These stories of how the stimulus has failed are truly showing the ineptness of the federal and local government. It is amazing that you can have local government a pile of cash and they cannot spend it or spend it poorly. There are not to many companies you can infuse cash into and they will fail. A report out yesterday says that the city of Los Angeles has spent only a quarter of its federal stimulus money though the bulk of the funding was awarded nearly two years ago. This could be because the state is a mess that holding on to any money is a big help. The city has netted more than $630 million in grants but had completed only eight of its 108 projects so far. When pushed the city admitted it was not their fault they blamed staff cuts and initial confusion about the program’s rules have made it tough to move projects quickly. We love this because the money was only supposed to be given to shovel ready projects. Were the projects shovel ready or not? The report said that Los Angeles had spent 13.3 percent of its money. When you compare this to New York who has spent 25 percent of its funding and Chicago had spent 47 percent. The other great thing is they know none of the projects risk losing funding despite the delays.
There more we think about the incoming congress class the more it gets better. This will be the first congress in more than 63 years that will be Kennedy free. The Kennedys have held a congressional seat or the presidency for more than 60 years. The last hope runt of the litter, Patrick “patches” Kennedy of Rhode Island leaves his U.S. House seat. Patches in only 43 years old we are not sure he is going away but at least he is out of the picture. The best part is after the Ted Kennedy seat went to a Republican and Patches decided not to run the stranglehold of Camelot is finally over. There does not appear to be any bootlegging, drug addicts, womanizing, rapist, killers, or alcoholics in the new line of Kennedy’s ready to assume the high mantel set by their elders. The only one in office is Bobby Shriver serving as a city councilor in the seaside Los Angeles suburb of Santa Monica. We celebrate that Patches did not run for a ninth term and this congress is already our favorite with Ms. Speaker moving to minority leader. The Republicans have a huge 60 plus seat swing in the last election and no Kennedy’s. It really could only be better if the republicans controlled the senate but you cannot have everything but it is pretty good so far.
We have not seen a day of the new congress but we like it already. The House Republicans pledged to retain the ethics office. We like the rule that no legislation receive a House vote until it appears on the Internet for at least three days. You recall we have seen major bills came up for votes while few had a chance to read the legislation, of they make changes inserted at the last minute. New legislation must on the Internet prior to votes and require that bills requiring an increase in spending be balanced with cuts elsewhere. That means if a bill requires increased spending, money would be cut by an equal or greater amount elsewhere. So there is no tax increases that can be called on to pay for new mandatory spending. This maybe just talk and we will see if they can back it up. But as far as starting on the right foot this is why we sent them to Washington. The GOP also will continue a rule that prohibits former members of Congress who are registered lobbyists from using the House gym, where they once could lobby lawmakers. This is a great start and a move in the right direction. We love the effort and 2011 is looking up already as we find a ray of hope from these new words from Washington.
You know it is bad when the GAO Government Accountability Office claims that the United States financial projections are on such shaky ground that to audit them would be an exercise in futility. The watchdog office cited several problems with the government’s numbers but particularly called out its projections on Medicare in explaining its ultimate decision not to release a decision. Everyone knows the projected Medicare savings were used to build the case for the Obama administration’s health care overhaul. The GAO declared that there are significant uncertainties in those assumptions. The statement recent is a classic as the audit stated that as a result, they are unable to, and will not, express an opinion on the 2010 Statement of Social Insurance, which covers long-term budget projections for Social Security, Medicare and other benefits programs. The statement is the latest budgetary document to raise questions about whether the government’s plans for reining in Medicare will hold. We had been wondering when they were going to cut all that fraud and abuse out of Medicare that they said was going to help fund healthcare. We stated back then if they knew there was this much fraud and abuse they should have been stopping it all along. The reason they did not because it is impossible for this government to stop this or find it. Let us face it the criminals are always one step ahead and when they are caught who knows how long and how much it cost.
Now that the press is telling President Obama he is the comeback kid for pushing legislation he had nothing to with through congress. He started to bring out some of his failed initiative to see if he can jam them through. This lame duck congress rolled over and turned into a patsy under the pressure of the incoming tea party class. We hear that President Barack Obama is showing interest again in the closing of Guantanamo Bay. The White House has acknowledged it is working on an executive order that would set up a legal process for detainees who are being held there indefinitely. It was a tacit acknowledgment that the U.S. naval prison in Cuba will be open for the foreseeable future. The problem is many in his wacko liberal base strongly oppose detention without a trial. President Obama is looking into what to do with people who cannot be prosecuted but are too dangerous to be released. It is a step in the right direction that this is acknowledged. This all rolls back to of course they are afraid to put them in court to be prosecuted because the evidence against them came from harsh interrogation. The answer is simple military trials and life sentences.
It never ceases to amaze how blatant the democrats can be about their ineptness. President Barack Obama says the economy will be his “singular focus” over the next two years. The media shills in the gallery praised him for saying this. This should have been the focus from day one. Everybody knew it was a problem but he was hell bent on healthcare, gays in the military, the dream act, and Start treaty he only solved unemployment by paying everyone to stay out of work. We are going to look back ten years from now at talk about the two million people who were able to collect unemployment for 99 weeks, then got a 13 month extension. Somehow this President believes that the nation is past the “crisis point” in the economy, does he think he had anything to do with that. My favorite when he looked at the lame stream media and said he will now be working to bring down the jobless rate and equip the nation to compete with the rest of the world. Yesterday they each started there question congratulating him on his victories for repeal of don’t ask don’t tell and the start treaty. So much for objective observers 2011 as much as we think could be a whole new ball game it might be the same old song and dance.
This was not much of a surprise but the Alaska Supreme Court refused to overturn election results in favor of Lisa Murkowsk over Republican Joe Miller, in the state’s U.S. Senate race. The high court on upheld a lower court’s ruling dismissing Miller’s claims of impropriety in the state’s handling of the election and ballots for Murkowski. Miller now has until Monday to plead any outstanding issues. Is this really going to the federal courts? At some point you have to realize the fix is in and the cards have all been played. The thing about this is every time it happens you realize how flawed the system is, the unofficial results showed Murkowski leading by 10,328 votes following a hand count of ballots. The lead narrowed to 2,169 votes when ballots challenged by Miller’s campaign were excluded. The reason we will give a pass on this one there was only one write in candidate and if the person wrote “the woman” or “not Miller” that would appear to be a vote for Murkowski. It is the holidays let it go Joe and enjoy 2011 with a fresh start. Try not to be bitter like John Kerry and move on.
We reported about the most expensive Census in US history as the 2010 census cost around $13 billion, which only cost $8 billion from 2000. In true Washington fashion it was much higher than the initial cost estimate of $11.3 billion. The numbers are the U.S. population is 308,745,538 which are the lowest since the Great Depression. This is still an increase as this number represents an increase of 9.7 percent over the 2000 U.S. resident population of 281.4 million. As expected California is the most populous state with 37.2 million residents. Wyoming is the least populous with 563,626 residents. There were a couple other surprises as since the 2000 census, Texas gained the most people, up 4.3 million residents to 25.1 million. But along that same line Nevada has gained the most residents as a percentage of its 2000 census count, growing 35.1 percent to 2,700,551. This makes sense as there was a boom in the early part of the decade which led to the highest unemployment in the country as the decade turns. Looking at the country by region the South and the West showed the strongest growth, all sectors grew but we wonder if more people are leaving the northeast based on the cost of living.
Christmas came early for President Barack Obama as it looks like he arm twisted enough Republican support to pass the Start (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) treaty. The new arms control treaty with Russia that would cap nuclear warheads for both countries and restart on-site weapons inspections. There were eleven Republicans that came to help the President from renegotiating causing the 67-28 proxy vote to wind up the debate. Ratification requires two-thirds of those voting in the Senate and Democrats need at least nine Republicans. The big break came on the seventh day of debate when Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, announced his support. This all happened under the watchful eye of Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry. We are not a big fan of our need to say we are doing reduction when the rest of the world seems to be amping up. We are not in agreement that this treaty would restrict U.S. options on a missile defense system. We would be naive if we did not think we lack sufficient procedures to verify Russia’s adherence. That being said at the same time we are not sure how good they could verify what we do. The track record for Weapons inspectors is suspect to say the least.
The only bummer from the November election was the fact Massachusetts sent the same ten democrats back to Washington. Look like that was only temporary as the census show changes a foot. The big picture is Republican-leaning states will gain at least a half dozen House seats. The numbers are 308,745,538, people up from 281.4 million a decade ago. When all is said and done Massachusetts loses a seat. That means that the in fighting can begin as one of these slugs has to go. It is a good thing a Republican did not win as they would be on the block. Remember this is the same state that said Governor could not replace a senator when a republican was in charge, but then changed the rule when a democrat was in charge. We put nothing past them, but this time they must kill on of their own. We cannot wait to see who falls on the sword or pushed down on top of it. We would hope for Barney Frank but that would be asking to much. You never think that having one less vote in congress for representation is a good thing. The truth is the opinion these bozos have and the way they vote is a polar opposite of the way we feel.