just shrug their shoulders and say, "Well, that's just the way things work."  That was basically the reaction of New York City Councilman David Greenfield after he mentioned the $2 million price tag for a new 400-square-foot public bathroom in a park in his district.

Obama Program Erroneously Paid $729 Million To Doctors Including Dead Doctors.  An Obama program made over $729 million in erroneous payments to doctors, and as if that isn't bad enough, this includes payments made to dead doctors.  The inspector general stated that there was "minimal oversight" of the program and payments and that it was "vulnerable to fraud and abuse."

Taxpayers Give $30 Million so NYC's Shakespeare Festival can Assassinate Trump Onstage.  After learning that an actor dressed to look just like his father gets brutally murdered on stage in a production of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Donald Trump, Jr. asked, "I wonder how much of this 'art' is funded by taxpayers?"  Well, thanks to some digging by Adam Andrzejewski, founder of the federal watchdog, we now know the answer: [...]

D.C. Spending $20,000 to Paint LGBTQ Murals on Storm Drains.  The District of Columbia is spending $20,000 to pay artists to paint environmentally friendly, pro-LGBTQ murals on storm drains.  Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled a "rainbow-colored crosswalk" on Friday [6/9/2017] to promote gay pride parades that are taking place in the city this weekend.  Bowser announced storm drains would also be painted by local artists to "celebrate the LGBTQ identity" and the environment.

Obama Program Made $729 Million in Erroneous Payments to Doctors.  An Obama administration program to encourage the use of electronic health records made over $729 million in erroneous payments, according to a new audit.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also paid dead doctors for enrolling in its program, the audit, released by the agency's inspector general Monday [6/12/2017], revealed.  "From May 2011 through June 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services paid an estimated $729 million in Medicare electronic health record incentive payments to eligible professionals who did not comply with Federal requirements," the inspector general said.  "In addition, it paid $2.3 million in inappropriate electronic health record incentive payments to eligible professionals who switched incentive programs."

Tax Money Shouldn't Shore Up Blatantly Biased TV and Radio.  A government $20 trillion in debt has just extended — not eliminated, as promised — funding for a public broadcaster that regularly infuriates and offends half the country.  The recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 not only gave the Corporation for Public Broadcasting its regular $495 million sweetsop, Congress also threw in another $50 million to upgrade its "interconnection system."  Yet again, it was a two-year "advance appropriation" for the CPB — a special arrangement designed "to provide a firewall of independence" from the government accountability that usually goes hand in hand with government funding.

U.S. Paid $1 Billion To Paris Agreement Green Fund — All Other Nations Combined $0.  The Paris Treaty was/is always about distribution of economic wealth; and the convenient use of "climate phrases" as branding instruments used to create political policy favorable to multinational corporate interests who control the shifting of economic wealth.  Listen to the responses from participating EU corporate comptrollers discussing climate and the entire purpose of the Paris Treaty becomes self-evident.

Education Official Got Secret Cash Bonuses as Office Lost Billions to Fraud, Corruption.  The senior Obama Education Department official who resigned this month to avoid testifying before Congress got hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses despite his well-documented failures, sources inside the agency tell Judicial Watch.  The extra cash was kept off the books, away from the public, and doesn't appear on his official government salary record but Judicial Watch has obtained the figures with yearly breakdowns.  The official, James Runcie, ran the scandal-plagued Federal Student Aid (FSA) office, the government's $1.4 trillion financial aid program.

Obama's regulations in 2016 to drain economy by $2 trillion.  The Obama administration issued a record number of new regulations on its way out the door in 2016, leaving an administrative state that saps the economy of nearly $2 trillion a year, according to a new report being released Wednesday [5/31/2017].  The government itself spent $63 billion in 2016 to administer and enforce all of its own regulations, the Competitive Enterprise Institute said.

Social Security Administration Spent $32 Million on Conferences.  The Social Security Administration billed taxpayers $32 million for work conferences, according to a new audit.  The inspector general for the agency reported that just over 300 conferences cost taxpayers roughly $100,000 each in travel, meals, and lodging expenses during a three-year period.  The audit found that the agency mostly complied with federal reporting requirements to disclose conferences that cost $20,000 or more.

Forest Service Owns 'National Junkyard' of Thousands of Unused Buildings.  The Forest Service oversees thousands of buildings that are unused, many that are falling apart, full of mold, and pose safety hazards, according to a new audit.  The inspector general for the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that the Forest Service has compiled over $5 billion worth of repairs to buildings, roads, dams, and trails it operates.  Officials admit they are becoming a "national junkyard" by overseeing thousands of decrepit buildings the government does not need.

Planned Parenthood closes clinics but continues to collect $500 million a year in taxpayer funding.  Pro-lifers say declining patient numbers, the promotion of abortion at the expense of health care services and the shuttering of several facilities show that Planned Parenthood's business model is failing and its taxpayer funding could be better spent elsewhere.  The nation's largest abortion provider announced last week that it would close four clinics in Iowa, three in New Mexico, two in Colorado and its last remaining facility in Wyoming, despite continuing to receive more than $500 million in annual taxpayer funding.

How Much Does the U.S. Government Subsidize Electricity Generating Technologies?  Over the period 2010 to 2019, we identified 76 programs worth US $11 billion to $18 billion per year that met our criteria for intentionality, selectivity/preferentiality, and the potential for wealth transfer.  Bottom line?  In total dollars, the fossil fuel industry receives benefits comparable to that for the renewables industry, but when considering only the portion of fossil fuel support that relates to electric power, renewables receive far more support.

Chelsea Manning to Remain in Army, Receive Health Care Benefits After Prison Release.  Manning will be an unpaid soldier and will be eligible for health care and other benefits, USA Today reported. Army spokesman Dave Foster told the paper that she will remain a private in the Army.  "Pvt. Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review," Foster said.

Should Toledo Taxpayers Pay for Aspen Art?  Here in the billionaires' playground of Aspen, the politicians waived the zoning laws a few years ago for a monstrosity they call an art museum.  It's a huge square wicker basket dominating a city block, with zero setback and zero architecture.  This place that is supposed to display visual beauty is itself an eyesore.  Almost everyone hates it.  But not the director Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson.  In an artistic burst, she created for herself a $900,000 salary.  Her salary is about the only permanent or valuable piece in the collection.

The real 1 percent: The federal workforce.  The non-defense, non-postal service part of the federal government comprises about 2 million employees — about 1.37 percent of the total U.S. workforce.  Since 2004, federal government average hourly earnings have increased from $28.57 to $39.19 in 2016, while private sector average hourly earnings have only increased from $20.91 to $25.67, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  On average, private sector workers only make about 65.5 percent of their federal government counterparts.

IG: 'IRS Overpaid More Than 600 Employees Approximately $4.2 Million'.  The Internal Revenue Service, which is responsible for collecting federal taxes and enforcing federal tax law, was unable to accurately deal with its own complex rules governing the payment of its own employees and ended up overpaying more than 600 IRS workers about $4,200,000, according to an audit report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.  The IRS also underpaid more than 900 employees about $2,700,000, according to TIGTA's estimate.  The inspector general found that the IRS's rules for how it determines the correct pay for one of its own employees when he or she is promoted to a management position are "confusing."

More than $100M in taxpayer money spent on public worker lawsuits each year.  The legal settlements and jury awards have come rapid-fire, month after month, year after year: $400,000 to the public works employee who claimed a hostile work environment; $2.1 million to the fire inspector whom a jury found had been harassed; $200,000 to the former police dispatcher who said she was improperly fired; $3.65 million to the NJ Transit workers who said they faced racial discrimination.  New Jersey, a state where property taxes and the cost of living rank among the highest in the nation, is increasingly hemorrhaging taxpayer cash as more and more public workers file lawsuits against the government agencies that employ them.  By one conservative estimate, the costs associated with such suits, including the legal fees to fight them, now top $100 million annually, a threefold increase over the past 15 years.

Veterans Affairs has 346 workers who do only union work.  An estimated 346 employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs do no actual work for taxpayers.  Instead, they spend all of their time doing work on behalf of their union while drawing a federal salary, a practice known as "official time."  That's according to a report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office.  But exactly what those VA workers are doing and why so many are doing it is not clear.  The VA doesn't track that, and the GAO report offers no clue.

Trump Ends Obama's African Ebola Amnesty.  In a refreshing move, the Trump administration is eliminating one of Barack Obama's many outrageous amnesty initiatives, this one involving illegal immigrants from African countries affected by the Ebola virus a few years ago.  The Ebola amnesty scandal got buried in the hoopla of the administration's broad executive order protecting millions of illegal alien Mexicans and Central Americans, but it was just as alarming.  Launched in 2014, the Ebola reprieve was issued separately — and quietly — via a Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a humanitarian program that's supposed to be short-term.  Under the plan, the administration designated Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone for TPS for 18 months.  That's how it always starts — for a short period of time then it grows into years.  Before you know it, illegal aliens who benefit from TPS for humanitarian reasons are legal residents enjoying all the generous perks — free education, food stamps, medical care etc. — that Uncle Sam has to offer.

The NEH Can't Be Mended, So End It.  Partisans of the Endowments, from the Right as well as the Left, oscillate between telling us what a derisory sum of money they command — hardly worth paying attention to, don't you know — and insisting that the work of the arts and the humanities is absolutely essential to the future of civilization as we know it.  Important it may be.  But there is a pragmatic and a principled reason to favor the abolition of federal funding for the Endowments.

Should Tax Dollars Finance Broadway Shows?  Apparently one argument in favor of continuing taxpayer funding for the National Endowment for the Arts is that it frequently gives grants to Broadway productions.  Some have argued that without the NEA, there wouldn't be Hamilton, even though as CNBC's Jake Novak pointed out, "this successful private-sector project was backed and funded for real by private investors all the way." [...] This is the blockbuster Hamilton, where tickets began at $175 per ticket and then went to $850 per ticket.  Please stop telling me that this show would not exist without a check from the taxpayers.  By last year, it was making $600,000 a week in profit and depending on how long it runs, it could be the first Broadway production to make $1 billion.

The Magic Disappearing $100 Billion Climate Fund.  Shocking news — the magic $100 billion climate fund appears not to be taking shape!  Even optimistic estimates say the fund is $40 billion short, and developing countries say that understates the problem.

Pruitt ends EPA gym memberships.  Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Thursday [4/13/2017] that the days of gym memberships being paid for by the American taxpayer are over.  Pruitt was on "Fox and Friends," where he was asked about documents released Wednesday that show EPA employees spent more than $15,000 on gym memberships outside of the free services they were already being given.  "Well, the gym memberships ended yesterday, it was quite something to hear about that," Pruitt said.  He said the agency is investigating the matter, saying "it was the previous administration that granted those gym memberships," which "were rather expensive."

EPA Staffer Uses Government Credit Card To Buy $15K Gym Membership.  A Las Vegas-based Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official used his government credit card to purchase a $14,799 in gym memberships.  A conservative advocacy group released documents purporting to show EPA contracting officer Kevin Broadnax bought 37 year-long memberships at Super Sport gym on April 11, 2017.  Broadnax used his government charge card to pay for these memberships.  The sheer amount of paperwork related to the transaction suggests that multiple EPA officials were aware of the purchase.

Judicial Watch Sues EPA for Records about Controversial Obama Environmental Justice Grants.  Judicial Watch today [3/27/2017] announced it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking copies of grant awards and associated proposals for "environmental justice" grants in 2014 and 2015.  The EPA's controversial "environmental justice" programs provide taxpayer funding for environmental and other left-wing interest groups.  The EPA awards more than $4 billion annually in funding for grants and other assistance agreements.  Shortly after President Trump assumed the presidency, the Trump administration instructed officials at the EPA to freeze its grants and contracts.

The Federal Government's Student-Loan Fraud.  All told, the federal government's portfolio of student loans now stands at a whopping $1.3 trillion.  As the Washington Post notes, "What's striking about the findings is that Americans have a variety of repayment options to avoid default.  The Obama administration expanded programs that cap monthly payments to a percentage of earnings, but even though millions of people are enrolled in those income-driven plans, there is still a disconnect."  Actually, there is no disconnect at all.  As we noted earlier, just under one-half of millennials today believe their student debts will be forgiven, and an increasing number even use their loans for exotic spring break vacations, booze, and partying.  So, by that logic, you'd be a fool to pay.

Donald Trump budget blueprint targets the do-nothings.  [Scroll down]  According to the Cato Institute, federal workers average $123,160 a year in pay and benefits, compared to $69,901 in the dreaded private sector.  That's a 76 percent income gap between the two sectors, up from 39 percent two decades ago.  Not to mention, it's almost impossible to fire any of these sloths for just cause — look at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Public sector employees take 38 percent more time off than people with real jobs.  And now they're increasingly avoiding their own offices.  They "telecommute," and what a joke that is, at least for federal employees.  Thanks to direct deposit, they no longer even have to appear twice a month to pick up their paychecks.  How overpaid are these slugs?  Seven of the 10 U.S. counties with the highest per-capita income are inside the D.C. Beltway.  Those who produce nothing are the most richly compensated.

Ten Good Reasons to Eliminate Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.  Reason #2:  The NEA is welfare for cultural elitists.  Despite Endowment claims that federal funding permits underpriviledged individuals to gain access to the arts, NEA grants offer little more than a subsidy to the well-to-do.  One-fifth of direct NEA grants go to multimillion-dollar arts organizations.  Harvard University Political Scientist Edward C. Banfield has noted that the "art public is now, as it has always been, overwhelmingly middle and upper middle class and above average in income-relatively prosperous people who would probably enjoy art about as much in the absence of subsidies."

Trump's Budget Chief Says Climate Research 'A Waste Of Your Money'.  President Donald Trump's budget director told reporters Thursday [3/16/2017] the White House was no longer spending money on climate change research because it's a "waste of your money."  "We're not spending money on that anymore," Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget director, said at a press briefing while discussing the president's decision to dial back climate science research.  "We consider that to be a waste of your money," he added.  Trump released his congressional budget request Thursday, which contained several contentious reductions, including dramatic cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy.

Obama's $77 Billion climate funds stash found — will be gutted.  President Donald Trump will find the job of reining in spending on climate initiatives made harder by an Obama-era policy of dispersing billions of dollars in programs across dozens of agencies — in part so they couldn't easily be cut.  There is no single list of those programs or their cost, because President Barack Obama sought to integrate climate programs into everything the federal government did.  The goal was to get all agencies to take climate into account, and also make those programs hard to disentangle, according to former members of the administration.

How Would You Like Big Bird Served?  [Scroll down]  Politico asks, "Can Big Bird Survive Trump?"  Yes, Big Bird can, because Big Bird is Big Business!  Big Bird makes money!  Investor's Business Daily reports:  ["]Last year, Sesame Workshop had $121.6 million in revenues.  Of that, $49.6 million came in distribution fees and royalties and $36.6 million in licensing of toys, games, clothing, food and such.  In 2014, only 4% of its revenue came from government grants.  Despite being a taxpayer-supported nonprofit, however, Sesame Workshop pays its top executives fabulously well.  According to tax filings — the most recent of which covers 2014 — then-president and CEO Melvin Ming was paid more than $586,000 in salary and benefits in the nine months before retiring, which included a $37,500 bonus and $18,700 in benefits.  The year before that, Ming cleared $672,391 in salary, bonuses and benefits.["]

Why am I paying for this junk?  President Trump's efforts to balance a federal budget that is $443 billion out of whack — the deficit grows by more than a billion a day — is meeting resistance in Philadelphia, where the National Park Service is threatening to close all the exhibits at the "Independence National Historical Park."  [...] But really, why is this a national park?  The Liberty Bell is important, and we should display and protect it.  But surely the good people of Philadelphia should cover the cost of preserving it, in exchange for the honor of being its home.

Obama Spent Record $36 Million Fighting FOIA Suits.  Former President Obama's administration spent a record-shattering $36.2 million on legal costs beating back Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, according to an analysis from the Associated Press.  Obama, who once hailed his administration as "the most transparent administration in history," fielded a record-breaking influx of 788,769 FOIA requests last year alone and spent $478 million answering those requests.  A whopping $36.2 million was spent fighting to keep federal records from the public eye.

Your Welfare Dollars Feed State Budgets, Not Needy Families.  Prior to the TANF Act, families in need received cash assistance through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, where federal funds matched half or more of every dollar of cash assistance that a state provided to a needy family.  The AFDC funding method didn't provide states with enough flexibility for the use of federal funds, thus the implementation of the TANF Act.  Proponents argued that states could shift the funds freed up when families left welfare to work or child-care programs, where the need would likely increase.  But that didn't happen.  Instead, states redirected a substantial portion of their state and federal TANF funds to fill state budget holes or to substitute for existing state spending.  Even when need increased during the Great Recession, states were often unable to bring the funds back to core welfare reform services and instead made cuts in basic assistance and work programs.

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Received Over $500K in Taxpayer-Funded Gov't Grants.  The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation was awarded more than $500,000 in taxpayer-funded government grants since 2010, records show.  Seven of its leaders additionally paid themselves six-figure salaries, according to the group's most recent tax filings.  The CBC Foundation, a nonprofit that is separate from the Congressional Black Caucus, carries a mission of advancing "the global black community by developing leaders, informing policy, and educating the public."

Axing Wasteful EPA Program that Gave Leftist Groups Millions "Racist".  The cash flowed freely through the EPA's special environmental justice office, which the Trump administration plans to get rid of as part of a broader budget cut for the famously bloated agency.  This is great news for American taxpayers who were forced to fund this nonsense.  Judicial Watch has reported extensively on the EPA's environmental justice boondoggle and exposed the atrocities that occurred under the reckless initiative.  Here are some examples of how the money was used[:]  to teach residents of public housing about recycling, seniors to reduce their "carbon footprint," inner city neighborhoods about "climate-change readiness" and middle school students with a "disparate economic and racial/ethnic composition" how to "identify and mitigate air pollution and solid waste disposal issues."

U.S. Gives Soros Groups Millions to Destabilize Macedonia's Conservative Govt.  The U.S. government has quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros, records obtained by Judicial Watch show.  Barack Obama's U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, Jess L. Baily, has worked behind the scenes with Soros' Open Society Foundation to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the U.S. Ambassador in domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Nearly 100 bureaucrats caught viewing 'copious' porn at work.  NBC 4 in Washington, D.C. decided to investigate bureaucrats who spend their time on the clock looking at pornography.  The news station sent FOIA requests to 12 federal agencies, among them the departments of Justice, Transportation, Labor, Commerce, Energy, HHS, Social Security and the EPA.  They asked for information on the most egregious cases.  What they received was evidence on nearly 100 individuals who had been found spending "copious" amounts of time looking at porn while on the taxpayer's dime.

Hundreds of Feds Caught Watching Porn at Work.  Hundreds of federal workers have been caught watching porn on the job, including viewing child pornography, according to a new investigation.  NBC News 4 in Washington, D.C., identified over 100 "egregious" cases during the past five years where federal employees watched porn for hours during the day or required an inspector general investigation into their porn habits at work.  The report relied on records obtained through Freedom of Information Act from 12 separate government agencies.  "The cases include workers who admitted spending six hours a day surfing illicit images and videos and maintaining tens of thousands of adult images on their office desktops," the report said.

These Government Agencies Receive the Most Money.  The Office of Management and Budget provides government outlay data from 1962 to 2021.  If an agency was established after 1962, the office lists spending attributable to predecessor agencies.  Note that all figures are inflation adjusted to the 2009 value of the dollar, the year the Office of Management and Budget uses as its framework.  Remarkably, approximately half of all government outlays go to just two agencies:  the Social Security Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services.

EPA Employees Used Gov't Purchase Card to Spend $14,985 on Fitness Memberships.  Environmental Protection Agency employees used their government purchase cards to spend $14,985 on fitness memberships, according to an audit by the inspector general of the agency.  With the goal of assessing the risk of illegal, improper, and erroneous purchases made on the EPA's purchase card, the auditors evaluated 18 transactions totaling $48,345 and found that none of them complied with any of the internal controls that were tested.  Some of these controls require that officials give approval, that records be properly placed in the vendor's banking system, and that transactions be reviewed by the card holder within 10 days of posting.

Infuriating List of Ridiculous Spending Items By Obama Administration.  The FBI spent $1.5 million to help Hollywood accurately depict the agency.  The State Department spent $630,000 to buy "likes" on Facebook.  The National Endowment for the Arts spent $10,000 on a pole-dancing performance art project in Austin.  Arlington, Va., used federal money to build a $1 million bus stop that does not actually shield passengers from the weather.  The National Guard spent $10 million on tie-ins for the latest Superman movie to support recruiting efforts.  The National Science Foundation approved a $251,525 grant to study the Senate filibuster.

Feds Paid $1 Billion in Social Security Benefits to Individuals Without a SSN.  The Social Security Administration paid $1 billion in benefits to individuals who did not have a Social Security Number (SSN), according to a new audit.  The agency's inspector general found errors in the government's documentation for representative payees, otherwise known as individuals who receive retirement or disability payments on behalf of another person who is incapable of managing the benefits themselves.  The audit released Friday found thousands of cases where there was no SSN on file.  Over the last decade, the agency paid $1 billion to 22,426 representative payees who "did not have an SSN, and SSA had not followed its policy to retain the paper application."

State worker racks up nearly $180K in overtime pay.  A state technology worker more than tripled her salary last year by running up $179,930 in overtime, records show.  Deborah Casais walked off with total earnings of $247,757 working for the Office of Information Technology Services despite a base salary of $67,827.  That made the Albany-area woman the state overtime champ for 2016.

Dem Leader Chuck Schumer Given 'Porker of the Year' Award from Gov Waste Watchdog.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) was awarded the title of 2016 Porker of the Year after he pulled away from five fellow wasteful congressman in a poll conducted by Citizens Against Government Waste, a government spending watchdog group.  Schumer was highlighted by the group for his work on supporting the policy of making "debt free" college for all college students.

IG report reveals Army general used gov't charge card to pay for strip club tabs.  A former three-star U.S. Army general and aide to Defense Secretary Ash Carter was demoted and will retire as a one-star general after an investigation revealed he used a government credit card to pay bar tabs at strip clubs in Rome and Seoul.  The move against Maj. General Ronald Lewis, who was formerly a three-star general, was made by former Army Secretary Eric Fanning, the Army said in a statement Thursday [2/9/2017], according to the Army Times.  A Defense Department probe discovered that Lewis used his government charge card for lavish spending at two strips clubs — one in Rome and another in Seoul.

Federal Agency Eased Sanctions for Plagiarism, Data Fabrication in Taxpayer-Funded Research.  A federal agency that funds scientific research nixed punishments recommended by its own ethics watchdog for some academics who plagiarized and manipulated data in grant proposals and taxpayer-funded research, public records show.  The inspector general for the National Science Foundation identified at least 23 instances of plagiarism in proposals, NSF-funded research, and agency publications in 2015 and 2016.  It found at least eight instances of data manipulation and fabrication in those years.  NSF officials disregarded recommended sanctions against some of the scientists and academics implicated in those findings.  Though many were temporarily barred from receiving additional federal funding, nearly all will be eligible for taxpayer support and official roles in NSF-funded research in the future.

$8.5 Billion U.S. Counter Narcotics Effort in Afghanistan Boosts Opium Production.  The U.S. government's multi-billion-dollar effort to counter narcotics in Afghanistan is a humiliating failure that's resulted in a huge increase in poppy cultivation and opium production.  Despite the free-flow of American tax dollars to combat the crisis, opium production rose 43% in the Islamic nation, to an estimated 4,800 tons, and approximately 201,000 hectares of land are under poppy cultivation, representing a 10% increase in one year alone.  Uncle Sam's embarrassing counter narcotics effort is part of a broader and costly failure involving the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Cameras catch BART janitor who made $270,000 in a year spending hours in Powell St. closet.  Last November, a nonprofit called Transparent California reported that a BART janitor named Liang Zhao Zhang made $271,000 in a single year — over $162,000 of that in the form of overtime.  Now, a KTVU investigation into Zhang's hours and pay revealed that he disappears into a storage closet at the Powell St. station, sometimes for hours a day.

Gravy Train Flows Wide And Deep At Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Agency.  Pay is flowing so generously at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that hundreds of bureaucrats there receive more than most members of Congress. [...] Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin receives $223,000 per year, but that's less than what 54 CFPB employees are paid.  Another 170 CFPB employees earn more than the secretaries of defense and state, the attorney general and the director of national intelligence.  All cabinet salaries are capped at $199,700, but not at the bureau.

Obama's last money shower for the UN: some $9.2 billion.  In its last year in office, the Obama Administration showered at least some $9.2 billion on the United Nations and its sprawling array of organizations, according to a document recently posted on the State Department website.  The total is gleaned from a document that summarizes U.S. government spending for international organizations, and is about 20 percent higher than the $7.7 billion figure given out by State for 2010, before the Obama Administration abruptly quit providing any overall tally for its U.N. support.

Mexico's remittances reach almost $27 billion.  Mexicans living abroad sent home almost $27 billion in 2016, the highest yearly figure on record, the central bank reported on Wednesday [2/1/2017].  The remittances rose 8.8 percent, from $24.78 billion in 2015 to 26.97 billion last year.

The Editor says...
The money that is sent by wire transfer to Mexico — from workers who, in many cases, are not supposed to be in this country at all — is money that leaves the U.S. economy and no longer benefits the citizens of the neighborhoods and cities where the money was earned.  This is assuming that the money was earned and not stolen.  The money is therefore out of circulation in this country and, as it stands now, leaves the U.S. without even being taxed.  A hefty tax on these wire transfers wouldn't raise enough to build a wall on the Mexican border, and perhaps this tax revenue would be given away to people who are too lazy to work, or spent on a useless pork barrel project, but at least somebody on this side of the border would benefit.

The $7 billion school improvement grant program:  Greatest failure in the history of the US Department of Education?  The final IES report on the School Improvement Grant program is devastating to Arne Duncan's and the Obama administration's education legacy.  A major evaluation commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education and conducted by two highly respected research institutions delivered a crushing verdict:  The program failed and failed badly.  (The Washington Post's article by Emma Brown does an exceptional job recounting the administration's $7 billion folly.)

Education Department report finds billions spent under Obama had 'no impact' on achievement.  The Obama administration pumped more than $7 billion into an education program, first authorized under President George W. Bush, that had no impact on student achievement — according to a report released by the Department of Education in the final days of the 44th president's term.  The Department of Education's findings were contained in its "School Improvement Grants:  Implementation and Effectiveness" report.  The study could energize the debate over national education policy just as the Senate considers President Trump's controversial pick to lead the department, Betsy DeVos, an outspoken school choice advocate who has questioned the way federal education dollars are spent.

IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 'Unauthorized' Aliens at One Atlanta Address.  The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to "unauthorized" alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).  That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically used by thousands of "unauthorized" alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011.  In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to "unauthorized" aliens were in Atlanta.  The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.

NASA Gets Religion About Extraterrestrials.  [Scroll down to page 58]  "How might the world's religions respond to the discovery of life on other planets?"  NASA is enlisting theologians to answer that question to prepare for if and when human contact is made with extraterrestrials.  The NASA Astrobiology Program awarded more than $1.1 million to the Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI) to examine "the societal implications of the search for life in the universe."

Wastebook Exposes More than $5 Billion in Questionable Federal Spending.  Arizona senator Jeff Flake released his annual 200-page catalogue of egregious government spending today, shedding light on 50 unnecessary taxpayer-funded projects from 2016.

Obama Wastes Another $500 Million for UN Climate Fund.  Of course, this money will go to dictators and bad guys in many areas.  Well, the money that makes it out of the hands of the United Nations, which doesn't exactly have a great track record of competence and fiscal responsibility.  And, what money makes it beyond the greedy hands of  3rd world  developing nation leaders, will be position as being from the UN, rather than the United States.  Obama's just throwing money that taxpayers earned with hard work away, and all for nothing.

Barack Obama transfers $500m to Green Climate Fund in attempt to protect Paris deal.  Barack Obama has heeded calls to help secure the future of the historic Paris agreement by transferring a second $500m instalment to the Green Climate Fund, just three days before he leaves office.  The fund was a key aspect of the Paris agreement signed in 2015, which aims to keep global warming "well below" 2[°]C and aspires to keep warming to 1.5[°]C.  Established in 2010, it is financed by wealthy countries and used to assist developing countries with adaptation and mitigation.  It was widely seen as a key measure to bring both rich and poor countries to the negotiating table.  The US committed to transferring $3bn to the fund.  The new instalment leaves $2bn owing, with the incoming president, Donald Trump, expected to cease any further payments.

Air Force general uses $387G in taxpayer funds to renovate foyer.  A foyer leading to a three-star general's office has been renovated at a cost to taxpayers of $387,000.

D.C. Just Unveiled a Taxpayer-Funded, Anti-Street Harassment Walkway.  The Washington D.C. government justified spending taxpayer dollars on an anti-catcalling display by claiming women run into the street to avoid whistling and catcalls.  WAMU reports Washington D.C. unveiled "The Walkway" as part of the District Department of Transportation's and Mayor Muriel Bowser's "Vision Zero" project to reduce traffic fatalities in the city.  WAMU describes the tunnel as "hot pink ramp with bright, color-changing lights" that includes audio of people whistling and catcalling.  The display also includes photos of people who have allegedly been forced to endure the trauma of being catcalled, as well as quotes about their experiences.

HUD Spent Almost $1M To Cover Up Accusation Against Top Exec.  Taxpayers wrote a $900,000 settlement check to a federal employee to compensate her for once being likened to a "Little Rascals" character by her boss, The Daily Caller News Foundation's Investigative Group has learned.  The secret settlement appears to be one of the largest-ever discrimination settlement payouts to an individual federal employee.  The payment came after an Equal Opportunity Employment office ruled that the remark was racist and accepted without challenge the claim that it caused nearly a million dollars worth of emotional harm.  The offending boss was Mary K. Kinney, then-executive vice president of Ginnie Mae, which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Obama Has Little To Show For His Lavish Spending On Roads, Green Energy And E-Cars.  Obama came into office like a starry-eyed dreamer.  He promised a vast network of high-speed rail, a "smart" electric grid, a million electric cars on the roads, a "clean energy economy" creating millions of new green jobs.  And he spent lavishly to realize this dream. [...] Obama has spent billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing windmills and solar plants as part of his vision of a "clean energy" future.  But despite his repeated claims about a huge increase in renewable energy production, renewables today make up just 11% of the nation's total energy production, according to the Energy Information Administration.  In mid-1983, the share of energy production comprised of renewables was... 11%.

Stop Wasting Our Money!  Have you ever read your morning paper and thought to yourself, "Why did it cost $17 million to plant some flowers in the town square?"  Perhaps they had to pay a union crew to survey the land (drink coffee and talk about baseball) for a few months before starting the project.  Then they had to pay a master electrician thousands of dollars to be on-call because of the underground power line 300 yards away.  Then they heard that a family of pygmy turtles may be living in the area, so the project was delayed for six months.  But payments continued.  Or perhaps the town supervisor's brother-in-law is a florist, a very wealthy florist.  Whatever the reason, when the government gets involved, the price tag never seems to match the project at hand.  Is it incompetence, carelessness, corruption or a combination of all three?  Or just human nature?

Medicare failed to recover up to $125 million in overpayments, records show.  Six years ago, federal health officials were confident they could save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually by auditing private Medicare Advantage insurance plans that allegedly overcharged the government for medical services.  An initial round of audits found that Medicare had potentially overpaid five of the health plans $128 million in 2007 alone, according to confidential government documents released recently in response to a public records request and lawsuit.  But officials never recovered most of that money.  Under intense pressure from the health insurance industry, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services quietly backed off their repayment demands and settled the audits in 2012 for just under $3.4 million — shortchanging taxpayers by up to $125 million in possible overcharges just for 2007.  The centers are part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Hunt for Waste, Fraud, and Abuse Should Start in the Executive Branch.  [Scroll down]  For example, Open the Books found that the Environmental Protection Agency under both President George W. Bush and President Obama (the study covered the years 2000 to 2014) spent over $15.1 million on outside public-relations consultants, despite having nearly 200 public-affairs employees in-house.  Between 2007 and 2014, the EPA spent $141.496 million on salaries for its dedicated public-affairs officers.  It surely didn't need to spend millions more on hired guns to do the same job.

The cost of Obama.  Obama isn't exactly new to spending like a second wife on Rodeo Drive.  When he wasn't taking two planes on five-star family vacations and hoisting Cristal with bubble-dwelling super-celebrities like Mr. and Mrs. Beyonce, he was sending planes on secret missions to hand hundreds of billions of dollars to fun guys like Iran.  Eight years of Obama spent the Democrats into a hole deep enough to hide every "green energy" boondoggle and auto industry bailout.

America's Most Wasted.  [This report describes] more than $13 billion in wasteful defense spending across the Department, including:
  •   $12 billion for 26 Littoral Combat Ships with no proven combat capability
  •   $458 million paid out inappropriately for travel expense reimbursements
  •   $375 million for Missile Defense Agency (MDA) targets that weren't used or didn't work
  •   $58 million for the Navy's experiments with alternative fuel sources for its Great Green Fleet
  •   $12 million for defective spare parts that will need to be replaced or refunded
  •   $1 million for travel claim reimbursements for unauthorized expenses at casinos and strip clubs

Abolish the Department of Energy.  Why would anyone want to abolish the DOE?  According to one liberal commentator, it was because the department "was established during Jimmy Carter's administration and it perhaps sounds like it might have something to do with solar panels."  Jimmy Carter created it, all right, but solar panels were only a symptom of the real problem.  The DOE was conceived in dark and pessimistic beliefs and forecasts that have proven totally wrong.  As Obama might say, the DOE is on the wrong side of history.  As it stands the department needs to either be rethought or retired.

The Costly DEA Drug Fighting Airplane that Never Flew.  In 2008, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) paid $8.6 million for an airplane.  By March 2016, that airplane — though still unable to fly — had cost taxpayers over $86 million, according to a federal government watchdog.  In September 2008, the DEA bought an ATR 500 series aircraft for nearly $8.6 million to be used in its illegal drug fighting efforts in Afghanistan. [...] The combined ATR purchase and modification project, eventually dubbed the Global Discovery program, was projected by the DEA and DOD to cost no more than $22 million.  So far, so good, but the only thing the Global Discovery program discovered was another way to waste a lot of the taxpayers' money.

Last Obama 'climate change' spending frenzy: $90M.  Before leaving office, President Barack Obama is sneaking in one last attempt to fund his "global warming" agenda — a move that could cost American taxpayers another $90 million if he successfully persuades Asian cities to adopt his plan when he travels there during the last month of his second and final term.  The outgoing president's push to throw millions into his exorbitant climate change initiative is a last-ditch effort to fund and keep his clean energy legacy before President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration in January.  However, Obama's final spending frenzy is nothing new.

Pentagon Spent Over $1 Million Studying Rat Personalities.  Sen. John McCain is calling out the ridiculous, frivolous ways the Pentagon spends taxpayer dollars in a his semi-annual "America's Most Wasted" report released Monday [12/19/2016].

'Luxury' living:  Senate report finds IRS workers racked up huge travel tab.  The IRS spent more than $1.4 million on long-term travel for just 27 employees in fiscal 2015, including on high-end car services and luxury apartment and hotel stays, a Senate report has found — with one lawmaker blasting "woefully insufficient efforts" to reduce expenses at the agency.  The Senate Finance Committee report, obtained by, found that while federal guidelines say employees must exercise the same care in incurring expenses as a "prudent person" traveling on personal business, IRS employees who traveled 125 business days or more racked up an average cost of over $52,000 a year.

Go Big: Eliminate the Energy Department.  When created in 1977, DOE was given the responsibility for "the design, constructing, and testing of nuclear weapons, and ... a loosely knit amalgamation of energy-related programs scattered throughout the Federal Government."  Prior to DOE, the federal government played a very limited role in energy policy and development.  Presumed scarcity, excessive dependence on OPEC nations, distrust in markets, and the search for energy independence became the foundation for what is now a $32.5 billion bureaucracy in search for relevance.  A series of energy policies have done little to contribute to the abundance of affordable energy that fuels a growing economy.  What DOE has done is squander money on the search for alternative energy sources.  In the process, it enabled Bootlegger and Baptist schemes that enriched crony capitalists who are all too willing to support the flawed notion that government can pick winners and losers.  For 2017, a large chunk of DOE spending — $12.6 billion, or 39 percent — is earmarked to "support the President's strategy to combat climate change."

ICE spends $100 million ferrying illegal immigrant children around U.S., watchdog says.  Government figures obtained by the Immigration Reform Law Institute through an open records request show Immigration and Customs Enforcement spent an average of $665 per juvenile in 2014, with most of that going to the cost of airplane flights to shuttle the children among government agencies, to relatives here in the U.S. or back to their home countries — if they're deported.  At that rate, ICE will spend about $4.5 million flying just the children nabbed at the border in October, and somewhere north of $100 million since the surge began in earnest in 2014.

Pentagon Documents Prove Trump is Right — Boeing Air-Force-One Over $4 Billion.  Immediately the Trump opposition, which is essentially the entire MSM apparatus, went into apoplectic rage and attack mode because, according to them, there was no basis for the price assertion at $4 billion.  However, Pentagon contract documents obtained by The Daily Mail show Donald Trump was precisely correct, and all the moonbat antagonists were precisely wrong.

Trump was right about Air Force One:  Pentagon budget documents show Boeing program is slated to cost more than $4.2 billion.  The Pentagon program that will replace the pair of aging 'Air Force One' planes is already slated to cost $4.265 billion through the year 2021, according to federal budget and procurement documents obtained by  That number supports what President-elect Donald Trump said two days ago when he claimed the U.S. Air Force should cancel its order with Boeing because the project's cost had spiraled above $4 billion.

Pentagon wastes $125 billion; Obama missing in action.  The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post.  The report recommended that the bureaucracy be trimmed because it is overstaffed and overfunded.  It describes the infighting at the Pentagon, with everyone shifting the blame to others.  But the missing name in the story is the name of President Obama.  If you read the story, you could conclude that we do not have a president to make the decision to save $125 billion.  It is all the fault of Congress, or the generals or the system or defense secretaries.

Pentagon reportedly buried study exposing $125 billion in waste.  Senior defense officials suppressed a study documenting $125 billion worth of administrative waste at the Pentagon out of fears that Congress would use its findings to cut the defense budget, the Washington Post reported late Monday [12/5/2016].  The report, which was issued in January 2015 by the advisory Defense Business Board, called for a series of reforms that would have saved the department $125 billion over the next five years.  Among its other findings, the report showed that the Defense Department was paying just over 1 million contractors, civilian employees and uniformed personnel to fill back-office jobs.  That number nearly matches the amount of active duty troops — 1.3 million, the lowest since 1940.

Trump: Boeing 'doing a little bit of a number' on taxpayers for new Air Force One.  President-elect Trump said Tuesday [12/6/2016] that Boeing is "doing a little bit of a number" on the American taxpayer with its deal to build the new fleet of Air Force Ones, and threatened to cancel the government's order.  The cost of building a new Air Force One will be about $4 billion, Trump tweeted Tuesday.  He later took a question from reporters at Trump Tower about the tweet and said it's going to cost too much.  "The plane is totally out of control, it's going to be over $4 billion for the Air Force One program, and I think it's ridiculous," Trump said.

Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste.  The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post.  Pentagon leaders had requested the study to help make their enormous back-office bureaucracy more efficient and reinvest any savings in combat power.  But after the project documented far more wasteful spending than expected, senior defense officials moved swiftly to kill it by discrediting and suppressing the results.

U.S. Spends Millions to Give Africa "Clean" Energy.  As part of a broad mission to end extreme poverty worldwide the Obama administration is giving unproven startups millions of dollars to create solar power in Africa. [...] It appears to be the international version of the president's disastrous — and costly — plan to create innovative clean technologies domestically by filling the coffers of fly-by-night companies that never delivered.  Instead, they went bankrupt after getting billions of dollars from American taxpayers under a Department of Energy (DOE) initiative that doled out $16.1 billion for more than two dozen projects.  Among the recipients was a now-defunct northern California solar panel firm named Solyndra that abruptly folded after getting $535 million from the DOE to promote green energy.

Gov't Spends $750,000 On A Wooden Sculpture And It Made Everyone Sick.  Several employees at the FBI became seriously ill after the agency spent $750,000 on a 15,000 pound, two-story tall wooden statue that was placed in the lobby of its Miami, Fl. office.  A dozen people were ultimately hospitalized because of the dust the sculpture created, according to Politico.  The statue, which is made of red cedar imported from Vancouver, Canada and supposed to resemble a tornado, was purchased by the General Services Administration (GSA), an independent government agency.  It was installed early last year, but has already been removed due to its almost toxic-like qualities.

15,000 lb cedar sculpture at the FBI makes more than a dozen employees seriously ill including the office nurse.  An enormous sculpture in the FBI's Miami field office is being blamed for sickening a number of the bureau's workers including the office nurse who had an extreme allergic reaction.  The 17-feet tall red cedar wood sculpture known as 'Cedrus' was installed early last year in the lobby, but soon after the unveiling employees began to feel ill.  Politico reports at least a dozen workers had to go to hospital with most suffering allergic reactions to the cedar dust from the sculpture.

Report: Federal Government Blows $247 Billion on 'Wasteful and Inefficient Spending'.  The federal government has wasted at least $247 billion in domestic and overseas spending, says a new report.  In his second annual "Federal Fumbles" report, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) highlighted 100 examples of "wasteful and inefficient spending" and the threat of an almost $20 trillion national debt.  The federal government, which announced a deficit of over $500 billion in the 2016 fiscal year, spent $223 billion on interest payments alone in 2015.  Even if the nation had a $50 billion budget surplus, "it would still take 460 years to pay off our national debt," according to Lankford's report.  In tracking down examples of federal wastefulness, "we are really dealing with four different main areas," the senator explained in the press conference releasing the report.  The areas are "grants that need oversight, regulations and regulators that need oversight, agency bureaucracy and inefficiency, and then a lack of coordination between agencies."

Federal Fumbles: 100 Ways the Government Dropped the Ball.  The State Department spent one million dollars to bring movie producers and others from Jordan, Turkey and other nations to study American filmmakers and then use their new skills to benefit other countries.  More than $500,000 went to digging up graves and religious sites to study the transition of churches in the late seventh through 12th centuries.  In Iceland.  In Afghanistan, a $48.7 million contract from the U.S. Air Force was meant to build a new headquarters for the Afghan Ministry of Defense.  Due for completion in 2010, the project ran five years late and $106 million over-budget.

Snuggies, Shakespeare top annual government wasteful-spending list.  If Shakespeare is performed without the bard's immortal words, is it really Shakespeare?  The National Endowment for the Arts has committed $10,000 of taxpayers' money to test that question — one of dozens of projects to make the wasteful spending list of Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican who's continuing the tradition of former Sen. Tom Coburn's annual Wastebook.  The National Science Foundation again comes in for an outsized share of criticism for its research spending, including a $1.8 million grant to a university that spent some of the money on embroidered Snuggies, the robe-style blankets that are a staple of As-Seen-On-TV trinket advertising.

The Navy's New Stealth Destroyer Broke Down in the Panama Canal.  The US Navy's newest destroyer broke down while transiting the Panama Canal, colliding with the Canal lock walls and forcing the $4 billion dollar ship to resort to a tow from a tugboat.  The USS Zumwalt was towed to a former U.S. naval station in Panama where it will undergo emergency repairs.  This is just months after a similar incident in September.

Government Doesn't Know How To Stop Wasting $137 Billion On Improper Payments.  The Do Not Pay (DNP) system, created by the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, combines several federal databases that agencies can use as a tool to check whether the recipient of a contract, grant, loan or other government payment was truly eligible to receive the money.  Without the DNP system working properly, the government is trapped in an expensive "pay and chase" process, where agencies have to catch overpayments or wrongful payments and recover the funds later.  Ideally, agencies would reduce improper payments by checking contract and grant recipients in the database, but for a variety of reasons, agencies rarely, if ever, use the system.

Federal Pell Grant Waste Quadrupled Last Year.  The amount of improper Pell Grant payments by the federal government more than quadrupled in the past year, wasting more than $2 billion taxpayer dollars, a new report reveals.  The 2016 fiscal year report by the Department of Education breaks down the department's spending in a variety of areas, including the distribution of Pell Grants, the primary form of federal financial aid to low-income college students.  The report touted that the government had substantially expanded overall Pell awards compared to when President Barack Obama took office.  But buried near the end of the report was a notable admission:  The number of improper payments exploded between the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years.

It's Time to Stop Spending Taxpayer Dollars on Elon Musk and Cronyism.  The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have launched a probe into tax incentives paid to solar companies, according to The Wall Street Journal.  The committee probes, led by their respective Republican chairmen, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, have found an appropriate and disturbing target to begin this work.  SolarCity, a solar installation company set to be purchased by Tesla Motors Inc., is one of the seven companies named in the initial investigation.  Already grossly subsidized, Musk's SolarCity has become an albatross of waste, fraud, and abuse of tax payer dollars.

President Obama's UniParty Slush Fund.  [Scroll down]  The shovel ready jobs program was a ruse, as Obama later admitted there were no "shovel ready" jobs created.  Instead the reality was the $1 trillion ["Stimulus"] entered the various cabinet offices at the discretion of the President.  Initially Obama gave a big chuck to the Dept of Education to use as a subsidy for economic drops in state education funds.  In essence Obama subsidized the teachers payrolls, and kept the teachers union happy.  Other notable large expenditures went into crony capitalistic endeavors with the Dept of Energy and EPA (Solyndra etc.), along with the State Dept.  The key point is the $1 trillion 2009 "stimulus" funds, became a tool for President Obama to use in whatever cabinet office need he saw.

Spending a $100 Million a Year to Pay Teachers to Do Nothing.  The New York Post ran a story Sunday [11/6/2016] about a man who was suing New York City.  He wasn't after money (he's making $94,000 a year).  He was suing to be allowed to earn his money.  David Suker, 48, is one of hundreds of teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve.  He gets paid to show up.  "I come to work every day, sit down and do nothing," Suker told the Post.  I'd heard of such instances before, but I was unaware just how large the program is.  The Post says there are currently 1,304 people in the ATR.

The USS Zumwalt Can't Fire Its Guns Because the Ammo Is Too Expensive.  Just three weeks after commissioning the USS Zumwalt, the U.S. Navy has admitted it is canceling ammunition specially developed for the ship's high-tech gun systems because the rounds are too expensive.  The guns, tailor made for the destroyer, will be unable to fire until the Navy chooses a cheaper replacement round.  The Zumwalt-class destroyers were conceived in the late 1990s as the first of a new generation of stealthy warships.  The radar signature of the 610 foot long warship is that of a 50-foot fishing boat, making the Zumwalts great for getting in close to an enemy coastline and then using the 155-millimeter Advanced Gun Systems mounted on the front of the hull.  The guns were designed to fire the advanced Long Range Land Attack Projectile, a GPS guided shell with a range of 60 miles.

U.S. Illegally Dispensed $60 Mil to Combat African Ebola Crisis, Money Keeps Flowing.  In its crusade to tackle the Ebola crisis in Africa the Obama administration violated its own laws by frantically doling out tens of millions of dollars to leftist groups that claimed they could help control the virus from spreading in the continent's western region.  Congress dedicated a breathtaking $2.5 billion to deal with Africa's Ebola crisis but the funds came with rules to keep the allocation process in check and they were repeatedly violated, according to a federal audit made public this month.  At least $60 million was fraudulently dispersed to nongovernmental organizations and other efforts without the proper steps to assure the American taxpayer funds were going to valid groups and causes.

NASA in talks with Russian space agency over joint mission to Venus - report.  The US and Russia may join efforts in exploring the second planet from the Sun, as NASA and Russian space agency Roscosmos are discussing a joint mission to Venus, Russian media reports.  NASA has already drawn up a number of scenarios for the joint mission with their Russian counterparts to Venus, director of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Lev Zeleny told the Izvestiya daily.

The Editor says...
Like everything NASA now undertakes, this mission to Venus is pointless.  How will this benefit anyone without connections to NASA?

Another government hospital runs over budget, repeating a wasteful pattern.  Construction of the new Army medical center at Fort Bliss in El Paso is almost two years behind schedule and could be more than $100 million over budget before it's completed.  Two years is an awfully long time for our nation's heroes to wait for new hospital beds.  And Donald Trump's tax returns notwithstanding, $100 million is still an awful lot of taxpayer cabbage.  One might argue that at least the William Beaumont Army Medical Center is no Aurora, Colorado, Veterans Affairs hospital, still unfinished, with the meter running on more than $1 billion in cost overruns and years past its estimated original completion date.  Still, the troubles at Fort Bliss should come as no surprise.  A check on the past two military hospital projects — in Killeen and San Antonio — shows the same budget bloat and dilatory scheduling.

Clinton's State Department spent $5.4 million on 'crystal stemware'.  Hillary Clinton's State Department spent millions of taxpayer dollars on lavish goods and frivolous initiatives, such as a $5.4 million "no-bid contract for crystal stemware" and $630,000 to "increase Facebook likes on four State Department pages." [...] While wasteful spending is a familiar find at most federal agencies, Clinton presided over particularly expensive unsuccessful reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Her agency spent more than $600 million on failed projects in those two countries alone, according to the RNC memo.

Clinton's Lavish State Department Spending.  Now, in another new report, we are learning that Hillary Clinton's State Department wasted hundreds of millions of your hard-earned taxpayer dollars on a wild spending binge. [...] These are all State Department expenditures during her tenure:
  •   $5.4 million on a no-bid contract for Crystal Stemware
  •   $167.5 million on cost overruns at the Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan
  •   Over $200 million on mostly unused police training facilities in Iraq
  •   $79,000 to buy copies of President Obama's books
  •   $53,000 to polish marble at the Brazilian Embassy
  •   $630,000 to try to make State Department Facebook pages more popular
  •   $216,000 to hire an event planner for a 4th of July party in Madrid
  •   $88,000 to send three comedians to India
  •   More than $250,000 to purchase art in Mexico
  •   $410,000 to purchase art in China

Exclusive: American Tax Dollars Going To Sports Programs For Refugees.  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement (OOR) informed governors' offices of its intent to provide sports programs, mental health counseling and job placement services for refugees during a conference call Thursday [10/27/2016].  On the quarterly call on refugee issues, participants were told the sports programs are necessary to help them acclimate to American culture.  The cost of the sports programs has not yet been disclosed.

The $6 Billion Clinton's State Dept LOST Was Not 'Debunked'.  Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's claim that the $6 billion the Department of State lost was "debunked" contradicts multiple investigations and audits by the agency's watchdog.  "When you ran the State Department, $6 billion was missing," Republican nominee Trump said during Wednesday's [10/19/2016] final presidential debate.  "How do you miss $6 billion?  Six billion dollars was either stolen, they don't know.  It's gone."  Clinton replied:  "Well, first of all, what he just said about the State Department is not only untrue, it's been debunked numerous times."  But it was the State Department's Inspector General (IG) who found in three investigations and two audits that an estimated $6 billion was lost to contract mismanagement, fraud and incompetence during Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.

N.J. took $1.4B from your phone bill for new 911 system but never delivered.  [F]or more than a decade, every person in New Jersey with a phone has paid a tax on their monthly bill to make it happen, handing over a whopping $1.37 billion to Trenton.  Then came the classic Jersey bait-and-switch.  Rather than using the money for 911, lawmakers and governors have instead raided it time and again to balance the budget, leaving critical upgrades to the state's most important public safety system on hold.  An NJ Advance Media analysis found that of the $1.37 billion the state has collected in 911 fees since 2004, only 15 percent, about $211 million, has been used to help pay for the 911 system.  Investment in the upgrade, known as NextGen 911, has trickled to a halt.

Barack Obama Spent BILLIONS Of Taxpayer Dollars Trying To Convince You He's Smart.  It has been eight years of the most ego-driven presidency in the history of the Republic.  And if the devil is to be found in the details, those details have now revealed the extent of Barack Obama's yearning to convince others of his own magnificence — an endeavor he spent a half-BILLION dollars per year of taxpayer dollars on.  And beyond that direct $500 million per year federal employee public relations army, is another ONE BILLION dollars the administration is utilizing for outside the administration PR firms to spin his policies in a favorable light.  That is a one billion dollar advertising campaign to combat reports on administration-related scandals, the still-tepid economy, unemployment, the rise of ISIS, etc.  In short, it is the pay-to-play scheme that Team Obama has utilized to control the Mainstream Media.

Obama's army of public relations staffers cost U.S. taxpayers $500M per year.  President Obama has swelled the ranks of government PR, adding hundreds of new public relations specialists to the federal payroll during his time in office, costing taxpayers a half-billion dollars a year, the government's chief watchdog said Wednesday [10/5/2016].  That doesn't include the more than $100 million the administration spends annually for help from private sector spinmeisters, nor does it account for the $800 million spent on contracts for advertising in 2015, according to the Government Accountability Office.  "Spending $1.5 billion on government PR activities is a huge waste of money.  That sort of spending should be drastically scaled back," said Chris Edwards, a federal budget scholar at the Cato Institute.

WH defends $1.5 billion in PR expenses.  The White House on Thursday defended its decision to significantly expand the ranks of public relations specialists on the executive payroll during President Obama's time in office, and cast it as a transparency exercise that's needed to ensure officials are communicating "effectively" to the public.  The Obama administration has spent more than $1.5 billion on government public relations staffers a year, as well as additional private-sector communications specialists, since the president took office, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday [10/65/2016].  The White House's chief spokesman, Josh Earnest, defended the move and called it money well spent.

The Unstoppable PR Machine Fed By Your Taxes.  A new report commissioned by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. (F, 58%), who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, found that government agencies spend about $1.5 billion every year on advertising and public relations.  It may take a minute for the absurdity of that to sink in.

US taxpayers made millionaires out of Afghan gangsters, warlords and connected class.  American taxpayers have spent more than $100 billion rebuilding Afghanistan, creating schools, hospitals and roads while making millionaires out of a rogue's gallery of warlords, gangsters and corrupt officials.  A total of $114 billion, which does not include even more spent on the military effort to oust the Taliban and stabilize the impoverished country, has been appropriated since 2002.  While it has likely improved conditions in the country, corrupt builders, security providers, mercenaries and even local bankers have all taken their cuts — and gotten rich in the process.

EpiPens and Government Cheese.  At the end of August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture bought 11 million pounds of cheese — that's a cheese cube for every man, woman, and child in America — in order to bail out the nation's feckless cheesemongers.  Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack touted the aid package, worth $20 million, as a win-win:  "This commodity purchase is part of a robust, comprehensive safety net that will help reduce a cheese surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein food to the tables of those most in need."  (Most of the federal government's new stockpile will go to food banks.)

Taxpayers pay rent for Somalis who feel the need to visit Somalia (for months!)  You cannot make this up!  Virtually all Somalis who live in the US came here (we are told) as poor refugees (there are going on 200,000 of them).  So how persecuted and fearful of returning home are they if many travel back and forth to Africa and the taxpayers of Minneapolis cover most of their rent while they are gone!  By the way, Somalis are not the only (fake) persecuted and impoverished 'refugees' who go 'home' for visits from time to time.

Obama Spends $770M Dollars In Tax Payer Money To Renovate Mosques Over Seas.  CBS exposing Obama paying for the renovation of mosques is actually a story from 2015.  But it got little media attention then and he's still doing it.  He's diverting hundreds of millions of US dollars to overseas mosques to renovate them.  Tell me again how he is not a Muslim.  This just screams it.  And people wonder why he grovels before the Mullahs of Iran[,] why he gives ISIS a pass[,] why he is terraforming the US into a Muslim nation.

BART tax could quadruple original claim.  It turns out that the average property tax bill required to support BART's proposed $3.5 billion bond measure on the November ballot could be as much as four times what the transit agency claimed.  Two months ago, I reported that the taxes needed to pay off that bond borrowing would be about double BART's public estimate.  Well, it could be even twice that.  That's because legal language in Measure RR allows BART to issue bonds at up to the state limit of 12 percent interest, far higher than assumed for the previous estimates.

U.S. State Department to allocate $2.65 million for North Korea human rights.  The U.S. State Department is allocating $2.65 million to improving human rights in North Korea.  The funds will go to human rights organizations and research institutions to support work on North Korea-related issues, Voice of America reported Thursday.

Feds to Spend $4.6 Million to Give 'Emotional Wellness' to Refugees.  The Obama administration plans to spend $4.6 million next year on health promotion and "emotional wellness" for refugees as President Obama plans a 30 percent increase in the number of refugees admitted into the country.  The Department of Health and Human Services issued a grant forecast last month detailing its plans to issue health care grants for refugees on top of government programs that are already available, such as Medicaid.  "The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) invites States to submit applications for Refugee Health Promotion (RHP) discretionary grant funds," the grant forecast says.  "The purpose of the RHP grant is to support health and emotional wellness among refugees.  The program is designed to coordinate and promote local health and mental health services and education."

$2.3 Million Taxpayer Dollars Goes to Help Students Cope With Freddie Gray Trauma.  The U.S. Department of Education awarded the city of Baltimore more than $2.3 million in grant money to help students deal with "significant trauma related to episodes of civil unrest."  The announcement said that the money is part of a new Promoting Student Resilience (PSR) program geared "to promote student resilience."  The federal government gave Baltimore $2,374,000, which will go towards counseling and behavioral programs to improve the mental health of students who may have been traumatized by civil unrest.  After Freddie Gray's death as a result of injuries suffered while in police custody, protests and rioting broke out in the city.  Tension increased again after the officers involved were either acquitted at trial or had their charges dropped by prosecutors.

DOD Is Leasing Land To Green Energy Companies For Free.  The Department of Defense (DOD) allowed private companies to build green energy projects on federal lands for little or no compensation, according to an audit of the Pentagon's green energy efforts.  Government Accountability Office (GAO) auditors reviewed 17 green energy projects on DOD land and found 14 of those projects were, "not always clear about the value of the land used and the compensation DOD received for granting such use."  "Specifically, for 8 projects, DOD received little or no financial compensation for the use of its land, but the documentation did not clearly compare the value for granting use of DOD land to the value of what DOD received for it," GAO found.  "As a result, DOD contributed potentially valuable land — in some cases, over 100 acres — for the development of a project without including this as a cost in project documentation."

Feds Spend Millions Fighting FOIA Lawsuits, GAO Finds.  Federal agencies spend millions of tax dollars opposing Americans' successful lawsuits seeking public records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but can't say exactly how much, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.  Department of Justice (DOJ) officials responsible for tracking agencies' FOIA compliance don't know how much agencies spent fighting 112 cases from 2009 to 2014 in which the plaintiff "substantially" prevailed, according to GAO. Of the 57 lawsuits agencies could track, agencies spent $1.8 million.  But that's just a drop in the bucket compared to the $144 million agencies estimated they spent fighting 3,350 FOIA lawsuits from 2009 to 2014, according to GAO.

More Than 28,000 Mexican Citizens [are] Housed in U.S. Federal Prisons.  There are 28,683 Mexican citizens being housed in U.S. federal prisons as of the most recent statistics, PJM has learned.  The figure represents the total number of inmates with Mexican citizenship in the custody of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons as of July 30, 2016, out of the total 193,391 inmates.  Mexican inmates are currently the second largest group of inmates based on citizenship of the total federal prison population at 14.8 percent, behind U.S. citizens at 77.8 percent.  In May, the number of Mexican citizens housed in federal prisons was higher at 29,371 out of 194,991 total inmates.  The bureau could not provide the specific number of inmates in their custody who are illegal immigrants.

DoD Officials Did Not Take Appropriate Action When Notified of Potential Travel Card Misuse at Casinos and Adult Entertainment Establishments.  DoD had less money available for legitimate travel expenses because of the travel overpayments[.]  DoD experienced potential national security vulnerabilities due to the untimely reporting or non-reporting of derogatory information regarding misuse of Government travel cards to the DoD Consolidated Adjudications Facility, resulting in the delay or lack of adjudication (decision on security clearance eligibility) for cleared DoD cardholders with financial concerns or personal conduct issues[.]

DOD Lets Workers Use Govt.  Plastic at Strip Clubs, Casinos — "Potential National Security Vulnerabilities".  More than a year after a federal audit revealed that Department of Defense (DOD) employees made millions of dollars in personal charges — including at casinos and strip clubs — on their government-issued credit cards, no action has been taken to stop the criminal behavior.  Pentagon officials have done nothing to crack down on the abuse, instead allowing cardholders to keep sticking it to taxpayers by continuing to use the government credit cards at gambling and adult entertainment establishments.

Tens Of Millions In 'Consumer Relief' Funds Going To Liberal Activists.  The Obama administration has quietly funneled millions (and potentially billions) of dollars to leftist organizations and politicians that promote liberal policies and win political elections at the entry-level of government, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Pentagon Officials Permitted Government Spending at Strip Clubs and Casinos:  Report.  Department of Defense workers spent nearly $100,000 at strip clubs and "adult entertainment establishments," and almost $1 million at casinos, according to the report, which cited a May 2015 audit.  At the request of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, the inspector general further investigated the matter.  According to the report, out of a sample of 30 government cardholders, 22 sought and received reimbursements on 131 vouchers totaling $8,544.  Furthermore, officials did not consider the "security implications of improper personal use of the travel card," the report found.

Feds spend $911,056 studying the drinking habits of lesbian couples.  The National Institutes of Health is spending nearly $1 million on a study of lesbian couples to see if stress makes them drink too much.  The grant awarded to Old Dominion University will involve lesbians filling out daily diaries about their romantic relationships to determine what causes them to drink.

Leftist Latino Group Crowns USDA "Federal Agency of the Year" for Cultural Transformation.  Under Obama the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has shattered records for spending mammoth amounts to give an unprecedented number of people — including illegal aliens — food stamps, make fresh fruits and vegetables available in inner-city "food deserts" and expand farm loans for underserved communities.  The agency has also conducted a minority cash giveaway for "discriminated" farmers that initially targeted blacks but then expanded dramatically to benefit Hispanics.  The idea behind that was to make amends to those who suffered discrimination when seeking farm loans from the USDA.  Black farmers got a $1.25 billion settlement and women and Hispanics received $195 million "to ensure inclusivity for all who seek justice."  All Hispanics who felt they were victims of USDA discrimination got up to $50,000 for their suffering after filling out a form.

Fed Housing Dept Has $43 Billion Worth Of Indecipherable Records.  Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials have ignored 63 financial management recommendations from Congress' investigative arm since 2012 and only half-heartedly followed many more, resulting in the $43 billion agency's books to be all but useless.  Things have gotten so bad at HUD so rapidly, that auditors who found only one "material weakness" in the department's accounting in 2012 found nine in 2015, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report published Monday [8/22/2016].

Clinton's State Department Blew $6 Billion In Contracts, And We're About To Learn Why.  Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton may soon have to answer questions about an estimated $6 billion in contract mismanagement, fraud and incompetence that happened under her watch at the Department of State.  Non-profit government watchdog Cause of Action Institute (CofA) filed a Freedom of Information Act request Friday [8/19/2016] for records related to a March 2014 management alert issued by the department's Inspector General.

More than 100,000 defective combat helmets made by federal inmates put soldiers' lives at risk — and cost the government $19 Million.  Defective combat helmets made by federal inmates in Texas put soldiers' lives at risk.  The poorly-manufactured helmets were produced for the US military using prison labor and later failed ballistics tests, the Justice Department's Inspector General said Wednesday [8/17/2016] in a report.  Nearly 150,000 of the helmets were manufactured between 2006 and 2009, when the White House ordered 'surges' in combat troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Poorly supervised inmates also used dangerous, improvised tools such as makeshift hatchets, which could easily have become weapons.

USDA teams up with Iowa law school and Cyndi Lauper to celebrate lesbian farmers.  It's tough being gay and living in rural areas — or so says the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  That's why the agency known for grading your beef is teaming up with LGBT groups and Drake University's law school to host an "LGBT Rural Summit" on Thursday [8/18/2016]. [...] It is unclear how much the program is costing U.S. taxpayers, although USDA's Office of Civil Rights, which is coordinating the summits, requested $24.4 million in funding in its fiscal-year 2016 budget request.

1,300 Fugitives Were Living In Federally-Funded Housing, Now Grassley Demands To Know Why.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley thinks it's time for a federal watchdog to cough up some answers about a disturbing report it withheld from Congress and taxpayers on an estimated 1,300 wanted criminal fugitives living in subsidized public housing.  The Iowa Republican also wants to know why the Department of Housing and Urban Development apparently isn't enforcing the law against criminals living in federally subsidized housing.

VA Hospital Bought $300,000 Worth Of TVs, Then Stored Them.  Detroit's Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital spent $311,000 on TVs that were never used and remain in storage.  The federal agency's facility ordered the 300 TVs "because they had funds available," which "may have violated the bona fide needs rule," according to a new report from the department's inspector general (IG).  Now, the TVs have sat "in storage for about 2½ years.  Further, warranties for the TVs expired."

VA Drops Millions on Delayed Solar Power Projects.  The Department of Veterans Affairs has spent more than $408 million to install solar panels on its medical facilities in recent years, despite many of the projects experiencing significant delays and some of the systems not becoming operational at all.  The VA has failed to effectively plan and manage these solar panel projects, resulting in significant delays and additional costs, according to a report released by the agency's inspector general last week.  The watchdog conducted an audit of 11 of the 15 solar projects awarded between fiscal years 2010 and 2013 that were still in progress as of May last year.  The investigation, which was completed in March, found that only two of the 11 solar panel projects were fully completed.

Here's $49,577,386 That Could Have Gone to Zika Relief.  The National Institutes of Health has spent more on exercise programs for refugees, anti-tobacco video games, weight-loss programs for truckers, and studies on gay hook up apps than it has to fight the Zika virus.  The Department of Health and Human Services is warning that its funding to fight the Zika virus in the United States will be exhausted by September, sending a letter to Congress this week saying "additional funding is needed."  HHS has so far received $374 million for domestic Zika relief, including $47 million specifically for the NIH.  However, the Washington Free Beacon has uncovered $49,577,386 worth of questionable NIH studies since the Zika epidemic began in the beginning of 2015.

Watchdog calls for work by veteran artists after report shows VA spent $20M on high-end art.  A taxpayer watchdog group is calling on the Veterans Affairs Administration to showcase work by veteran artists, after it was revealed the VA spent some $20 million on lavish art at facilities around the country. [...] The $19.7 million tab included a $700,000 sculpture to adorn a California facility for blind veterans.  The VA also spent $21,000 for a 27-foot fake Christmas tree; $32,000 for 62 "local image" pictures for the San Francisco VA; and $115,600 for "art consultants" for the Palo Alto facility.

IG: Obama sends hundreds of millions to 'sanctuary cities'.  President Obama's Justice Department has coughed up hundreds of millions of dollars to so-called "sanctuary cities" that refuse federal demands for criminal illegal immigrants sought for deportation, according to a new inspector general memo.  In just 10 of 155 jurisdictions reviewed, taxpayers handed over $342.1 million in Justice grants to the law-breaking cities and states that have policies barring jails and police from cooperating with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.  The IG said that is 63 percent of the funds available to all American cities.

Government Agency Spent Millions on Public Relations Campaign to Improve Image.  Top officials at the Government National Mortgage Association spent $3.9 million on a public relations campaign designed to create positive images for themselves, including a magazine piece on how one of them avoided obesity.  Spending tax dollars to polish an individual employee's image isn't allowed under Federal Acquisition Regulations, the Department of Housing and Urban Development inspector general said in a report released Tuesday [7/26/2016].  The association — which is popularly known as "Ginnie Mae" — is part of HUD.  "The majority of the charges related to Ginnie Mae's president, Theodore W. Tozer, and its former executive vice president, Mary K. Kinney," the inspector general said.  "This activity did not clearly meet the [rules] for allowable public relations and advertising costs."

VA Spent $20 Million on Art Amidst Scandal.  The taxpayer watchdog group Open the Books teamed up with COX Media Washington, D.C., for an oversight report on spending at the VA, finding numerous frivolous expenditures on artwork, including six-figure dollar sculptures at facilities for the blind.  "In the now-infamous VA scandal of 2012-2015, the nation was appalled to learn that 1,000 veterans died while waiting to see a doctor," wrote Adam Andrzejewski, the founder and CEO of Open the Books, in an editorial for Forbes.  "Tragically, many calls to the suicide assistance hotline were answered by voicemail.  The health claim appeals process was known as 'the hamster wheel' and the appointment books were cooked in seven of every ten clinics."  "Yet, in the midst of these horrific failings the VA managed to spend $20 million on high-end art over the last ten years — with $16 million spent during the Obama years," Andrzejewski said.

$3.1 billion — at least — lost in bogus tax refunds to ID thieves in 2014.  The IRS has a Taxpayer Protection Program (TPP) that sounds like it should provide security.  It does, but not enough to prevent IRS from paying $30 million to identity theft fraudsters in 2014, based on the 1.6 million screened by the program.  That's just one of the ways Uncle Sam fights identity theft fraud.  About 7,200 of them were bogus.  In total, IRS processed more than 150 million individual tax returns in 2015.  Overall, the GAO report indicates the IRS does a decent job of detecting and stopping ID fraud, which is a big business.  Crooks attempted to get $25.6 billion from bogus refunds in 2014.  The IRS beat them most of the time, stopping or recovering the theft of $22.5 billion, 88 percent of the attempted pillage.  But in the remaining cases, crooks got the $3.1 billion.

US Navy's newest $12.9bn supercarrier doesn't work.  The most expensive warship ever built has been delayed from hitting the front line because it is reportedly not ready for battle.  The $12.9 billion USS Gerald R. Ford Navy supercarrier — the first of three in its class with a total cost of $43 billion — could potentially struggle with planes landing and taking off, moving military weapons and being able to successfully defend itself, a memo obtained by Bloomberg News reads.  The memo allegedly states 'poor or unknown reliability issues' were identified in a letter dated June 28.

'Bribery and Kickback Schemes' Plague Syrian Relief Program Funded With Tax Dollars.  U.S. tax dollars are going to relief agencies in Syria that are engaging in "bid-rigging and multiple bribery and kickback schemes" and the federal government has taken inadequate steps to prevent it, according to a recent audit.

Trump Gets It Right On Reforming the VA.  [Donald] Trump is absolutely right in his diagnosis of what ails the program:  "Politicians in Washington have tried to fix the VA by holding hearings and blindly throwing money at the problem.  None of it has worked."  It is a classic example of a single-payer health care system — wasteful, inefficient and impervious to change.  A case in point is the $10 billion "reform" passed two years ago that was supposed to relieve chronic, and at times deadly, delays that veterans had to endure to get treatment.  An Associated Press investigation found that wait times had not improved at all last year.

Navy's $12.9 Billion Carrier Falls Further Behind Schedule.  The USS Gerald R. Ford — the Navy's newest aircraft carrier and the costliest U.S. warship at $12.9 billion — won't be delivered until at least November, more than two years late.

IRS "Security" Program Unable to Stop $3.1 Billion Fraud.  While it's absorbed persecuting law-abiding conservative groups the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can't seem to stop crooks from scamming it to the tune of several billion dollars in one year alone via bogus tax refunds.  It's the latest of many transgressions at the agency that's doubled as an Obama administration tool to crack down on political adversaries.  A special IRS security feature called Taxpayer Protection Program (TPP) couldn't prevent criminals from scamming the agency out of an eye-popping $3.1 billion in one year, according to a federal audit.  TPP was implemented to curb an epidemic of identity theft that allows criminals to fraudulently get tax refunds.  Supposedly, identity theft fraud is reduced through a verification process but the federal probe, conducted by the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), found serious loopholes.

ObamaCare Is Destroying The Co-Ops It Spent Billions Creating.  After providing $2.4 billion in loans to get them started, ObamaCare is now driving several nonprofit insurance co-ops out of business.  That, in turn, will leave tens of thousands of people scrambling to find other insurance, while making it unlikely that those taxpayer-subsidized loans will ever be repaid.

Obama Gives $500 Mil. to U.N. Climate Fund.  In a March 8 Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) hearing, the U.S. State Department announced it had delivered $500 million to the United Nations' Green Climate Fund (GCF), a program intended to help developing countries adapt to and mitigate climate changes.  Heather Higginbottom, deputy secretary of state for management and resources, announced the Obama administration had given money to GCF, which drew much criticism from SFRC members because Congress had not approved funding for GCF.  While being questioned by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Higginbottom told the committee the funds were diverted from the department's Economic Support Fund, which provides economic funding to foreign countries.  "Did Congress authorize the Green Climate Fund?  No ... We've reviewed the authority and the process under which we can do it, and our lawyers and we have determined that we have the ability to do it," Higginbottom testified.

Seattle City Council Votes to Destroy $30,000 of Police Guns Each Year.  Sometimes, reality approximates buffoonery.  The Seattle City Council has unanimously decided to waste $30,000 a year.  It is not exactly clear why.  The easiest way to describe it might be a sacrifice to the gods of political correctness.

State Department Paid College Students $12,000 To Make Hashtags.  Students are fighting terrorism with hashtags, and many are receiving cash awards from the Department of State for their work.  The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) took home $5,000 prize for their social media campaign "It's Time: #ExOut Violent Extremism."  Two other schools won a $3,000 reward, and one school received a $1,000 prize as part of State's program to counter Islamic State propaganda online, according to FedScoop.  A total of 47 schools participated in the program this spring, each receiving a $2,000 grant and $400 in Facebook ad credits to implement their plan.

Michelle Obama to announce nearly $100 million for education in Morocco.  First lady Michelle Obama is relying heavily on social media to tout an overseas trip tied to the Let Girls Learn campaign, which is aiming to get an estimated 62 million uneducated girls into school.  Obama started a Snapchat account with help from celebrities including James Corden of "The Late Late Show," with whom she recently taped a "Carpool Karaoke" that will run at a future date.

Feds Spend $1.25 Million on Superhero Cartoon in Pakistan.  The State Department is spending over $1 million to create a cartoon superhero who teaches the importance of "living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle" and "women's empowerment" for kids in Pakistan.  The agency's International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, or INL, division issued a grant solicitation for two seasons of an animated series to "promote security and stability" in Pakistan.  "INL would like to develop a superhero animated cartoon series aimed at an older target audience (ages 14-25)," according to the grant announcement.  "This series would inform, educate, and positively influence Pakistani youth in an entertaining and engaging manner."

Angry Man Who Resents Your Choices of Deodorant and Sneakers Doesn't Mind $38,000 a Day in Security.  While Hillary Clinton has effectively clinched the nomination, Bernie Sanders remains the race.  There are no more primaries or caucuses scheduled between now and the Democratic convention in Philadelphia in August.  Even if super delegates from those states Bernie Sanders won switched their allegiance to him from Hillary Clinton he would not have enough delegates to win.  Barring an event that incapacitates Clinton or disqualifies her from the nomination, Sanders doesn't have a chance.  Someone waiting in the wings in case of worst case scenario isn't really a candidate anymore.  But he's still wasting taxpayer money.  The Washington Post reports that while Sanders is no longer actively campaigning, his campaign remains active because he has not "suspended" it, and thus Sanders continues to receive up to $38,000 a day in secret service protection.

Milwaukee schools:  Almost half a million bucks for Black Lives Matter curriculum.  The Milwaukee Public Schools have set aside $471,073 in next year's budget "to create a 'cultural studies curriculum'" and to enhance overall school performance via "facilitation of meaningful dialogue and support on issues surrounding race and trauma faced in communities and schools."  This amount almost equals that allocated for College Access Centers, Universal Driver Education, and Advanced Studies of World Languages combined.

Milwaukee Public Schools Will Spend Almost $500,000 Pushing Black Lives Matter.  Public schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are planning to spend nearly $500,000 of taxpayer money implementing a program that furthers the goals of Black Lives Matter.  The $471,073 outlay in the proposed 2016-17 budget for Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) is included as one of many partnerships the district is pursuing with outside organizations.  The partnership with Black Lives Matter is described as an effort to create a "cultural studies curriculum" and improve school performance through the "facilitation of meaningful dialogue and support on issues surrounding race and trauma faced in communities and schools."

Flying High on the Taxpayer Dime:  These Three Senators Bust the Budget on Air Travel.  Sen. Charles Schumer spent $292,000 in public money flying private airplanes last year.  His protégé Sen. Kristen Gillibrand spent more than $150,000 on charter travel.  The two New York Democrats were the top spenders on private air travel between October 2014 and September 2015, an analysis of Senate office-account records shows.  Third place is held by a lawmaker from the other side of the political aisle and the other side of the country:  Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming spent more than $75,000 in the last fiscal year flying charters.

U.S. Doesn't Track if Millions in Biz "Loans" to Refugees on Public Assistance Are Repaid.  The U.S. government gives refugees on public assistance special "loans" of up to $15,000 to start a business but fails to keep track of defaults that could translate into huge losses for American taxpayers, records obtained by Judicial Watch reveal.  The cash is distributed through a program called Microenterprise Development run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement.  Since 2010 the program has granted thousands of loans to refugees that lack the financial resources, credit history or personal assets to qualify for business loans from commercial banks.  Most if not all the recipients already get assistance or subsidies from the government, according to the qualification guidelines set by the Microenterprise Development Program.  It's a risky operation that blindly gives public funds to poor foreign nationals with no roots in the U.S. and there's no follow up to assure the cash is paid back.  The idea behind it is to "equip refugees with the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs" by helping them expand or maintain their own business and become financially independent.

Feds Spend Eight Years And $300M To Develop Useless Software.  But Feds have no money to improve waiting time for vets' medical care?

Commissioner says fraud from Obamaphone program approaching $500 million.  The federal subsidy known as the "Obamaphone" or "Obamanet" program could be losing nearly $500 million to fraud annually, according to a top Republican on the Federal Communications Commission.  Commissioner Ajit Pai made the accusation Wednesday in letter to the Universal Service Administrative Company, referring to the FCC's Universal Service Fund, which provides a monthly $9.95 subsidy for telecom service to low-income consumers.  The subsidy is limited to one per "independent economic household," or IEH, but telecom companies have the ability to override that restriction if applicants check a box stating they represent a separate household, even if they have the same address.

Keyword:  Cloward-Piven strategy.
Feds spend nearly $20,000 to settle every refugee.  Federal taxpayers are on the hook for nearly $20,000 just to settle each refugee and asylum seeker, who are then immediately eligible for cash welfare, food stamps, housing and medical aid, according to a new report on the "refugee industry."  The report provided federal budget figures showing that the government spends $19,884 on each refugee the U.S. takes in.  And that number is set to jump if President Obama gets his way and brings in an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees in this year.

It's the liberal way of life:  Take a bad situation and make it worse.
NYC spends $265G to urge people to use restroom of their choice.  New York City has spent $265,000 in taxpayer funds to make sure everyone knows they can use the bathroom of their choice, with a massive ad campaign urging residents, commuters and tourists to "Look past pink and blue."  The ads, which urge readers to "Use the restroom consistent with who you are," feature transgender models and are set to be featured in subway cars, bus shelters, phone booths, local newspapers, digital ads and social media promotions.  Most will be printed in either English or Spanish, though some community newspaper ads will be written in Korean, Chinese, Russian and Bengali.

U.S. government spent $1 million to determine if cheerleaders are more attractive in a squad.  The U.S. government spent more than $1 million in taxpayer dollars to study the question of whether cheerleaders appear more attractive when they are grouped together in a squad.  That's just one of "Twenty Questions Government Studies That Will Leave You Scratching Your Head," according to a recent report from the office of Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican.  Another head-scratching study, Mr. Flake's office noted, was one by the Department of Defense which asked, "Why does walking with coffee cause it to spill?"  The price tag was $172,000, just a couple thousand shy of the base salary for a U.S. senator.

Twenty Questions Government Studies That Will Leave You Scratching Your Head.  [For example, the National Institutes of Health spent a million dollars to find out what kind of music is preferred by monkeys and chimpanzees.]  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has conducted numerous studies over the past decade to determine the musical preferences of non-human primates, even going so far as to have music composed specifically to suit the taste of tamarins.  The studies found that most primates do not like popular Western music, with one exception — the heavy metal sounds of the rock band Metallica.  When given the option to listen to different types of music or opt for silence, chimpanzees chose Indian and African music — and even silence — over Western or Japanese music, but the monkeys went ape for the sounds composed specifically for their ears.

Technology That Hasn't Been Used.  The aerospike engine was to be used first on the x33 Venture Star, an attempt to gather information leading to a true reusable Single Stage To Orbit(SSTO) vehicle.  Unfortunately the X33 died because of mission creep and cost overruns.  Essentially the mission planner forgot what the X projects were for and tried for a fully flight ready vehicle when what was needed was an engine test bed.  They truly forgot the KISS principle in design and development.

ICE spends millions flying illegal immigrant children across US.  The Obama administration has spent at least $18.5 million to fly "unaccompanied children" caught crossing into the country illegally to locations inside the United States, according to newly obtained figures.  The numbers, shared with by the Senate subcommittee on immigration, were provided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in response to questions from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.  The numbers shed light on the extent of a program that has drawn scrutiny not just from lawmakers but the federal courts, amid concerns the U.S. government is effectively aiding smugglers.

EPA Conducts Two Secret Meetings A Year To Decide How To Dole Out Billions In Slush Fund Money.  Congress appropriates about $1 billion annually for EPA's Superfund program, and the agency has accumulated nearly $6.8 billion in more than 1,300 slush fund-like accounts since 1990.  Two committees consisting entirely of EPA officials meet behind closed doors twice annually to decide how the agency spends those funds on highly polluted — and often dangerous — Superfund sites.  All reports to and from the groups, as well as the minutes of their meetings and all other details, are kept behind closed doors.

The High Price of Security Theater.  Since 2001, the U.S. government has laid out mind-boggling sums to keep the homeland safe from violent extremists.  There was the $30 billion raise for the FBI that didn't see 9/11 coming and $70 billion for the bureaucrats who have consistently failed to keep our airports safe.  Add in more than $200 billion for a new Cabinet-level department to coordinate all of this activity and half a trillion for mass surveillance, plus the incredible costs of a decade and a half of military action abroad, and the total comes to a whopping $4 trillion.  Where did all that money go?

IRS improperly paid $15.6 billion through Earned Income Tax Credit program.  The IRS erroneously paid out an estimated $15.6 billion in Earned Income Tax Credit payments in fiscal year 2015, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report.  A low-income worker can receive refundable tax credits from the Earned Income Tax Credit program when they meet certain requirements for income and age.  The $15.6 billion in improper payments identified by the inspector general represented 23.8 percent of total earned income credits paid out in that fiscal year.  According to the Office of Management and Budget, an improper payment is a transfer that should not have been made, was made in the incorrect amount, or was made to an ineligible recipient.

NYC's putting bums and junkies up at this swanky boutique hotel.  Dozens of homeless men are bunking in a new, boutique hotel in Brooklyn — despite Mayor de Blasio's pledge to end the practice following a triple slaying in a Staten Island hotel that was doubling as a shelter.  The BKLYN House in Bushwick — which offers "loft-style" lodging and "street-art-inspired" decorations — is renting out 44 of its 113 rooms to the Department of Homeless Services, officials said Friday [5/20/2016].  Taxpayers have been shelling out $168 a night per room to "temporarily" house 80 employed or job-hunting single men since late November, DHS said.

Shocker: Government Throws Billions at Problem — Doesn't Solve it.  The latest example of government making worse the problem they created is the V.A. healthcare system.  Feel free to also call it a vision of the future of Obamacare.  And why is it that America's heroes are always the ones getting the shaft?  We never seem to hear about the sorry state of the welfare system, or any of the other hundreds of government giveaway programs.  They seem to get their checks and benefits on time.  It's always our veterans, the men and women who put it all on the line for our country, who get the government short-shrift.  Reports have been consistently bad on the state of the V.A. system for years — decades even, yet it can't seem to get fixed.

Obama-Backed Solar Plant Literally Incinerates Itself.  The world's largest solar energy plant known for incinerating birds just got a taste of its own medicine.  A fire at the plant Thursday morning [5/19/2016], which may have been caused by "misaligned" mirrors used to reflect sunlight at boiler towers, broke out in the facility's interior — literally scorching parts of the plant.  NRG Energy, the company operating the Ivanpah solar plant in southern California, was forced to shut down one of its generating towers and is investigating if mirrors, or heliostats, failed and torched a boiling tower.  Now, the plant, which got $1.6 billion from the Obama administration, will only be able to generate electricity from one of its three towers.

Federal Government Waste Exploded Under Obama, Data Show.  A federal website called Payment Accuracy tracks in great detail what it calls "improper payments" made by the federal government through Medicare, Medicaid, farm programs, school lunch programs and others to contractors, doctors, students, and so on.  Last year, the government made $126 billion in overpayments, nearly double the amount of made in President Bush's last year.  Improper payments in Medicare, for example, went from $10 billion in 2008 to $43 billion last year; and for Medicaid, the figured jumped from $19 billion to $29 billion.

U.S. has 'overpaid' $1.2 billion for U.N. peacekeeping troops.  Despite a Clinton-era law capping U.S. subsidies to the United Nations peacekeeping force, President Obama and a willing Congress have spent over $1.2 billion more than allowed, handing Republican Donald Trump a new issue to hit Hillary Rodham Clinton with.  A spending analysis from the Heritage Foundation's U.N. specialist showed that from 2010-15, the difference between the cap and the money sent to U.N. peacekeepers is approximately $1.26 billion.

Another $37.3 Mil to Combat Housing Discrimination.  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."

Waste, Violations in $25 Mil Program to Fight Climate Change in Guatemala.  A $25 million project to help Guatemala combat the ills of climate change is rife with problems that include data errors and discrepancies, no sustainability plan as required by the government and security and funding violations.  Though it constitutes an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars, this is par for the course with virtually all of the Obama administration's "green" ventures, which have largely failed after getting hundreds of millions in federal funds.  Among them is a fly-by-night solar panel company (Solyndra) that went under after getting $535 million from the feds and an electric car company (Fisker) that also folded after the government gave it $200 million.

The Editor says...
To what extent has the climate changed exclusively and specifically in Guatemala, and how much of a remedy can be bought for $25 million?

Waste, Violations in $25 Mil Program to Fight Climate Change in Guatemala.  This one is officially known as Climate Nature and Communities in Guatemala (CNCG) and it's a tiny slice of the president's broad and costly initiative to conquer global warming in developing nations.  The goal is to conserve Guatemala's wealth of natural resources and support the country's efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change.  Since the U.S. launched CNCG in 2013, nearly half of the money allocated has been disbursed to a New York-based nonprofit called Rainforest Alliance that oversees a consortium of environmental, academic and business institutions.  This group gets a lot of money from Uncle Sam for its various biodiversity conservation causes and, not surprisingly, there's lots of waste and mismanagement.

ICE Just Blew $100K On Office Redo, Bathroom Renovations For Director.  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spent $100,000 renovating the suite not only of director Sarah Saldaña, but also her assistant's office, according to an internal document obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.  In response to a query submitted by a Senate Committee on Appropriations staffer regarding the cost of office renovation, ICE confirmed that it had modified the director's suite "to improve the workflow and usable desk space."  The original question from the staffer included a humorous quip about the state of the director's suite, which implied redoing the space would constitute waste.

Tale of Two Tribes: 'Climate Refugees' vs.  EPA Victims.  The New York Times splashed a viral story on its pages this week spotlighting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's $48 million grant to Native-Americans who live in the flood-ravaged coastal community of Isle de Jean Charles.  About 60 residents, the majority of whom belong to the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe, will be resettled to drier land.  That's a whopping $800,000 per "climate refugee!"  Never mind that the Times' propagandists themselves admit that erosion on the island began in 1955 as a result of land-use and land-management factors that had nothing to do with climate change. [...] Never mind that enviro-alarmists have conveniently changed their tune from blaming global warming for causing sea level rises to blaming global warming for causing sea level drops.

These Expensive DOJ Offices, Rented With Your Money, Are Empty!  PJ Media has obtained video taken inside Justice Department offices which show empty, unused office space within leased commercial space.  The offices are intended for at least twenty federal employees according to DOJ sources — but only two are using them.  The Justice Department Community Relations Service offices in Dallas are on the 20th floor of the Harwood Center, a luxury downtown high rise.  Justice Department sources provided PJ Media with a video taken inside the Dallas DOJ offices which documents the brazen waste of taxpayer dollars.

FAIL: Busted Wind Turbines Give College Whopping Negative 99.14% Return On Investment.  Lake Land College recently announced plans to tear down broken wind turbines on campus, after the school got $987,697.20 in taxpayer support for wind power.  The turbines were funded by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, but the turbines lasted for less than four years and were incredibly costly to maintain.  "Since the installation in 2012, the college has spent $240,000 in parts and labor to maintain the turbines," Kelly Allee, Director of Public Relations at Lake Land College, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.  The college estimates it would take another $100,000 in repairs to make the turbines function again after one of them was struck by lightning and likely suffered electrical damage last summer.

Barack Obama is really good at solving problems that don't exist, by spending other people's money.
Obama administration warns of 'climate refugees' due to rapid Arctic warming.  The Obama administration has warned the US will need to deal with a wave of "climate refugees" as the Arctic continues to warm, joining with the Canadian government to express alarm over how climate change is affecting indigenous communities.  Sally Jewell, US secretary of the interior, painted a stark picture of communities relocating and lives disrupted in her first official visit to Canada. [...] "We will have climate refugees," Jewell said.  "We have to figure out how to deal with potentially relocating villages.  There's real tangible support we need to do from a government basis, working alongside indigenous communities as they make very difficult choices about what is right for them.  "We can't turn this around.  We can stem the increase in temperature, we can stem some of the effect, perhaps, if we act on climate.  But the changes are under way and they are very rapid."

Most expensive weapon ever built limps toward finish line.  With a $110-million price-tag, the F-35 fighter jet is the most expensive weapon ever built for America's arsenal — but nine years into development, it's also a weapon still "not acceptable for combat," and plagued by huge cost overruns that one lawmaker is calling a "scandal."  Those were the troubling messages exchanged Tuesday [4/26/2016] during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing into the $379-billion weapons program — along with an acknowledgement that the U.S.  can't afford to see the program fail.

Exposing Waste and Mismanagement at the Department of Homeland Security.  Since its inception, DHS has faced significant obstacles, including consolidating 22 pre-existing agencies and reporting to approximately 100 congressional oversight committees, all while trying to strike a balance between national security and protecting privacy.  However, with this country more than $19 trillion in debt, our taxpayers can't afford to support failing management.  Through hearings, site visits, legislation, and watchdog reports, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, which I chair, has identified areas of cost-savings, provided transparency to the American people, and highlighted numerous deficiencies within the department that are ripe for improvement.

Gov't Employee Steals From Feds, Uses Taxpayer-Funded Lawyers To Fight Eviction After Getting Caught.  Markquonda Mathis rented one of the two subsidized units she obtained to her sister, Markquasha, who used it as a second home and to park her Lexus.  Mathis faced no criminal or civil penalties even though she lied to federal investigators about the units, one of which was in the District of Columbia and the other in Alexandria, Virginia.  A 2014 HUD Inspector General report made public by The Daily Caller News Foundation earlier this month said housing authorities were moving to evict Mathis.  That's when Mathis turned to attorneys from the Neighborhood Legal Services Program, which is supported by the federally funded Legal Services Corporation.  In other words, Mathis was using one government agency to fight another government agency to preserve her right to defraud a third, all while drawing a paycheck from HUD.

It's all your money:  US aiding business start-ups — for illegal aliens.  Read the fine print on the Small Business Administration's website, and you'll find that the agency does not provide the funds to "start or grow" a small business — the engine of the American economy, providing roughly three-quarters of all new jobs.  Rather, the SBA provides offers loan guarantees to the banks and lenders that do provide seed money.  So it might come as a surprise to American entrepreneurs that there is at least one group to whom the federal government is providing direct assistance for business start-ups:  illegal aliens.  In fact, these recipients of your taxpayer funds fall into an even more restricted category: illegal aliens who have been deported back to their native land.

Climate Change:  The Greatest Conspiracy Against the Taxpayer, Ever!  Climate change is the biggest scam in the history of the world — a $1.5 trillion-a-year conspiracy against the taxpayer, every cent, penny and centime of which ends in the pockets of the wrong kind of people, none of which goes towards a cause remotely worth funding, all of it a complete and utter waste.

Gov't Spends Nearly $3M Encouraging Gen Y to Eat Fruit.  The federal government has spent nearly $3 million on a web-based intervention study that aims to have young adults increase their intake of fruits and vegetables.  The 5-year "MENU (Making Effective Nutritional Choices) Gen Y Study" has received $2,834,393 in taxpayer money since 2012.  The goal of the effort "is to increase daily intake of fruits and vegetables for young adults born in or after 1980, known as "Generation Y," according to the project description on the National Institute of Health (NIH) website.

The Editor says...
The NIH, like every other government agency, works daily to find new ways to justify its continued existence.

Illegal immigrants are being deported on private jets — $300,000 every day to fly aliens back home.  American taxpayers are forking out more than $300,000 every day to deport illegal immigrants on commercial flights and even on private jets, Daily Mail Online can exclusively reveal.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spent $116m in 2015 to transport 235,413 people in the United States illegally back to their home countries.  More than 40 percent of those who had violated visa restrictions were convicted criminals while more than 1,000 were identified as gang members.

Corruption, Incompetence Scandal at DOJ's Ferguson Unit Widens.  On April 12, PJ Media Legal Editor J. Christian Adams reported that DOJ sources had revealed how two top employees in the Justice Department's Community Relations Service (CRS) used taxpayer money for personal travel.  The DOJ sources also revealed how these two top employees were responsible for a culture of incompetence, political decision-making, and gross mismanagement.  Here, we reveal that those same sources told Adams and me about corruption by other CRS managers, and about a hostile work environment that includes bullying and discrimination — particularly against anyone who complains about the waste, fraud, and abuse.

DOJ Employees in Ferguson and Trayvon Unit Used Taxpayer Cash for Airfare, Dentist Visits, and Dinners at Emeril's.  Justice Department employees in the DOJ Community Relations Service have reported gross mismanagement and corruption to Attorney General Loretta Lynch — but she has taken no action to investigate the problems.  The Community Relations Service has been at the center of high-profile, racially charged controversies involving the Justice Department, including the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore and the Trayvon Martin shooting in Sanford, Florida.  Multiple DOJ sources report to PJ Media a culture of incompetence and political decision-making by managers in the Justice Department component.  The complaints also allege the use of federal money for personal travel, including one Atlanta manager flying to see a dentist in his hometown of Miami, and a Dallas manager flying to New Orleans on tax dollars to dine at Emeril Lagasse's restaurant in New Orleans.

The U.S. paid for NATO: $30 trillion and counting.  As the firestorm ignited by Donald Trump regarding the structure and utility of NATO burns on, the freeloaders in the alliance continue to whine and ask for even greater levels of subsidization.  Take Lithuania, whose defense minister recently claimed that "the harassment of an American warship [by Russian fighter jets] shows why the US should help build the region's missile defenses.  A correct translation of "help build" is "have the Americans pay for.  While Lithuania is apparently now on-target to reach the preferred NATO defense-spending target of just 2% of GDP within a few years, the Lithuanians have done nothing for the common defense since the small country on the alliance's volatile periphery joined in 2004. In fact, between 2004 and 2013, its military spending dropped from a puny 1.2% of GDP down to an irrelevant 0.8% of GDP.

'Mr. Social Security' Indicted in $600 Million Disability Fraud Scheme.  Eric C. Conn, a flashy Kentucky lawyer who called himself "Mr. Social Security," was arrested for his alleged role in a $600 million federal disability fraud scheme, according to an indictment that was unsealed Tuesday [4/5/2016].  Conn, David Daugherty, and Alfred Adkins, a clinical psychologist who performed medical evaluations for Conn seven years, were charged in an 18-count indictment on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  Conn was arrested on Tuesday, and the indictment was unsealed.  Conn's law firm was the centerpiece of a two-year investigation that concluded in 2013 led by former Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), who found the lawyer was working with discredited doctors who provided phony medical evidence for thousands of disability claims, which were then signed off on by Administrative Law Judge David B. Daugherty.

White House: $589 million to go to fight Zika virus.  Most of the $589 million would be devoted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for research on the virus and Zika-related birth defects, as well as the creation of response teams to limit its spread.

The Editor says...
It would be far less expensive and more effective to remove the ban on DDT and/or temporarily prohibit two-way travel to Central and South America.

U.S. Govt.  Banking Program Facilitates Remittances to Mexico.  The program is called "Directo a Mexico" and the Federal Reserve, the government agency that serves as the nation's central bank, launched it nearly a decade ago.  Judicial Watch investigated the outrageous taxpayer-subsidized initiative and obtained government records back in 2006.  It was created by President George W. Bush following the 2001 U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity, undermines our nation's immigration laws and is a potential national security nightmare.  The goal was to provide low-cost banking services to illegal immigrants and facilitate the process for those sending money home.  Remittances are transferred through the Federal Reserve's own automated clearinghouse linked directly to Mexico's central bank (Banco de Mexico).  At the time Federal Reserve officials acknowledged that most of the Mexicans who send money home are illegal immigrants so a Mexican-issued identification is the only requirement to use the government banking service.

State Dept.  hiring interior designers, salaries up to $141,000.  The State Department has put out an advertisement that says it wants to hire three interior designers, jobs that pay anywhere from $92,000 to $141,000 per year.  Applicants for the interior designer positions must be able to obtain and maintain a "Top Secret" security clearance, and if they get the job, they'll work on designing U.S.  diplomatic missions abroad.  State is looking for designers to hire at the GS-13 and 14 levels — the GS-14 position will be paid the most.  All the jobs are full-time.

Administration's efforts to reduce red tape results in $16-billion increase in costs.  The American Action Forum has released a scathing report taking the Obama administration to task for its paperwork reduction efforts.  While the president directed the agencies to repeal, modify, or remove rules that contributed unnecessarily to the red tape burden of businesses, government bureaucrats responded by expanding some regs while failing to remove or modify other burdensome rules. [...] The paperwork burden on business is an astronomical $1.9 trillion.  Under Obama, we've seen six straight years of escalating red tape.

"Deeply Troubled" DHS System Blows Millions, Feds Want Extra $1 Bil.  Years after the U.S.  launched an automated Homeland Security system essential to keeping the nation safe, it's a malfunctioning flop that's so far swallowed a mind-boggling $1.7 billion and needs an additional billion and several more years to perhaps get it to work.  That's not even the best part.  A number of federal audits have documented the serious problems with this costly failure in the last few years and officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have simply ignored the government investigators' findings and recommendations.

US agencies have spent $86m on grounded surveillance plane, audit says.  An $86m Drug Enforcement Administration plane purchased seven years ago to fly surveillance and counter-narcotics missions in Afghanistan remains grounded in the US and will probably never fly in Asia, according to a scathing audit released on Wednesday by the Justice Department's inspector general.

Congress Should Flip the Switch and End Unauthorized Federal Spending.  The federal government is scheduled to spend $310 billion of your tax dollars this year on federal programs that are not authorized by law according to the Congressional Budget Office.  That's about a quarter of all so-called discretionary spending, so one of every four taxpayer dollars Congress spends is going to a program that is legally expired.  It is a total breakdown of accountability and oversight and, unfortunately, it is business as usual in Washington.  The good news is an innovative legislative solution has been proposed by Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers: automatic reductions in spending via sequestration for programs that remain unauthorized, and ultimately phasing them out completely unless Congress acts to reauthorize them.

Houston Community College loses $40k on rodeo parking.  Houston Community College managed to lose $39,475 selling parking spots at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this year.  This was no meager accomplishment, given that the Houston Rodeo draws more than 1.3 million in paid attendance and generates roughly a half-billion dollars in sales when it takes over South Houston for three weeks every March.

Taxpayers Are Footing Bill for Solar Project That Doesn't Work.  As every ten-year-old who ever got a sweater for a birthday present has been told, "It's the thought that counts."  That seems to be the guiding principle at the Department of Energy and the California Public Utilities Commission when it comes to solar power.  The latest example is the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California. [...] Brightsource, which is privately held, is owned by a virtual who's who of those that don't need subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers.

Kerry: Let's Fight ISIS With A Soap Opera.  They're not an existential threat to us."  That was President Obama, defending his seeming indifference to the latest ISIS terrorist attack in Europe.  "Groups like (ISIS) can't destroy us, they can't defeat us.  They don't produce anything," he said.  So what should the U.S. do to fight this non-existential threat that doesn't produce anything?  Let's put on a show!  It's almost too ridiculous to believe, but the day after the attacks in Brussels, the State Department posted a $1.5 million grant proposal to develop "a television drama series that addresses the issue of countering violent extremism among young people in contemporary Afghan society."

Marines to spend $50 million moving 1,100 turtles.  The U.S. Marine Corps plans to spend $50 million moving some 1,100 turtles from its training base at Twentynine Palms, Calif., or about $45,454 each.  The program includes a 30-year assessment of their efforts to monitor the desert tortoises that are listed as threatened under federal law.  According to Marine Corps Times, the tortoises live on a section of the base that is to be used for training.

'Slush Fund': Senator Slams State Dept. for $500M Payment to Green Climate Fund.  Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) on Tuesday [3/8/2016] slammed the administration's handover of $500 million to the U.N. Green Climate Fund, asking a State Department official how the "handout to foreign bureaucrats" could be justified at a time when there were "real problems" that need to be addressed at home.  Barrasso told Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom he viewed the payment to the "new international climate change slush fund" — the first installment of a $3 billion pledge — as both a misuse of taxpayer dollars and a violation of legislation that prohibits federal agencies from spending federal funds in advance or in excess of an appropriation.  "It appears to be latest example of the administration going around Congress because the American people don't really support what the president is doing with this initiative," he said.

No longer speaker, but two Boehner aides being paid over $10,000 a month.  Two aides to former House Speaker John Boehner are earning over $10,000 a month in his taxpayer-funded "Office of the Former Speaker," according to congressional records.  Both longtime aides, Amy Lozupone received $26,414 for work done in November and December as Boehner's administrative assistant, and Michael Sommers was paid $22,185 during the same period.

House Probe Reveals Audit Detailing Climate Change Researcher's 'Double Dipping' With Taxpayer Funds.  Congressional investigators have obtained an internal audit from George Mason University that suggests one of its professors — a major proponent of man-made climate change — mismanaged millions of dollars in taxpayer money by "double dipping" in violation of university policy.  The professor, Jagadish Shukla, received $511,410 in combined compensation from George Mason University and his own taxpayer-funded climate change research center in 2014 alone, without receiving required permission from university officials, the audit found.

$2 Billion In ObamaCare Subsidies Might Have Been In Error, Audit Finds.  A stinging audit of ObamaCare released on Wednesday [2/24/2016] finds that the agency in charge of the health care program could have paid out more than $2 billion in subsidies in 2014 that it shouldn't have.  The Government Accountability Office report found that hundreds of thousands of applications contained unresolved "inconsistencies" — meaning the information provided by applicants about their income, Social Security numbers, citizenship status, or whether they were in jail or not, didn't match existing government records.

Treasury Dept. Spends Another $2B On Housing Recovery.  The U.S. Department of Treasury announced Friday [2/19/2016] that it will spend an additional $2 billion on neighborhoods and homeowners to help them "recover from the finacial crisis."  "Today's announcement is the next step in the Administration's effort to help struggling homeowners recover from the financial crisis, and strengthen the housing recovery," Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said.  According to MLive, the announcement comes less than two months after five Michigan cities finished about $133 million in work to demolish vacant homes.

These 8 federal agencies are the worst. Here's how to fix them.  From the historic breach of 22 million personnel records to the systemic failure to take care of veterans to outrageous shenanigans among Secret Service agents, federal agencies are acquitting themselves poorly these days.  What follows is a rundown of the eight worst agencies.  But this list is by no means comprehensive.  Others could join, but this is a magazine, not a phonebook.  The list also includes the number of employees deemed essential during the 2013 shutdown.

Six Fed-Funded Non-Profits Are 'Scandals Waiting To Happen'.  Six obscure nonprofits funded almost entirely by federal taxpayers in an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that recruits technically skilled seniors for cheap labor are "scandals waiting to happen," according to an expert on advocacy groups.  "The idea of government funding charitable works ought to be something conservatives and libertarians are concerned about," Capital Research Center's (CRC) Senior Vice President Matthew Vadum told The Daily Caller News Foundation.  "The government's been doing this a long time, but it rarely gets discussed."

Carrier Received $5.1 Million in Obama-Stimulus Cash Before Move To Mexico.  Heating and air-conditioning company Carrier, which has announced it will move 1,400 Americans' jobs to Mexico, received $5.1 million from the Obama administration.  Local media reported the "Department of Energy awarded Carrier $5.1 million in clean energy tax credits in December 2013" for its Indianapolis facility.  They planned to use the money to "expand production at its Indianapolis facility to meet increasing demand for its eco-friendly condensing gas furnace product line."

Illegals leave Texas detention with free Samsung Galaxy 4 phone — for safety!.  The government is giving immigrant families released from Texas detention facilities free cell phones.  The criteria used to determine who will be offered the phones are those who are considered low flight risks and unlikely to pose a danger to the community, according to Fox News.  So far, 25 families have been offered the phones, which aren't your run-of-the-mill phones — they're Samsung Galaxy 4 smartphones — and the program is understandably coming under fire.

Millionaires Are Qualifying for Medicaid Under Obamacare.  In states that expanded Medicaid, people with high net worths and low monthly incomes qualify for Medicaid because of loosened eligibility requirements implemented under Obamacare.  And in rural states like Iowa, Americans whom many would consider wealthy are taking advantage of this "loophole" and enrolling in coverage paid for by taxpayers.  Jesse Patton, an insurance broker living in Iowa, has had clients with net worths ranging from $2 million to $5 million, which often stem from farmland or assets from divorce settlements.  And those clients, he said, are enrolled in Medicaid in expansion states like Iowa.

U.S. Blows $5.7 Bil on Cyber Defense System That Doesn't Work.  Reckless government spending is at full throttle with the example du jour a $5.7 billion cyber defense system created to protect computers at federal agencies against hackers.  Despite its mind-boggling price tag the system is seriously flawed and uses features already available in much cheaper commercial-grade products, according to a federal probe made public recently.  The problem, besides sticking it to taxpayers for the exorbitant cost, is that the multibillion-dollar system simply doesn't work.  Nevertheless, the bloated agency handling this particular boondoggle, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), insists the program, National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS), is effective despite its documented failures.  This is par for the course at the monstrous agency created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep the nation safe.

Welfare moms unhappy with free lodging, prepared meals, WiFi, maid service.  D.C. welfare moms are having to put up with lodging in hotels that give them prepared meals, cable TV, internet WiFi access, and maid service that don't meet their standards: [...] Isn't this shocking, how taxpayers are paying to prepare such low-class meals for welfare moms?  What kind of country is this that doesn't cook better meals for people on welfare?  By the way, if you're wondering why Tiera has four children and no daddies, here is that part of the story: [...]

Senate report: Illegal immigrants benefited from up to $750M in ObamaCare subsidies.  Illegal immigrants and individuals with unclear legal status wrongly benefited from up to $750 million in ObamaCare subsidies and the government is struggling to recoup the money, according to a new Senate report obtained by Fox News.  The report, produced by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, examined Affordable Care Act tax credits meant to defray the cost of insurance premiums.  It found that as of June 2015, "the Administration awarded approximately $750 million in tax credits on behalf of individuals who were later determined to be ineligible because they failed to verify their citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence."

Labor Dep't Spending $20M on Summer Jobs, 'Career Pathways' for Urban Youth.  The Labor Department on Thursday [2/4/2016] announced it will spend $20 million on an effort to create summer jobs and "career pathways" for young people.  Up to $2 million will go to each of 10 local workforce development boards to expand existing summer jobs programs into year-round employment, career pathways and work experience programs for young people, 16 to 24, who have limited or no work experience.  "Too many young people are sitting on the sidelines," the news release noted.  On Friday [2/5/2016], the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the unemployment rate for both sexes, ages 16-19, was 16 percent.

The Editor says...
When the government announces a program to create jobs for "young people," that almost always means "young minority people" exclusively.  The term "urban youth" is the government's way of saying, "black kids."  This type of spending does not promote the general welfare, unless the kids in your family are generally black.

Failed Dept. of Education Cyber-Security Chief Ran Car Detailing, Home Theater Businesses On the Side.  Hundreds of millions of Americans are at risk of identity theft because the Department of Education's cyber chief spent his time detailing cars and allowing his office's morale to crumble.  The Department of Education's inspector general has repeatedly reported the agency is "vulnerable to security threats."  The watchdog simultaneously investigated Chief Information Officer (CIO) Danny Harris — who received more than $200,000 in federal bonuses — for side businesses that involved his subordinates, according to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz.

Also posted under Welfare state waste.

Public Housing Units Getting Free Internet at Speeds Higher Than Most Homes.  Google Fiber and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have partnered to bring "ultra-high speed" 1 gigabit Internet to public housing units in many cities — a connection speed much faster than the average household in the United States.  West Bluff Townhomes in Kansas City, Mo., has become the first public housing development with a 1 gigabit or 1,000 mbps Internet connection through the ConnectHome Initiative.  Google Fiber said the speed has been provided free of charge and at no cost to HUD.  According to the most recent State of the Internet report, the average U.S. Internet connection speed was 11.9 mbps.

Propaganda isn't cheap.
Feds Spend $156,340 to Talk About 'Food Deserts'.  The National Endowment for the Humanities is spending more than $300,000 to talk about "food deserts" in Pennsylvania and sea level rise in Miami.  The projects are part of the federal agency's "Humanities in the Public Square" initiative, which awarded $3.6 million worth of grants in December.

Billions in Taxpayer Money Blown on Fraudulent "Research".  National Science Foundation officials award $7 billion in grants annually based on funding proposals the agency's watchdog estimates have hundreds of examples of plagiarism and "falsified or fabricated data."  The federal science research agency awards 11,000 grants to 2,000 research institutions annually, but Allison Lerner, the agency's inspector general, only oversees about 1 percent of those recipients.  Researcher misconduct has drastically increased over the past decade, meaning millions of tax dollars go to fraudsters, according to Lerner.  The watchdog estimated that around 1,200 proposals for funding could contain plagiarism and another 800 proposals or results include "falsified or fabricated data," according the IG's semiannual report.

US pledges $97M to combat Ethiopia's drought.  The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development has announced $97 million dollars in emergency assistance to Ethiopia to combat the devastating effects of a drought brought on by the El Nino climate phenomenon.

The Editor says...
Why is Ethiopia's weather our problem?  How is fighting the weather (in any part of the world) anything other than futility?  El Nino is not a permanent weather condition, nor is it anything new.  And above all, what part of the Constitution authorizes this expenditure?

U.S. Commits $9.5 Mil to Migrant Education.  The money will flow through the Office of Migrant Education which operates under the bloated U.S. Department of Education, Jimmy Carter's brilliant creation.  The funds will be divided between the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which will receive $5,407,472 and the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) for migrants, which will get $4,082,415, according to an announcement in the federal register.  CAMP helps migrant and seasonal farmworkers and members of their immediate family pay for college.  HEP assists them in obtaining a general education diploma that meets guidelines for high school equivalency.  The government will then help those folks gain employment or be placed in an institution of higher education, compliments of Uncle Sam.

L.A.'s Mass Transit Fiasco Shows Limits of Government 'Investments'.  Los Angeles has spent $9 billion over the past three decades to build light rail and subway lines designed to entice people off of the car-choked highways and onto buses and trains.  The system boasts six lines, 80 stations and more than 90 miles of track.  So how is this investment paying off?  There are fewer people using public transit than in the mid-1980s, when the only public transit option was the bus.  That's according to a terrific bit of reporting by the Los Angeles Times, which found that ridership is down 10% over the past decade and that the decline "appears to be accelerating."

Gov't Builds $75 Million Facility Federal Cops Can't Use.  General Services Administration (GSA) officials designed a $75 million federal law enforcement facility so unsuited to what the intended occupants needed that they couldn't use the building when it was completed, according to the Government Accountability Office.

US navy launches first biofuel-powered aircraft carriers.  The US navy on Wednesday launched its first carrier strike group powered partly by biofuel a mix made from beef fat, calling it a milestone toward easing the military's reliance on foreign oil.

The Editor says...
The Navy wouldn't have to rely on foreign oil if the government would step out of the way and remove the restrictions on fracking and ANWR.

Congress spending $310 billion on non-authorized programs.  A majority of the federal government's non-defense discretionary spending in fiscal 2016, a total of $310 billion, will go to programs whose authorization has expired and hasn't been renewed by Congress, the Congressional Budget Office reported Friday [1/15/2016].  Congress appropriated the funds even though the authorization for the programs, originally granted through 256 separate laws, has expired.  Sen. Mike Enzi, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, drew attention to the report as an example of the budget process breaking apart.

Obama pledges nearly $4 billion for self-driving cars.  President Obama is calling for lawmakers to spend $4 billion on the development of self-driving cars.  The Obama administration said Thursday [1/14/2016] the money would be used "to accelerate the development and adoption of safe vehicle automation through real-world pilot projects."  Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a speech at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that getting automated cars on U.S. roads more quickly would pay dividends in safety improvements.

New Navy Ships Have Trouble Surviving the High Seas.  The U.S. Navy is spending millions of dollars to repair new high-speed transport ships built by Austal Ltd. because their weak bows can't stand buffeting from high seas, according to the Pentagon's chief weapons tester.  "The entire ship class requires reinforcing structure" to bridge the twin hulls of the all-aluminum catamarans because of a design change that the Navy adopted at Austal's recommendation for the $2.1 billion fleet of Expeditionary Fast Transports, Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department's director of operational test and evaluation, said in a report to Congress.

How do you buy $7 billion of stuff you don't need?  [Robert] McNamara's creation, known as the Defense Logistics Agency, has grown into a global, $44 billion operation that, were it a private enterprise, would rank in the Fortune 50.  Its 25,000 employees process roughly 100,000 orders a day for everything from poultry to pharmaceuticals, precious metals to aircraft parts.  In terms of Pentagon contracts, it is nearly as large as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's largest contractors, combined.  Led by military officials with little or no private-sector experience, DLA lacks the redeeming features of the lean and efficient business McNamara envisioned.  A trail of inspector general reports shows how DLA is systemically overcharged for parts.  It buys things the military doesn't need — like 80 years worth of aircraft frames for a plane that will likely be out of use long before then.  The Government Accountability Office in 2010 estimated that about half of the agency's inventory — said to be worth nearly $14 billion at the time — was just taking up space.

IRS sent out $46 million in tax refunds flagged as potentially fraudulent, watchdog says.  The Internal Revenue Service erroneously released more than $46 million in tax refunds in 2013 that had been flagged as potentially fraudulent, the result of poor monitoring and a computer programming error, the agency's watchdog found.  The returns had been identified as questionable by two internal teams and should have been set aside for further review.  But the IRS software system did the opposite, accidentally setting things in motion so that refunds were released to taxpayers, an audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration disclosed this week.

IRS loses $27 million to computer glitch.  A pattern of "ineffective monitoring," identified by the IRS' watchdog, caused the IRS to hand out an additional $19 million before the agency verified that the recipients had provided accurate income information.  "We forecast that over five years the IRS could issue $135 million in potentially erroneous refunds due to this programming error," wrote the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which oversees the IRS, in a report made public Monday [12/21/2015].

IRS Issued $46 Million in Erroneous Tax Refunds.  The Internal Revenue Service issued more than $46 million in erroneous tax refunds due to a computer glitch and ineffective monitoring, issues that left uncorrected could cost taxpayers up to $230 million over the next five years.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released an audit Monday [12/21/2015] faulting the IRS for approving thousands of potentially fraudulent tax refunds in 2013.  "TIGTA identified that because of a programming error, over $27 million of refunds were erroneously issued for 13,043 Tax Year 2013 tax returns," the audit said.  "The programming error is overriding the IRS's two-week processing delay on some refund tax returns that are identified by the IRS as potentially fraudulent."

Obama's liberal agenda gets federally funded ride through the arts.  Taxpayers are forking over $27 million next year for federally funded arts projects that include a performance by a San Francisco drag queen, art installations with climate change themes and theater plays that showcase food stamps, President Obama's immigration amnesty, lesbianism and gun rights opposition.  The National Endowment for the Arts, the federal agency that provides government assistance for artistic endeavors across the country, announced its latest round of grants for fiscal year 2016 last week, leaving some spending critics in disbelief.

Report: Govt. Wastes Billions as National Debt Approaches $19 Trillion.  It's been well documented that government wastes enormous amounts of money on all sorts of outrageous things and now some of the enraging details are available in a lengthy report that reveals how the cash is being spent, like studying bugs' reactions to artificial light, a weight-loss program for truck drivers and a federal agency's multi-million-dollar social media account.  Dozens of examples are included in the 145-page document, which was made public this month by a U.S. Senator that reminds us in the introduction that "our national debt is careening toward $19 trillion (yes, that is a 19 followed by 12 zeros)."  Yet Uncle Sam keeps blowing hundreds of millions of dollars on ridiculous things that lawmakers can't possibly justify.  Here's one of the many examples included in the report; the government actually spent $300,000 to study how previously married seniors handle dating later in life.  The weight-loss program for truck drivers cost an astounding $2.7 million and $406,419 was dedicated to determine whether the media polarizes people politically.

Federal Fumbles 2015.  It takes countless months, days, and hours to go through agency budgets, GAO reports, and Inspectors General reviews to identify, research, and fact-check government waste.  It should not be this difficult to find out how exactly our government spends money.  Federal spending information should not be limited to Members of Congress and their staffs.  So here is one solution:  the Taxpayer's Right to Know Act.

Feds shelling out billions to public relations firms.  The federal government has spent more than $4 billion on public relations services since 2007, according to a watchdog group, with more than half of the money going to the world's largest firms.  A review conducted by Open the Books found that there are now 3,092 public affairs professionals working in the government, an increase of 15 percent — or about 400 people — over the past seven years.

Taxpayers Billed $27 Million for Hoveround Wheelchairs That Weren't Medically Necessary.  Taxpayers were billed $27 million for thousands of power wheelchairs that were not medically necessary for their users.  Hoveround was the subject of an audit released last week by the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general, which faulted the company for failing to meet Medicare requirements before it charged the government for its electric wheelchairs.  In 2010, Hoveround provided 13,025 power wheelchairs to Medicare beneficiaries.  Eighty-five percent of those who received the wheelchairs did not meet the necessary medical requirements, according to the audit.  The findings were based on a sample of 200 individuals who received a power wheelchair from Hoveround.

Pentagon spent millions for luxurious private villas.  The same Defense Department office that spent $43 million on a gas station in Afghanistan also spent 20 percent of the rest of its budget to house workers and visitors at luxurious private villas, rather than have them stay on military bases for free to save "tens of millions of dollars," investigators have concluded.  The Task Force for Business and Stability Operations defended the villas as a way to entice investors into the fragile country, and said they were needed to prove that foreigners could live and operate in Afghanistan without being dependent on the U.S. military.

Justice's Liberal Slush Fund.  Republicans talk often about using the "power of the purse" to rein in a lawless Obama administration.  If they mean it, they ought to use their year-end spending bill to stop a textbook case of outrageous executive overreach.  This scandal comes courtesy of the Justice Department, which for 16 months has engaged in a scheme to undermine Congress's spending authority by independently transferring dollars to President Obama's political allies.  The department is in the process of funneling more than half-a-billion dollars to liberal activist groups, at least some of which will actively support Democrats in the coming election.

EPA Gives $9,000 Bonus For Less Than Three Months Work.  A new hire at the Environmental Protection Agency hit the jackpot when the employee's new bosses awarded her $9,000 in performance bonuses for less than three months of work.  The EPA's inspector general said the newly hired director of the environmental agency's RTP Finance Center in Raleigh was paid two separate performance bonuses of $4,500 shortly after beginning work.

The Department of Agriculture Is a Welfare Scam.  I may have to change my mind. When asked a few years ago to pick which department in Washington most deserved to be eliminated, I chose the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  And HUD unquestionably is a cesspool of waste, so it certainly should be shuttered.  But the more I read about the bizarre handouts and subsidies showered on big agribusiness producers by the Department of Agriculture, the more I think there's a very compelling argument that it should be at top of my list.

Last Call for Ethanol.  A federal program, once launched, is impossible to kill.  It doesn't matter if the scheme wastes money.  It doesn't matter if the program doesn't work.  It doesn't even matter if the program does the very opposite of what it is supposed to do.  Every government program enters the world with an army of fairy godmothers prepared to fend off any effort to cut the cord.  Hence, the staying power of ethanol.

Obama's EPA Spending Millions Overseas.  President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency has doled out nearly $25 million to foreign nations and entities — including many countries with terrible environmental track records through 135 separate grants.  Officials at the EPA defend the awards to international organizations and foreign governments since 2009.

Conservative Group 'Empower Texans' Faces Political Persecution.  According to a lawsuit filed in Travis County, Texas, Empower Texans is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that was organized in 2006 to build support for strong fiscal stewardship by the state government, and to inform Texas voters and taxpayers about how their government officials are acting in relation to that objective.  In 2007, for example, Empower Texans mounted a direct mail campaign asking voters to call on their state legislators to return a $13 billion tax surplus instead of spending it on more government programs.  This kind of activity, along with its legislative scorecard, apparently angered not just state legislators, but lobbyists who make their living convincing the state government to spend money on their clients' pet projects.

State Department spent $36.5 million polling foreigners' opinions.  Would you spend money to find out what people in Spain think about their medical insurance or what people in Austria think about their government?  That's exactly what the federal government has been doing, using millions of Americans' tax dollars.  Since 2007 the U.S. State Department has spent over $36.5 million to survey citizens in foreign countries on a wide range of topics, including general public opinion polling on how their own governments — many of them U.S. allies — are performing.  And the biggest spike in that spending occurred on Hillary Rodham Clinton's watch as secretary of state.

Should the State Department Be Disbanded?  In recent years, Republican presidential candidates — notably Rick Perry and Ted Cruz — have called for numerous government departments — Education, Energy, Commerce, HUD and, of course, the IRS — to be disbanded.  Almost all candidates have urged that the bureaucracies be significantly curtailed.  But in this orgy of cost and regulation cutting, one monumental, all-important agency (with a budget approaching $50 billion) curiously has been ignored — the State Department. [...] The last few years have shown us that prying information out of the State Department (Benghazi, Clinton emails, etc.) is [impossible].  Their lineup of spokespeople are about as forthcoming as dead bats.  The primary purpose of the organization seems to be self-preservation, but self-preservation for what?

Report: Social Security paying millions to dead people.  The [Social Security Administration] managed to recover $3.4 billion in overpayments, but spent $0.07 chasing every dollar it got back and ended the year with $18.5 billion in uncollected payments.  That included $46.8 million that was paid to Social Security recipients who had already died.

How to Get a No-Show Job.  What's the best place to get a no-show job? The federal government.  Uncle Sam pays corrupt or incompetent employees not to come to work, because it's easier than firing them, never mind the cost to taxpayers.  Congress is trying to get to the bottom of this outrageous waste.  So far, the Obama administration is stonewalling. [...] Right now, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R.-Iowa, is pressing for answers about the $3.1 billion spent on no-show jobs in the last three years.

Why is the FBI Spending $80 Million on a New Gun?  When conservatives complain about profligate federal spending, part of the problem is the sheer magnitude of the federal budget, where mere tens of millions seem hardly worth talking about in a flood of dollars, both taxed and borrowed, that is in the trillions.  That of course, allows all sorts of waste in which a few million here and there hardly seems worth fighting over.  Take for example, the FBI's recent decision to reequip their agents with an entirely new and entirely unnecessary handgun, which will cost American taxpayers something like $80,000,000.

A decade into a project to digitize U.S. immigration forms, just 1 is online.  Heaving under mountains of paperwork, the government has spent more than $1 billion trying to replace its antiquated approach to managing immigration with a system of digitized records, online applications and a full suite of nearly 100 electronic forms.  A decade in, all that officials have to show for the effort is a single form that's now available for online applications and a single type of fee that immigrants pay electronically.  The 94 other forms can be filed only with paper.

DHS Spent $1 Billion For An Immigration Upgrade That Never Arrived.  According to the Washington Post, the Department of Homeland Security had planned to have a digitized system in place in 2013, at a cost of $500 million.  But here it is, the end of 2015, and after pouring more than $1 billion, DHS now says it needs another four years and $2.1 billion to get it finished.  At stake is more than just wasted taxpayer money.  The existing immigration system is ancient and deeply flawed, causing agonizing delays for those who should be granted legal status, while making it harder for DHS to screen out security threats.

EPA Gave Paid Leave to Drug and Child Sex Offenders.  Drug and child sex offenders received paid administrative leave from the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new audit.  The agency's inspector general found the EPA rehired a child sex offender after they were put on leave for violating probation, in one example of misuse of administrative leave that cost taxpayers over $1 million.

After Closing One Welcome Center — R.I. Gets $9M From Feds to Open Another.  The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved a $9 million federal grant of taxpayer dollars to build a new welcome center in Rhode Island.  Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) has announced the federal approval of the state's application for a competitive Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant if state officials decide to move forward with the welcome center project.

The Editor says...
What part of the Constitution authorizes this expenditure?  Does that no longer matter?

Dozens of feds on paid leave for over a year, senator wants end to costly practice.  The alleged abuse of administrative leave policy has been most egregious at the Department of Veterans Affairs where two of the officials whose actions touched off the VA scandal last year have been on paid leave for the last 18 months.  They're not alone — of the nearly 6,000 VA employees put on administrative leave between 2011 and 2013, 46 individuals have been paid not to work for more than a year.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is pressing for answers.

Pentagon offers no answers on $43 million price tag for Afghan gas station.  The Defense Department spent $43 million on a compressed natural gas fueling station in Afghanistan, while a similar project in Pakistan cost just $300,000 — and now the Pentagon can't even account for who made the decisions behind the waste, according to an inspector general's report being released Monday [11/1/2015].  John F. Sopko, the inspector general who oversees U.S. spending on Afghanistan reconstruction, called the cost for the green energy project exorbitant and deemed the project ill-conceived.

Poverty Pentagon: Nobody Watching As Feds Fund $429M Of 'Noble Intentions'.  More than $429 million worth of noble intentions has been funded with the Section 4 program since its approval as part of the HUD Demonstration Act of 1993.  President Bill Clinton and a Democratically-controlled Congress intended for Section 4 to help local groups combat poverty through a bureaucratically pliable process of "capacity building."

Non-Profit Got Federal Anti-Poverty Millions, But Paid Execs Lavish Salaries.  A Maryland-based nonprofit got more than $305 million in five years that it was supposed to channel to urban anti-poverty groups, but instead pocketed most of the money, including large sums to pay its top executives lavish salaries and benefits.  Enterprise Community Partners — which once spent millions of tax dollars in a failed effort to revitalize Freddie Gray's Baltimore neighborhood — is one of only three groups made eligible by Congress for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's little-known Section 4 grants "to develop the capacity and ability of community development corporations" to combat poverty.

Enabling fraud by the billions.  Ever heard of the Government Accountability Office?  The Obama administration wishes you never hear from the folks there after the truly astounding figures they just released.  The GAO is a key watchdog group and their numbers show the government is on track to waste an absolutely massive amount of money this year.  So what does the Obama's administration do?  Actively take steps to enable more fraud.  I wish I was kidding, but I'm not.  Here are the facts — the cold, hard numbers, because math is nonpartisan.  Numbers and cents don't lie and it doesn't take a Common Core math education to know that $125 billion wasted on fraud and improper payments is horrendous. [...] One billion is 1,000 million.  We lost 125 of those, most of which came from Medicare, Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Feds may pay for soundproofing homes around 2 N.J. airports.  New noise level maps around Newark Liberty International and Teterboro airports are being developed to determine whether surrounding homes and businesses qualify for federal soundproofing aid.  Houses, apartments, office buildings and other workplaces within areas with a noise level of at least 65 decibels attributable to airport operations would be eligible for soundproof aid, said Norm Dotti, a member of the New Jersey Noise Control Council, which is participating in the noise mapping process.

The Editor says...
Since when is this the federal government's problem?  If you don't like the noise, you should move — especially if the airport is older than your house.

Now Federal Employees Make 78 Percent More Than Private Sector Workers.  A new report show once again that government workers — all of them — are leeches, most of whom we should fire.  Now we find the outrageous statistics showing that federal workers earned on average 78 percent more in total compensation than private sector workers in 2014.  78 percent!  This is intolerable.  The stats were found in a new report from Government Magazine that assembled the numbers for us.

An Incoherent Syria War Strategy.  The Obama administration's $500 million initiative to train and arm so-called moderate rebels to take on the Islamic State never seemed promising when it was rolled out last year.  Having acknowledged that this plan has failed — largely because Syrian opposition groups are more interested in taking on President Bashar al-Assad — the White House on Friday [10/9/2015] unveiled a plan that is even more incoherent and fraught with risk.

Obama Administration Ends Pentagon Program to Train Syrian Rebels.  After struggling for years to identify groups in Syria that it can confidently support, the Obama administration on Friday abandoned its effort to build a rebel force inside Syria to combat the Islamic State.  It acknowledged the failure of its $500 million campaign to train thousands of fighters and said whatever money remained would be used to provide lethal aid for groups already engaged in the battle.  Senior officials at the White House and the Pentagon said the strategy to pull fighters out of Syria, teach them advanced skills and return them to face the Islamic State had failed, in part because many of the rebel groups were more focused on fighting the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

GAO: Safety net programs account for billions in improper payments.  Three health and safety net programs for the poor and elderly accounted for most of the federal government's $124.7 billion in improper payments in fiscal 2014, the Government Accountability Office reported Thursday [10/1/2015].  The figure, which represents improper payments across 124 federal programs, is up roughly 20 percent from $105.8 billion in fiscal 2013, according to a new GAO report.  Most of the $19 billion increase resulted from erroneous payments under the Medicare, Medicaid and Earned Income Tax Credit programs.  They account for more than 75 percent of the GAO's government-wide improper payment estimate.

GAO: Feds made nearly $1 trillion in overpayments since fiscal 2003.  Government waste took a significant turn for the worse in fiscal 2014, rising dramatically to $124.7 billion from $105.8 billion in fiscal 2013.  That's a striking increase of nearly 20 percent in improper federal payments.  As the White House and Congress continues to blow out the federal deficit to $18 trillion in their Miracle-Gro, "Supersize Me" approach to government, little is being done to stop federal overpayments.  Since fiscal 2003, "cumulative improper payment estimates have totaled almost $1 trillion," the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a new report.

Mystery ambulance rides cost Medicare $30M: auditors.  Medicare paid $30 million for ambulance rides for which no record exists that patients got medical care at their destination, the place where they were picked up or other critical information.

EPA's fondness for high-end furniture costs taxpayers $92 million.  The federal agency that has the job of protecting the environment doesn't seem to have too much concern for trees, at least the ones cut down to make furniture.  The Environmental Protection Agency over the past decade has spent a whopping $92.4 million to purchase, rent, install and store office furniture ranging from fancy hickory chairs and a hexagonal wooden table, worth thousands of dollars each, to a simple drawer to store pencils that cost $813.57.

How a $2.7 billion air-defense system became a 'zombie' program.  Unknown to most Americans, the Pentagon has spent $2.7 billion developing a system of giant radar-equipped blimps to provide an early warning if the country were ever attacked with cruise missiles, drones or other low-flying weapons. [...] Seventeen years after its birth, JLENS is a stark example of what defense specialists call a "zombie" program: costly, ineffectual and seemingly impossible to kill.

Speaking of JLENS...
Report: Army's runaway blimp flew for hours due to missing batteries.  An Army blimp that broke loose in Maryland in October stayed airborne for hours because someone failed to put batteries in its automatic-deflation device, The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday [2/14/2016].  The blimp escaped from Aberdeen Proving Ground and its dangling tether caused power outages in Pennsylvania.  The mishap led to widespread ridicule of the Pentagon's blimp surveillance program, known as JLENS for Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, which has cost taxpayers $2.7 billion since 1998.

Missing batteries among issues that caused Army's runaway blimp.  The blimp that broke loose from an Army facility in Maryland last fall, wreaking havoc with its milelong tether, flew uncontrolled for hours because someone neglected to put batteries in its automatic-deflation device, Pentagon investigators have found.  The pilotless, radar-carrying blimp was part of the troubled JLENS missile-defense system, which has failed to perform as promised while costing taxpayers more than $2.7 billion since 1998.

White House targets crime and climate change in one fell swoop.  The White House started a new initiative Monday [9/14/2015] to help cities tackle everything from crime to climate change.  The new $160 million Smart Cities Initiative seeks to leverage 25 new federal technology programs to help cities do everything from improving congested roads and reducing crime to "fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services."

The Editor says...
Write to me in September, 2025, and see if you can report one good thing that resulted from this $160 million expenditure.

Obama's revamped college evaluation site ripped as 'misleading,' unnecessary.  President Obama has launched a scaled-back college evaluation website that does not include what some in the higher-ed world had feared — a government rating system of America's roughly 7,000 colleges and universities.  But the site still has Washington asking questions about why the Department of Education is doing it in the first place.  Among the concerns is why spend taxpayer dollars when such for-profit operations as Barron's, The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report have for years been providing similar information and rankings.

U.S. Federal Government Program: Pay Minnesota Muslims Not To Kill People.  If you thought Secretary Kerry's 2013 "Jobs for Jihadists" program was goofy, wait until you read about this one.  The U.S. federal government is announcing a new program called CVE (Counter Violent Extremism) in Minneapolis Minnesota.  Under the U.S. program, authorized by President Obama, Somali Muslims living in Minnesota will be paid not to go on terror rampages, or blow themselves up.

Obama Admin to Spend Hundreds of Thousands to Bribe Minnesota Somali Immigrants Not To Become Terrorists.  Now the Obama administration is attempting to throw tax dollars at would-be Somali terrorists in Minnesota to bribe them into staying away from terrorism.  Think that'll work?

Freddie Gray's family settles with city for $6.4M.  The parents of Freddie Gray reached a tentative $6.4 million settlement [9/7/2015] with the city of Baltimore, nearly five months after their 25-year-old son was critically injured in police custody, sparking days of protests and rioting.

Update: Details of Pay Out.  Keep in mind:  [#1] no wrongdoing has ever been found;  [#2] Marilyn Mosby's private attorney is the same attorney as Freddie Gray's family;  [#3] The Gray family never filed a lawsuit, so this is not a "settlement" per se';  [#4] The possibility of any police wrongful conduct being found during trial is quite probably nil;  [#5] The maximum payout under Maryland state law, if lawsuit filed — and if police misconduct could be identified, would have been $400k.

Social Security spent $300M on 'IT boondoggle'.  "The program has invested $288 million over six years, delivered limited functionality, and faced schedule delays as well as increasing stakeholder concerns," the report said.

Green energy company fights for life after getting billions from feds.  Abengoa, a renewable energy multinational company headquartered in Spain, has been a favorite of the Obama administration in getting federal tax money for clean energy projects.  Since 2009, Abengoa and its subsidiaries, according to estimates, have received $2.9 billion in grants and loan guarantees through the Department of Energy to undertake solar projects in California and Arizona — as well as the construction of a cellulosic ethanol plant in Kansas.  But in the space of less than a year, Abengoa's financial health has become critical, leading investors to worry whether the company can survive.

Obama to offer aid to Alaskans affected by climate change.  During the first trip north of the Arctic Circle by a sitting president [9/2/2015], Obama is expected to observe first-hand the effects of warming temperatures and their effect on shorelines and community infrastructures.  The White House said he will announce federal grants to deal with coastal erosion in areas such as northwestern Alaska, which could include relocation in extreme cases.

The Editor says...
Every dollar spent on compensation for the effects of global warming is a dollar down the drain, simply because there is no global warming.

Social Security spent $300M on 'IT boondoggle'.  "The program has invested $288 million over six years, delivered limited functionality, and faced schedule delays as well as increasing stakeholder concerns," the report said.

DHS Spent $20 Million on Conferences Last Fiscal Year.  The Department of Homeland Security ran up more than $20 million in conference-related expenses in 2014, according to a recently released government audit.  The Office of Inspector General report, which looked at conferences either hosted or attended by the department or its employees from October 1, 2013, to December 31, 2014, found that the the department — which handles issues related to terrorism, border security, and cybersecurity — was involved with a total of 1,883 conferences in fiscal year 2014 that amounted to $20.3 million in expenses.  According to the General Services Administration, training, meetings, or events that include employee travel are considered conferences.  In total last year, the department hosted 490 conferences that cost $13.14 million and attended an additional 1,393 conferences at an expense of $7.16 million.

Obama: $12 billion new federal loan guarantees for renewables.  The Obama administration has just announced $12 billion in new Federal loan guarantees for renewables businesses. [...] Federal renewable loan guarantee schemes have attracted significant criticism in the past, for example when Solyndra went spectacularly bust in 2012, a bankruptcy which cost US taxpayers $535 million in lost federal loan guarantees.

Amid Security Failures DHS Spends $20.3 Mil on Conferences.  While it let Islamic terrorists enter the country, wasted huge sums on faulty equipment and failed miserably to remove criminal illegal aliens, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was busy blowing $20.3 million to host 1,883 conferences last year. [...] A $110,993 "outreach" summit in Washington D.C. brought Customs and Border Patrol senior managers, transportation executives and foreign government partners together to discuss "securing and managing our borders" and a $108,617 Ft. Worth Texas conference provided a "platform for conveying information regarding relevant issues in immigration enforcement."  DHS also doled out $131,868 on the Afghanistan Pakistan Illicit Procurement Network Symposium in Tampa, Florida where discussions focused on preventing hostile nations and illicit procurement networks from illegally obtaining U.S. military products or sensitive technology that could be used against the U.S.

TSA Spent $160 Mil For Scanners With A 96% Failure Rate.  When Congress decided to let the federal government take over airport security in the wake of 9/11, critics said it would only make matters worse.  Fourteen years later, it looks like the critics had it exactly right.  On Monday [8/17/2015], Politico broke the news that the federally run TSA has spent $160 million — or more than $150,000 per unit — on body scanners meant to prevent fliers from bringing contraband onto planes.  And what did taxpayers get for their money?  A recent security audit found that TSA scanners failed to stop explosives and weapons 96% of the time.

A family in public housing makes $498,000 a year.  And HUD wants tenants like this to stay.  A family of four in New York City makes $497,911 a year but pays $1,574 a month to live in public housing in a three-bedroom apartment subsidized by taxpayers.  In Los Angeles, a family of five that's lived in public housing since 1974 made $204,784 last year but paid $1,091 for a four-bedroom apartment.  And a tenant with assets worth $1.6 million — including stocks, real estate and retirement accounts — last year paid $300 for a one-bedroom apartment in public housing in Oxford, Neb.  In a new report, the watchdog for the Department of Housing and Urban Development describes these and more than 25,000 other "over income" families earning more than the maximum income for government-subsidized housing as an "egregious" abuse of the system.

$22 million in taxpayer funds flushed away on Detroit cruise ship lure.  Before squandering $22 million in taxpayer dollar, perhaps the bureaucrats should have asked cruise ship operators if they really wanted to dock in Detroit.

American Kids Pay Heavy Price For Obama's Border Failure.  Remember, heroin is not produced in the United States and is an illegal substance.  Therefore every gram of heroin in the United States provides graphic evidence of a failure of border security.  As noted on the official DHS website, the budget for the DHS for Fiscal Year 2015 included 23,871 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and the overall budget for CBP was for 12.8 billion dollars.  This raises the very reasonable question:  "What are we getting for all of the money?"

USDA putting solar panels on chicken coops.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is spending millions on green energy projects for farms, including putting solar panels on the tops of chicken coops.  The federal agency announced Friday [8/7/2015] that its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) will spend $63 million on solar panels and wind turbines for the farming industry.

Taxpayer money being used to teach 'transgendered' men to talk like girls.  The University of Connecticut, which received state and federal funding, has a program to teach men who want to be pretend to be women how to talk like girls (and vice versa, of course — no discrimination there!).  You would think this would be something easily accomplished without classes, but I guess, like thespians, they want to learn from professionals.

Solyndra II: ObamaCare's $3 Billion Co-Op Program Is Failing.  When government-supported solar cell manufacturer Solyndra failed in 2011, it was headline news for weeks — a prime example of the dangers of crony capitalism.  But Solyndra's demise cost taxpayers just $500 million.  The ObamaCare co-ops could wind up costing close to $3 billion.  ObamaCare created these nonprofit, "consumer directed" co-ops to provide stiff price competition in the ObamaCare exchanges.  And to get them off the ground, the Obama administration handed out $2.6 billion in low-interest loans and startup funding.  Administration officials claimed that the resulting 23 co-ops were carefully selected because they showed a "high probability of financial viability" and an ability to repay those loans.  Did they mean that as a joke?

No words can describe the folly in these federally funded projects.  Recent reports about two federally funded projects may leave you speechless.  Literally.  The first:  a $125,000 study funded by the National Science Foundation to determine if various adjectives are sexist or racist.  Example?  The word "good."  We're not kidding.  "In a masculine work domain ... 'good' for a woman may mean something objectively less good than 'good' for a man," says the tax-funded foundation.  Got that?  (If so, you may be the only one.)  Even if there is something to this gibberish, it's not clear why hardworking US taxpayers should have to pay to have it "studied."

The F-35: Throwing Good Money after Bad.  The F-35 program could cripple U.S. defense for decades to come.  "You could argue it [the F-35] was already one of the biggest white elephants in history a long time ago," stated former U.K. defense chief Nick Harvey in a May interview.  Harvey then doubled down, saying there is "not a cat in hell's chance" the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) would be combat-ready by 2018.  While it is noteworthy that a person of Harvey's stature would level such harsh criticisms, his statement merely reflects the conclusions of reports by the U.S. Defense Department's Director of Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Congressional Research Service, and various independent air-power analysts:  The F-35 program is a mess; it is unaffordable and will not be able to fulfill its mission.

DHS Spends $360 Million On Border Drones With No Positive Results.  Drones used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to "guard" the U.S. border for nearly a decade are ineffective even though the agency has blown hundreds of millions of dollars on the failed program and wants Congress to keep funding it.  It's yet another example of what government does best; waste money.  In this case the frontline DHS agency — U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) — that operates the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAC) is actually requesting more money from Congress to keep the futile drone experiment going.  Imagine a private business that for years blew huge sums on a failed enterprise asking investors to pour more cash into the same useless project.

Bayonne losing $25K a month with windmill generator on the fritz, officials say.  The wind turbine used to power the city's Oak Street and Fifth Street pumping stations has gone motionless, costing the city roughly $25,000 a month in energy costs, officials confirmed.  And there's more possible bad news — Bayonne may be on the hook for roughly $350,000 to replace the broken generator.  The 260-foot structure, off East Fifth Street, went into operation in June 2012, with city officials touting energy savings of up to $300,000 a year.  But the wind turbine stopped working in June.

More about wind energy.

Corporate welfare flop: Mitsubishi expected to close Illinois car plant.  Despite $29 million in tax breaks handed out by failed Illinois Governor Pat Quinn just four years ago — Mitsubushi appears to ready to say sayonora [sic] to the Prairie State.  When the giveaway was announced by the Chicago Democrat — he claimed it would save 1,200 jobs.

The Federal Government's 100 Billion Dollar Mistake.  As the bureaucracy dithers, our ship of state keeps leaking money.  The Government Accountability Office in a March, 2015 report found that the problem of improper payments is massive.  As the Washington Post reported, "the U.S. government forked over an estimated $124.7 billion to ineligible recipients in 2014, representing the first jump in four years.  The highest amount for the Obama administration occurred in 2010, with an estimated $125.6 million in losses.  Medicare reported the highest number of improper payments last year, with the program accounting for nearly $60 billion in incorrect disbursements.  Rounding out the top three were the Earned Income Tax Credit with $17.7 billion in lost revenue and Medicaid at $17.5 billion."  This is real money that is being wasted on an epic scale by federal bureaucrats as our nation sinks deeper into a debt that is over $18 trillion.

How housing an illegal immigrant for a night in the United States' biggest detention center costs more than a stay at the nearest four-star Hilton Hotel.  The government shells out $231 every 24 hours to house just one of the 2,105 foreign detainees at The South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, a small town 200 miles from the Mexican border.  That is more than a double room at the four-star Hilton Palacio del Rio 70 miles away in San Antonio, which costs $169.

Taxpayers Have Now Spent $3.5 Million to Find Out Why Lesbians Are Obese.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has now spent over $3.5 million to determine why the majority of lesbians are obese.  The project, now entering its fifth year, received another grant worth $658,485 this summer.  The total funding for the research is now $3,531,925.  Funding has more than doubled since the study was first revealed in 2013.  Since, the study that is examining why three-quarters of lesbians are obese, but gay men are not, has survived sequester cuts, and continues to produce results such as the discovery that gay men have a "greater desire for toned muscles" than straight men.

Feds spent $2 million to have wives nag men about chewing tobacco.  Since 2012 the government has spent nearly $2 million on a campaign to get women to nag the men in their lives to quit using smokeless tobacco.  The National Institutes of Health has sponsored a continuing grant for the Oregon Research Institute to "evaluate an innovative approach that encourages male smokeless tobacco users to quit by enlisting the support of their wives/partners, both to lead smokeless tobacco users to engage in treatment and to help them sustain abstinence."

You Will Never Guess What The EPA Might Regulate Next.  It's obvious the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has way too much money to play with.  Following yesterday's [3/17/2015] news that the EPA was funding research to reduce air pollution emissions from cooking on propane fired barbecue grills, the latest research grant is aimed at hotel showers.  Researchers at the University of Tulsa were awarded $15,000 to develop a wireless device that will allow water use from showers to be measured and reported to both the hotel guest via a smartphone and to hotel management.  According to the grant, hotel guests waste millions of gallons of water each year and it's hoped that guests will reduce their water use when they realize the amount of water they are using.  The research on propane gas grills involves modifying the barbecue grill design to reduce particulate matter that's emitted during cooking especially when the fire hits the grease from the food.

Watchdog: Agency spends more than it makes to collect wrongful payments.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) spends more money than it collects when trying to recover payments to individuals who received benefits for which they were not eligible.  According to the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the SSA issued $128.3 million in "low-dollar" overpayments between 2008 and 2013, and then spent $323 million to collect them.  The agency ultimately recovered only $109.4 million.  "This resulted in SSA spending over $213.6 million more than it collected," the OIG said, in an audit released Wednesday [7/1/2015].

Obama Is Spending $500 Million On Training Fewer Than 100 Syrian Rebels To fight ISIS.  We don't have the money to do this first off.  And training rebels has never worked.  This is not going to work and they know it.  It strikes me that someone is getting rich once again over a faux military program.  Someone might want to check where the bulk of that $500 million is actually going.  Probably to terrorists.  The military has trained less than 100 and 0 have graduated from the program.  Their goal is 3,000 by the year's end.  That's laughable.

'Cash Strapped' VA Forgot It Had $43.1 Million Stashed Away.  When not pleading poverty, the Department of Veterans Affairs can be awfully careless with its money.  The latest example:  In 2011, the VA set $43.1 million aside to produce brochures informing veterans about their benefits, then forgot about it.  The money went unspent for three years and now might be lost for good.  An internal audit released earlier this month said, "A breakdown of VA fiscal controls and a lack of oversight led to the parking of funds ... and the failure to detect and properly use and manage these funds."  That breakdown in fiscal controls seems to be endemic at the VA.

GAO hits Obama administration on renewable energy projects: audit.  Lawmakers on Wednesday [6/24/2015] demanded accountability from the Bureau of Land Management following an investigation that found the government routinely fails to secure proper bonding from wind and solar project developers, potentially leaving taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars.  The Government Accountability Office report — which gives more fuel to critics who say President Obama will push "green" power at all costs — also said that the administration has kept shoddy records, may have shredded bond documents and blatantly treats renewable power differently than it treats fossil fuel projects.

SSA Paid the Dead $46.8 Million.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) paid individuals acting as representatives for disabled beneficiaries nearly $50 million even though they were dead.  An audit from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is just the latest example of the SSA's inability to figure out who on their rolls is still alive.  The audit focused on "representative payees," or a person who manages another's finances due to mental or physical limitations.  The OIG found that many payees acting on behalf of disability beneficiaries had died.

Navy pays millions to keep using Windows XP.  The Navy will pay more than $9 million to keep using Windows XP under a contract signed this month, Computerworld reported Tuesday [6/23/2015].  The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) will pay Microsoft $9,149,000 through the contract, which was approved earlier this month.  It could eventually grow to be as large as $30,842,980 by 2017.

Pay $1.22 million to save $500,000.  Morons run the country.  In New Hampshire, they are paying $1.22 million to save $500,000.

ObamaCare Can't Account for Almost $3 Billion In Subsidy Payments.  Now we learn that the Obama administration doesn't know whether billions in subsidies it paid out to insurers were appropriate.  Yeah, this law is working just great.

Obama Admin Making Billions In Obamacare Subsidy Payments Without Verifying Amounts.  The Obama administration is making billions in payments to health insurers under Obamacare without calculating the exact amount companies are owed, according to a federal audit released Tuesday [6/16/2015].  Obamacare's premium subsidies are paid each month directly to insurance companies, to ease the burden of health coverage to eligible customers in the health law's government exchanges.  The payments add up:  the federal government doled out almost $2.8 billion to insurers in just the first four months of 2014, when Obamacare launched.

If you ran a business this way, you'd probably go to prison.
Feds Can't Verify $2.8 Billion in Obamacare Subsidies.  The federal government cannot verify nearly $3 billion in subsidies distributed through Obamacare, putting significant taxpayer funding "at risk," according to a new audit report.  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an audit Tuesday [6/16/2015] finding that the agency did not have an internal system to ensure that subsidies went to the right enrollees, or in the correct amounts.

On The Brink Of Bankruptcy, Federal Disability Program Wastes Billions.  A government audit finds that the Social Security Disability Insurance program paid out $16.8 billion in disability benefits over the past decade to about four million people who either were working, made too much money, were in prison, were dead, weren't eligible or were no longer physically or mentally disabled. [...] Between 2003 and 2014, SSDI rolls climbed 44% — even though the Census Bureau reports that the number of actual working-age disabled has been climbing at a far lower rate.

Social Security overpaid nearly half on disability, watchdog says.  In all, Social Security overpaid beneficiaries by nearly $17 billion, according to a 10-year study by the agency's inspector general.

Stop paying federal workers to sit home, personnel chief tells agencies.  The government is taking action to curb the long-maligned practice of putting federal employees on paid leave for months — and even years — while they wait to be punished for misbehavior or cleared and allowed to return to the office.  In a memo last week, Office of Personnel Management director Katherine Archuleta told agency heads that the extensive use of administrative leave throughout government should be just the opposite:  a "temporary solution," only for problem employees who pose a danger to themselves or their colleagues.  In other words, if someone poses a threat to his own safety or the safety of others, send him home.  If the situation could take a long time to resolve, like most misconduct cases, keep them on the job.

How the government wasted tobacco's $200B windfall.  Back in 1998, the tobacco industry reached an agreement with 48 states.  Cigarette makers were to pay a guaranteed minimum of $206 billion over 25 years to cover the cost of health care for people who got sick smoking — along with other anti-smoking, public health-related programs.  As happens when politicians are involved, most of the money really didn't go to health programs.  It mostly went to special interest projects throughout the states.  That's bad enough, but the real disaster occurred when states like New York decided to take the money up front and run.

Feds pour $32 million more into beleaguered solar industry.  This latest funding is dedicated to training a workforce of solar technicians, developing new technology and implementing a database to share performance data, the DOE announced in a press release last week.  The training goal is 75,000 workers by 2020 and an undisclosed amount of "other professionals" in other fields such as real estate, finance, insurance and fire and safety.  What the release didn't say was that the Obama Administration has spent $150 billion on green initiatives between 2009 and 2014, yet the industry cannot survive without government giveaways, a Brookings Institution study found.

Probe: PA Paid $2.2 Billion in Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance.  Conservatives have been trying for years to investigate fraud in welfare programs at the national and state levels.  Repeatedly, we are told by the Left that such attempts are unnecessary and endanger the ability of those programs to help those in need.  However, time and again, we see that there are examples of fraud in welfare programs across the country.  The recent probe into fraudulent unemployment insurance claims proves this yet again.  As the Washington Examiner reports, unemployment programs as a whole handed out $5.6 billion in improper benefits between the years of 2009 and 2013.  Astoundingly, $2.2 billion of that came from Pennsylvania.

Elon Musk's growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies.  Los Angeles entrepreneur Elon Musk has built a multibillion-dollar fortune running companies that make electric cars, sell solar panels and launch rockets into space.  And he's built those companies with the help of billions in government subsidies.  Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support, according to data compiled by The [Los Angeles] Times.  The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire:  a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot start-ups.

IRS Admits Refunding Billions On Fake Tax Returns.  Just hours after being force to admit that they were hacked (by Russians apparently), an inspector general's report shows that The IRS has rather remarkably continued to pay refunds on hundreds of thousands of fraudulent tax returns in recent years, and sent dozens of checks to the same addresses, including in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.  While some progress has been made, $2.3 billion of real US taxpayer's money was wrongfully refunded to fake US taxpayers... but with this new cyber-attack, we suspect that number will soar.

DOD rings up more than $3M in credit card charges at casinos, strip clubs in one year.  There was a time when a story such as this would have resulted in shock and outrage around the nation.  These days, sadly, it barely causes a ripple on the national media pond.  Judicial Watch has concluded yet another investigation into government spending, this time at the Department of Defense, and found that government credit cards are being used in all sorts of interesting places.

Watchdog: IRS issued $5.6B in potentially bogus education credits.  The IRS issued $5.6 billion in potentially bogus education tax credits in a single year — more than a quarter of all education credits claimed by taxpayers, a government watchdog said Tuesday [5/12/2015].

Latest Scott Walker 'John Doe' probe cost Wisconsin taxpayers $1 million.  An effort to investigate Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's political fundraising during his 2012 recall election cost Badger State voters $1.1 million, recently released court documents show.  The investigation was halted last year after a judge determined that the activities alleged in the probe were not in fact illegal.

The Government Did WHAT With $300 Million?  In the last fiscal year, the federal government spent $3.5 trillion.  That's the sum total of the total lifetime incomes of 3.5 million working Americans, give or take.  How much of that was that was misspent?  Ten percent?  Fifteen?  Twenty?  More?  Do we really want to know?  Most elected Republicans pay lip service to the waste of government but ultimately do not care to do anything about it.  Democrats want to spend even more money and don't want to be bothered with arguments about how that might not be the greatest idea.  A country that can readily wave off such waste is courting not renaissance but ruin.

Report: Defense Dept. paid NFL millions of taxpayer dollars to salute troops.  The United States Department of Defense paid the National Football League more than $5 million in taxpayer money between 2011 to 2014 to honor U.S. soldiers and veterans at games, an investigation revealed this week. [...] But instead of purely heartfelt salutes to soldiers from hometown football teams, the halftime segments were reportedly part of paid promotions under federal advertising contracts for the military.

John McCain: Gov't wasting $294 billion on expired programs.  The federal government is set to spend at least $294 billion of taxpayer money on hundreds of expired programs this year alone, according to a report released Thursday [5/7/2015].  The 19-page "America's Most Wasted" report from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is the first in a series of oversight studies meant to shed a light on wasteful and duplicative government spending.

Pentagon credit cards used for gambling, escorts.  A Defense Department audit has found that a number of Pentagon employees used their government credit cards to gamble and pay for "adult entertainment" — findings that are expected to lead department officials to issue stern new warnings.  The audit of "Government Travel Charge Transactions" by the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, which is to be made public in coming weeks, found that both civilian and military employees used the credit cards at casinos and for escort services and other adult activities — in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

The Editor says...
Warnings are cheap.  Firing somebody (like all air traffic controllers, en masse) shows you're serious about curtailing behavioral problems.  Unfortunately, it appears that the termination of a federal employee is nearly impossible.