Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Leave it to Senator Coburn to find an agency of the federal govenment (the National Technical Information Service, which is part of the Department of Commerce) which charges people for requested reports that they can get for free just by googling it.
On Thursday Coburn introduced legislation the Let Me Google That For You Act — with three other lawmakers to eliminate it. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, a co-sponsor of the bill, said, "Only the federal government would attempt to sell what you can get for free, make no money, then subsidize the failure."
The agency — which did not respond Thursday to a request for comment on the legislation — was included last year in a Government Accountability Office report on duplication in the federal government.
The GAO — Congress’ auditing arm — said 74 percent of the reports added to the NTIS repository from 1990 through 2011 were "readily available from other public sources."
We're going to miss Senator Coburn when he leaves office this year. No one else has been as dogged as he about going after wasteful spending.
Gov. Pat Quinn has prepared an election-year spending proposal that would make permanent the 67 percent income tax increase set to expire in 2015 and couple it with property tax relief for homeowners, sources familiar with the plan said Tuesday.
The temporary tax increase he signed into law in 2011 is needed to fund education and the property tax relief would take the form of a $500 refund.
So who gives the 500 dollar property tax refund? The state or the local counties?
Illinois state senator Mattie Hunter of Chicago has proposed a new tax on soda obstensibly for health reasons. We're living in a time when any time someone wants to impose new taxes they believe they have a winning argument when health claims are made. The revenue would go to health services and education initiatives. Forgive me for being cynical. That revenue just screams pork for friends.
Speaking of highway construction as I did in the post below, now chunks of concrete have been falling on the ground beneath the double decker Interstate 64 overpass at 11th Street in downtown St. Louis.
According to MoDOT engineer Deanna Venker, a decorative part of the bridge cracked off and has nothing to do with structural safety. Five years ago, crews patched parts of the old concrete with some product, but due to the weather, it didn't hold.
Why worry? Hey, we have so much in stimulus dollars we'll just rework it.
For reasons I can't understand, we're marking the 5th anniversary of the economic stimulus this week with celebrations of sorts. Administration officials have fanned out all over the country to tout successes-VP Biden will be in Granite City today at one of the steel companies.
Judging from St. Louis and other states we've driven through the past 5 years, I'd say most of the money went to state transportation for road construction. St. Louis has been in a continual state of road construction ever since 2009. It's like they have so much money they're just making stuff up in order to tear things up and jam traffic. How many times has the same portions of 64/40 been worked on? And the bridges?
How about we look to putting all this money somewhere else.
The Continuing Resolution passed by the senate last week and handed over to the House contains 20 billion dollars more in spending than the spending caps agreed upon by the nonpartisan Budget Control Act. Included in this CR are unnecessary items such as these:
Thirty five wine projects, such as funding for 10 grants to support wine tasting including wine trail smartphone apps to help “navigate to the next winery.”
Four Christmas tree initiatives, including support to promote Virginia Christmas trees, to shear Michigan Christmas trees, and training seminars on best practices for exporting Christmas trees
The “USA Pear Road Show” to China, a federally funded trip to Asia to advertise American pears.
Social media for apples
Radio advertisements about New Jersey blueberries
Two promotional campaigns to promote strawberries
Funding for the Organizing Maple Weekend in Massachusetts which includes a recipe contest
Funding for a YouTube video promoting proper handling of watermelon (Georgia Watermelon Association)
Funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the development of “Snooki,” a robot bird that impersonates a female sage grouse to examine the importance of courtship tactics of males.
Funding for an NSF grant that studies Americans’ attitudes towards the U.S. Senate filibuster
NSF grant to SiteJabber.com, a new website to rate the trustworthiness of other websites
NSF grant funding to EcoATM, a company commercializing an “ATM” to give out cash in exchange for old cell phones and other electronics
NSF grant paying for participants’ expenses to attend an annual snowmobile competition in Michigan through 2015
NSF grant paying for meditation and self-reflection for math, science, and engineering majors
Four-year NSF grant that funds displays along the six Indianapolis waterways, used to display paintings about Indianapolis’s water system.
The Institute of Museum and Library Sciences is funding “Puppets Take Long Island,” a puppet festival at a Long Island New York children’s museum.
From Senator Coburn, another list of tax money being spent wrongly as well as items sneaked into bills funding other things. For example, millions in duplicative credits for "historical" preservation that instead go to sports stadiums, beer gardens, microbreweries, hotels & more.
From CBS news, a shocking reminder that the 2012 payroll tax cut extension that congress agreed to has cost homeowners with a mortgage much more.
Have people forgotten this one? To extend payroll tax cut for a short 2
months, Congress quietly imposed a giant, hidden mortgage tax. For the few hundred dollars most Americans got from 2 mo payroll tax cut
extension, it's costing some of the same Americans many thousands.
For a two month payroll tax cut a minimum fee of one-tenth of 1 percent on Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed loans, and is
likely to go much higher and be imposed for the next 10 years on most mortgages and refinancings and it
lasts for the life of the loan.