Archive for May, 2010

Federal employees face no consequences for stealing from taxpayers

Posted in BIG Government, Government Waste/Fraud/Abuse on May 27, 2010 by DaMook

This is an ongoing saga that I have posted on before. (more here and here) According to this story, employees of the Federal Protective Service charged thousands of dollars to Government Purchase Cards for personal items and faced no consequences after getting caught. So in addition to higher pay and benefits than the average private sector employee, federal government workers have an additional perk – government charge cards. Nice…

Most employees caught stealing from a company would expect to be fired, forced to return what they took or worse. But a group of government employees accused of going on a massive shopping spree with taxpayer money have yet to face any disciplinary action.

During an 18-month period while the Federal Protective Service was moved from the General Services Administration to the Department of Homeland Security, employees spent thousands of government dollars on everything from clothing and flat-screen TVs to gym memberships and tuition payments, according to the General Services Administration inspector general’s office.

But two referrals to federal prosecutors have resulted in no criminal charges in the case, The Washington Times reported Monday.

Investigators said the 21 employees hid more than $100,000 worth of “unauthorized” purchases made with government cards in 2003 and 2004 by not logging them into the computer system that processes the agency’s financial transactions.

After the findings of the five-year investigation into the matter were revealed in September, three employees resigned, four retired and five employees faced possible reprimand. No action was taken against nine others, the Times reported.

Here’s a report (GAO-CCAbuse) from 2008 that illustrates how bad the government purchase card situation really is.

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Moron of the Day – sen. John Kerry

Posted in Congress, Government Folly, UGH! on May 27, 2010 by DaMook
kerry

Moron of the Day

In a stunning display of Rectal-Cranial Inversion induced by decades of oxymoronic government service, senator John Kerry (he served in Vietnam, you know) says that the American public just doesn’t get it. He believes that voter anger with Washington is somehow “hypocritical.” (story here from US News)

Times are tough, especially among those still looking for good jobs, but Sen. John Kerry doesn’t think Washington’s to blame. In fact the former Democratic presidential candidate, concerned with the anger voters are aiming at Washington, says that his party and President Obama are doing a ship-shape job.

“We’ve come back,” he says of the nation, Wall Street, and the economy. “This is an amazing resurgence.”

“An amazing resurgence” indeed. If there’s anyone who doesn’t get it, it’s you John. But what do you expect from someone who has been a government employee all his bloody freaking life?

“I think there’s a comprehension gap,” said Kerry. His point: While people may not be feeling the benefits of the bailouts and healthcare reform yet, Congress has been working with Obama to right the economic ship. Still, he sounded sympathetic to those kicked around by the economy. “There’s a sense of some things unraveling” to them, said Kerry.

But he said that the D.C.-directed attacks are hypocritical, since many of those attacking Washington spending presumably want to keep their Social Security and Medicare and want Washington to play a big role in the Gulf Oil cleanup. “There’s a huge contradiction on a daily basis,” he said.

Get that you hypocrites? You just don’t understand what’s good for you!

SHEESH! Can we sue the people of Massachusetts for foisting this douchebag on the rest of us every six years? Sounds like ole John needs another swiftboating.

This one’s for you, Johnny.

stfu

1200 unarmed National Guard troops sent to Mexican border – for what?

Posted in BIG Government, Government Folly, UGH! on May 27, 2010 by DaMook

Our dear comrade leader is sending 1200 National Guard troops to the US/Mexican border to do.. er, um, something. According to this story (from AFP), they won’t be involved in stopping illegal immigration. This move was somewhat surprising in that no one mentioned it to the governor of Arizona.

US National Guard troops being sent to the Mexican border will be used to stem the flow of guns and drugs across the frontier and not to enforce US immigration laws, the State Department said Wednesday.

The clarification came after the Mexican government urged Washington not to use the additional troops to go after illegal immigrants.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday authorized the deployment of up to 1,200 additional troops to border areas but State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters, “It’s not about immigration.”

He said the move was “fully consistent with our efforts to do our part to stem, you know, violence, to interdict the flow of dangerous people and dangerous goods — drugs, guns, people.”

Apparently the administration had to seek permission from the Mexican government before making this move. SHEEESH!

But if they are going there to “interdict the flow of dangerous people and dangerous goods,” what good will it do if they’re unarmed? (story here from Fox News)

While Washington wrings its hands over immigration, Arizona border residents say political dithering is making things worse.

“Every time our president talks to the Mexican president, or every time the word amnesty comes over the Mexican news, there is a flood of people,” said one resident who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

She and her neighbors say unarmed National Guard won’t deter drug smugglers or anyone else.

“There’s guys out here with no guns and they’re our troops. The Mexicans think we’re nuts,” says the resident.

But it is not just Mexicans. In 2009 Customs and Border Protection arrested 52,000 illegal entrants from countries other than Mexico, known as “OTM’s,” including from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen.

This is nothing more than a clumsy political move by our dear comrade leader. We hope and pray that none of these troops are killed or injured by being put into harm’s way without the means to protect themselves.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Posted in Cool Stuff, Humor on May 26, 2010 by DaMook

Take a close look at the image below. (from Boortz.com)

south africa

What’s wrong with this picture? (HINT: look at the graphic)

Congressional kneejerk reaction to oil spill – more taxes

Posted in BIG Government, Congress, Government Folly on May 26, 2010 by DaMook

Fear not, citizens, your congress has responded to the Gulf oil spill by proposing to quadruple the tax on a barrel of oil. (story here from Breitbart.com) This is being done to finance cleanups for future oil spills. It will raise about $11B over the next decade.

Responding to the massive BP oil spill, Congress is getting ready to quadruple—to 32 cents a barrel—a tax on oil used to help finance cleanups. The increase would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade.

The tax is levied on oil produced in the U.S. or imported from foreign countries. The revenue goes to a fund managed by the Coast Guard to help pay to clean up spills in waterways, such as the Gulf of Mexico.

OK, this is a good thing – right? Well, since the last major off-shore oil spill happened in 1969 one has to wonder if this is necessary. (more here)

Spills from platforms have become far less frequent over recent decades, federal data show.

A report by the National Research Council found that offshore oil and gas drilling was responsible for just 2% of the petroleum in North America’s oceans, compared with 63% from natural seepage and 22% from municipal and industrial waste. Coast Guard reports show that the amount of oil spilled in U.S. waters dropped from 3.6 million barrels in the 1970s to less than 500,000 in the 1990s.

During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, 115 oil platforms were toppled, but only insignificant amounts of oil spilled, says Roland Guidry, Louisiana’s oil spill coordinator.

I’m not saying that the oil companies shouldn’t clean up their spills but by taxing the whole industry, it puts consumers on the hook for this instead of the responsible party. It doesn’t take an MBA to figure this out but somehow one of the fundamental tenets of business escapes our “geniuses” in government:

Corporations and businesses DO NOT pay taxes – they pass them along to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

BP is the responsible party and they should pay to clean up this spill. Market conditions will not allow them to pass the cleanup costs to the consumers.

Very cool – How Pixar created Toy Story 3

Posted in Cool Stuff, Culture on May 25, 2010 by DaMook
toy story 3

Toy Story 3

With a string of 10 award winning feature films (starting with Toy Story in 1995), each one a huge commercial success, Pixar is the premier animation house in the film industry. They have garnered an impressive string of 24 Academy Awards, 6 Golden Globes and 3 Grammys.

This story from Wired.com details the creative process of Pixar’s upcoming Toy Story 3.

Pixar’s secret? Its unusual creative process. Most of the time, a studio assembles a cast of freelance professionals to work on a single project and cuts them loose when the picture is done. At Pixar, a staff of writers, directors, animators, and technicians move from project to project. As a result, the studio has built a team of moviemakers who know and trust one another in ways unimaginable on most sets.

Which explains how they can handle the constant critiques that are at the heart of Pixar’s relentless process. Animation days at the studio all begin the same way: The animators and director gather in a small screening room filled with comfy couches. They eat Cap’n Crunch and drink coffee. Then the team begins analyzing the few seconds of film animated the day before, as they ruthlessly “shred” each frame. Even the most junior staffers are encouraged to join in.

Read the whole thing – it’s fascinating!

MA rep injured in accident with illegal alien

Posted in Culture, Government Folly on May 25, 2010 by DaMook

According to this story, a “suspected” illegal immigrant rear-ended State Rep. Mike Moran’s car at 60 MPH. The “suspect” was detained for DUI (he blew a .25), leaving the scene, and not having a valid license.

The suspect, 27-year-old Isaias Naranjo, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a valid license. According to the report, when told of the serious charges he would be facing, he just laughed.

According to the video at the link, the “suspect” said that he was going back to Mexico – “nothing will happen to me,” he said. And he’s probably right. (The story didn’t mention that he probably doesn’t have car insurance either.)

The best part of this story is mentioned here (from American Thinker):

Donald Douglas of American Power has looked into Moran’s voting record, and finds him a big supporter of illegals:
Checking Moran’s legislative record at local news reports and Project Vote Smart, we see he voted to “delay indefinitely” a proposal to “require the state to verify that anyone over 18 who applies for state benefits is legally in Massachusetts”

Moran also voted for “In State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants.”

Hmmm – do you think he will be reconsidering his positions on illegals? Somehow I doubt it because he sounds like an unrepentant assclown…