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:

Ethanol
Renewable energy
Wind and solar power
Farm subsidies
High-speed rail
Amtrak
NASA in general
NASA's most recent white elephants
The V-22 Osprey
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



Overview:
Paying for our own destruction.  We have spent our way into a $33 trillion debt.  And that doesn't include unfunded mandates, etc. [...] We have spent trillions of dollars to combat poverty, via the "Great Society" program and others.  The poverty rate is no different now than it was before, our society arguably less "great."  What we do have is a greater number of homeless people, higher rates of crime, and a burgeoning sense of angst.  The U.S. government also spent trillions — there's that word again — on COVID-19 stimulus payments, much of which was misdirected, misappropriated, or misspent.  And Democrats want to embark on The Green New Deal, which would likely destroy the economy and fatally bankrupt the nation, all while doing next to nothing to counteract "global warming" or "climate change."  Uncle Sam is paying to fly illegal aliens around the country and put them up in fine hotels — or set them up in apartments and homes, replete with a starter allowance for furnishing them.  The Biden administration left billions and billions of dollars worth of top-shelf military equipment in Afghanistan, to the amazement and delight of the Taliban.

$7.5 Billion for Seven EV Chargers.  Capitalists countries are conspicuously wealthier than socialist countries because the free market allocates resources vastly more efficiently than coercive bureauweenies.  For example:  ["]The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by Biden in November 2021, allocated $7.5 billion for EV charging, the Washington Post writes.  Of this amount, $5 billion went to states as "formula funding" for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program to establish a network of fast chargers along major highways.  Today, there's seven chargers with a total of just 38 parking spots.["]  Total value to taxpayers:  virtually nil.

Democrats believe in miraculous money.  The Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam, and the Empire State Building were each built in about three years, start to finish, during the depths of the Great Depression.  Nowadays, government projects take seemingly forever and usually cost multiples of their original cost estimates.  Remember Obama's "shovel-ready jobs," which he later confessed did not exist?  That was a classic Democrat fabrication designed to hoodwink taxpayers into supporting his 900-billion-dollar stimulus bill in 2009.  Yes, it was a con job, but who cares?  Certainly not Democrats.  Simply spending the money is all that matters to them.

California Didn't Track Effects Of $24 Billion Homelessness Spending.  A new state audit found that the California Interagency Council on Homelessness stopped tracking whether its programs were working in June 2021 and has no consistent way of measuring the outcomes of its spending.  Only two of the five programs analyzed in the audit are "likely cost-effective."  The other three have not collected enough data to prove that their initiatives are useful.

Biden Admin Used Border Wall Funds On 'Environmental Planning,' Government Watchdog Says.  The Biden administration spent taxpayer dollars meant to fund a border wall to pay for "environmental planning," according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  At the request of Republican Reps.  Jack Bergman of Michigan and Jodey Arrington of Texas, the GAO investigated whether the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) broke the law when it effectively blocked the use of taxpayer dollars to build a wall along the southern border.  While GAO's final report clears the DHS of breaking the law, it confirmed that DHS used congressionally-appropriated funds meant for the wall to pay for "environmental planning" and efforts "to remediate or mitigate environmental damage from past border wall construction."

The Cost of EPA's Senseless CO2 Capture.  In April 24, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) passed a new rule that would require coal power plants that plan to continue operating after January 1, 2039, and new natural gas power plants that plan to begin operation on or after 2035 to capture at least 90% of their CO2 emissions.  How much would this cost?  And is it worth it?  Well, as they say, we ran the numbers.  Thankfully, researchers from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have provided the cost and performance estimates for retrofitting an existing coal power plant with Shell's CANSOLV CO2 capture system.  For the performance and cost estimates, I will use the NETL estimates for 90% carbon capture.  (Here, I am using the term "carbon capture," rather than "CO2 capture," because NETL uses the mass of carbon, rather than the mass of CO2, in its calculations.)  Before the retrofit, NETL's baseline coal power plant had a net output of 650 megawatts (MW).  But after retrofitting it with the CO2 capture system, the power output was reduced by 24% to 495 MW.  In terms of money, the retrofit cost is about $988 million, or about $2 million/MW of net power output.

US Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker 5 Years Behind Schedule, $2 [Billion] Over Budget.  The US Coast Guard's proposed next generation polar icebreaker to reestablish and maintain a strong US presence in the Arctic Ocean is at least five years behind schedule and $2 [billion] over budget with many design and shipbuilding problems still unresolved, a senior Biden administration official and a new report told Congress.  "The PSC [Polar Security Cutter] program is now years behind the original schedule, without having attained the level of maturity we require prior to authorizing the start of construction," Department of Homeland Security Deputy Under Secretary for Management Randolph Alles told the US House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security.

How To Waste Two Trillion Dollars.  Brown University's cost of the Afghan war project just concluded that America's longest war cost an estimated $US 2.2 trillion dollars — that's 'trillion dollars."  If we add in George W. Bush's fake `war on terror,' Brown's scholars estimate that the cost rises to US $8 trillion!  Most of this huge amount was financed by loans, not through taxes.  Meaning that every dollar spent must be paid for by borrowing.  That means paying interest (raised by taxes) on the borrowed money — $95 billion dollars of taxpayer money that Biden just gave to Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine in a desperate attempt to buy the November election.  Interestingly, the much-ballyhooed war in Afghanistan has all but vanished from the media.  All the CNN generals who postured on TV about the Afghan War have fallen into silence.  They were dead wrong about the war.  The minute Donald Trump ended the Afghan War by cutting off the billions in US money that kept the corrupt US-backed Kabul regime alive, the war ended and the blizzard of propaganda against Taliban abated.  The $2.2 trillion war abruptly became unimportant.

Illegals fly free — and secretly.  By the time Joe Biden's term ends, if it ends, no less than 10 million illegal aliens, many of them criminals and the insane, hundreds of thousands of terrorists and spies, even members of China's military, will be within America's borders.  Terrorist attacks on a previously unimaginable scale are a certainty, so likely even our feckless FBI director is warning of them, surely to cover his bureaucratic posterior.  Should Biden steal a second term, America will no longer resemble America.  But voting with one's feet is far from the only way illegals breach our borders with the help of Biden's Handlers:  [Tweet] [...] ["]In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the feds have admitted that in 2023 alone they secretly flew 320,000 illegal aliens into the United States.["] [...] That's 320,000 in 2023 alone to which they'll admit.  The flights, carrying numbers unknown, continue.  The information was obtained only by way of FOIA because these flights, usually in unmarked aircraft, are kept strictly secret and land only at night.  The Administration does this through an app that allows illegals to apply for those flights.  Unvetted, they are flown directly into America at no cost, bypassing public scrutiny and cameras depicting them freely crossing our "secure" and "closed" borders.

3 U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drones, worth about $30 million each, have crashed in or near Yemen since November.  A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 drone crashed in Yemen early Friday, according to a U.S. military official, who updated earlier information that indicated that it had crashed off the coast.  An investigation into the incident is underway.  According to the official, there were no reported injuries.  Iran-backed Houthi rebels took responsibility Friday for shooting down the drone.  The Houthis have brought down two other MQ-9s — both off the coast of Yemen — since November, the first in early November and then another in February.  Each drone costs roughly $30 million, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Canada's first electric fire truck was in service less than a month before it needed repairs.  Vancouver's brand-new, $1.8-million fire truck was in service for less than a month before it was sidelined for repairs.  CTV News has learned the all-electric Rosenbauer RTX has a leaky water tank.  Vancouver Fire Rescue Services spokesperson Matthew Trudeau confirms the repair work involves the vehicle's water tank, but none of the electrical or battery systems, and the cost of the work is covered by the manufacturer, Rosenbauer.  Trudeau says the vehicle was in service from Dec. 4, 2023, to Jan. 2, 2024, and has been out of service ever since.

$6 Billion a Day.  US Government expenditures are up to a $6 billion per day deficit and rising.  A question is obvious:  What do they have to show for it?  The expenditures authorized in the Recovery Act, CHIPS Act, Infrastructure Act, Inflation Reduction Act (the name is a high point in misinformational labeling), Omnibus Act, Consolidation Act are now, in effect, raising debt costs to $6 Billion per day deficit and rising with very little to show for these expenditures.  While $7.5 billion was authorized to build EV charging stations; we now have seven.  Yes, seven.  Not seven thousand or even seven hundred.  Seven.  The car companies spend hundreds of billions making electric vehicles no one wants to buy.  Millions are spent to develop copper mines in Alaska for the Energy Transition that Biden is demanding because of climate change, but the Biden Administration withdraws their permits.  $500 billion of student loan forgiveness.  Half a trillion dollars per year spent on benefits for illegal immigrant terrorists, thugs, gang members, Chinese spies, and drug dealers.  On and on.

Democrats introduce the STAGE Act, a $1 billion per year 'cash infusion' so 'artists can find out who they are and become themselves'.  Oh no!  All the losers with the lesbian theater degrees can't find jobs since they settled on an "education" that had no applicability in the real world!  And, what's worse is that they're "artists," so they can't be expected to work a 9 [to] 5, or stifle their creativity with a boring conventional job, even though that's where the money is. [...] Again, if I'm working doubly-hard at my private sector job so I can make a salary and also pay the wage of an unemployed artists, that's a handout, not legitimate work. [...] Any theater that makes the stupid business decision to churn out unpopular entertainment should die, and using my money to bail it out is repulsive.  A theater exists for entertainment purposes; it's not supposed to be an apparatus of the Democrat left political machine.  "Unemployed artists" was, and still should be a slur; it should not be a status that qualifies you for a taxpayer-subsidized job!

California city OK's $1M per unit homeless housing project after audit found state wasted billions on crisis.  Santa Monica city officials last week approved a multimillion-dollar apartment unit for the homeless just days after the release of an audit which found California could not account for the $24 billion it spent on the state's burgeoning homeless crisis.  The 122-unit building for the homeless will include a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, along with ground floor retail and residential and commercial parking spaces.  A design concept available on the city's website shows that the multi-apartment unit will cost more than $123 million, for a cost of just over $1 million each for the 122 apartments.  A second design concept would have cost even more, north of $200 million for 196 units.

COVID Stimulus Money Lined the Pockets of Scammers and Fueled Inflation.  It's a given at this point that much pandemic-related fiscal stimulus was lost to fraud.  The government flooded the world with money, we were told, to offset the disruption of economies paralyzed by people minimizing social contact and (especially) by mandated closures.  Sure, that was a crude "solution" to an avoidable problem.  But government officials insist things would have been worse without stimulus.  Is that true, though, given that stimulus money not only padded the pockets of grifters but fueled the surging prices of recent years? [...] Of course, $1.4 billion is only a fraction of the trillions spent by the federal government to stimulate the economy.  Then again, it's also only a fraction of the stimulus money that was swiped by scam artists.  "The total amount of fraud across all UI [unemployment insurance] programs (including the new emergency programs) during the COVID-19 pandemic was likely between $100 billion and $135 billion — or 11% to 15% of the total UI benefits paid out during the pandemic," the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated in September 2023.

Lawyer up, Republicans.  [Scroll down]  Here, Republicans clearly have the law on their side and they refuse to use it.  Again.  Last June, Scotusblog reported, "Supreme Court strikes down Biden student-loan forgiveness program."  Missouri sued to stop Biden from writing off $400 billion — $400,000,000,000 — in loans without congressional approval.  Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion. [...] So the court said no to gifting former students $400 billion.  And 10 months later, Biden has gone ahead and given away $559 billion — $559,000,000,000.  Where are the Republicans?  Where are their lawyers challenging this unconstitutional giveaway to the higher education industry?  That's right.  This is a bailout for Yale, Harvard, MIT and all those other tax-exempt colleges because the money does not go to students.  The money already went to the colleges (mainly).  The message now is don't worry, kids, because no one will make you pay the loans back.  Do Republicans even have lawyers?  What good are Trump-appointed judges if you never bother using them.

Niger's Russian-Backed Military Junta Agrees to Release 1,000 US Soldiers After Biden Promises to Abandon the $100 Million US Airbase in the Country.  Another Joe Biden foreign policy disaster is in the works.  Joe Biden already turned over the Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan to Taliban terrorists in September 2021.  Biden abandoned Afghanistan's Bagram Airfield after nearly 20 years in July by shutting off the electricity and slipping away in the night without notifying the base's Afghan commander, who discovered the Americans' secret departure more than two hours after they left.  The Taliban quickly took control of Bagram Air Base, which is only 30 miles north of Kabul, on August 15th and released thousands of terrorists held at its prison.  The Americans and Afghans left the Taliban military equipment, uniforms, rations and even sports drinks.

Slush fund:
Michigan Public Schools Spent Nearly Half of Their $1.2 Billion in Pandemic Relief Funds on Employee Compensation, Watchdog Says.  Michigan public schools used nearly half of their pandemic relief spending on employee compensation, according to a new report from a Michigan policy watchdog.  Many of the state's students, meanwhile, continue to perform below pre-pandemic testing benchmarks.  So far, Michigan public schools have spent 47 percent of their $1.2 billion in COVID relief expenditures on staff salaries and bonuses, according to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.  The watchdog group says state data show staffing levels did not increase significantly enough for new hires to explain away the heavy spending on teacher salaries and benefits.  "Overall, staffing levels did not increase drastically enough to suggest that the $1.2 billion of Covid aid slated for compensation was primarily devoted to mitigating learning losses incurred by prolonged school closures," the report states.

How companies made $100m clearing California homeless camps.  [Scroll down]  In total, private firms have been paid at least $100 [million] to clear homeless camps, an investigation by the Guardian and Type Investigations has found.  The 14 municipalities and public agencies from which spending details could be obtained represent a small slice of such spending in the state.  Astrid Stromberg, who oversees encampment cleanups for Tucker, said its business has expanded dramatically since 2020.  The company had about a dozen laborers working full-time on encampment cleanup.  Now there are 30, and its clients include roughly a dozen municipalities and public agencies across Silicon Valley.  "[Tucker] basically created the industry here," she said.  "I could talk about it for hours."

F-35 program's lifetime price tag tops $2 trillion, Pentagon wants jets to fly longer.  Congressional auditors revealed today the total price tag for the Lockheed Martin F-35, the world's most expensive weapons program, has topped $2 trillion — surpassing a previous estimate of $1.7 trillion.  That increase, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, was driven in part by sustainment costs stemming from the Pentagon's decision to operate the jet through 2088, over a decade longer than a previously planned target of 2077.  The new sustainment outlook of $1.58 trillion over the program's lifecycle also captures other adjustments like inflation and aircraft use, the report says.  Combined with an estimated procurement cost of $422 billion, the program's total expected cost is now over $2 trillion, an eye-popping figure for a fleet that is currently falling short of mission capable goals.

NASA's Mars sample return plan is getting a major overhaul: 'The bottom line is $11 billion is too expensive'.  NASA is looking for a new way to get its precious Mars samples back to Earth.  Those samples are being collected by the Perseverance rover in Mars' Jezero Crater, which hosted a lake and a river delta billions of years ago.  Getting ahold of the samples is one of NASA's top science goals; studying pristine Red Planet material in well-equipped labs around the world could reveal key insights about Mars — including, perhaps, whether it has ever hosted life, NASA officials say.  The agency has had a Mars sample-return (MSR) architecture in place for some time now, but repeated delays and cost overruns have rendered the original plan impractical, NASA officials announced today (April 15).

Billions Disappear Into the Black Hole Of California Homeless Programs.  I've covered the homeless industrial complex here several times, both here in Austin and in California.  Now California itself has done an audit on its homeless programs, only to find billion unaccounted for. [...] I'm sure the programs are considered a "success" by Democrats because they provide a giant bucket to dole out graft and fraud to the leftwing activists working in the Homeless Industrial Complex.  But I have a deep suspicion that things are even worse than we think.  Remember the effort to recall Newsom, and how Democrats from across the country sprang immediately to his aid?  At the time, Scott Adams said that protecting Newsom was "the top process in the system."  I suspect that California's homeless programs are not just a channel for graft and fraud to left-wing activists in California, but a way to rake off money directly to Democratic Party campaigns and coffers nationwide.  (Though certainly not the only source.  Remember how $850 million in the hands of New York City Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio's wife just sort of magically disappeared?)

How much will taxpayers pay for Biden's student loan handouts?  A half-trillion, UPenn's Wharton School says.  The White House announced another student loan handout on Friday, bringing the total number of borrowers who have received President Biden's debt relief so far to 4.3 million.  According to the White House, the total student loan cancellation sum is a whopping $153 billion.  "Today, my Administration is canceling student debt for 277,000 more people, bringing the total number of Americans who have been approved for debt relief so far under my Administration to 4.3 million borrowers through various actions," Biden said Friday via the White House.  As for who is footing the bill, Biden has proposed "no new revenue to cover the cost, which means it goes straight on top of the pile of what America owes to its creditors."

Navy's new landing ship could cost billions more than planned:  CBO.  The Navy's upcoming medium landing ship could cost billions more than the service plans, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office.  The CBO believes an 18-ship fleet would cost between $6.2 billion and $7.8 billion in 2024 (inflation-adjusted) dollars, or $340 million to $430 million per ship.  That's a stark contrast to Navy figures, which, according to the CBO, has an 18-ship program at $2.6 billion total, or about $150 million per ship.  Even using the more optimistic CBO figure, the gap between the two totals is eyewatering: $3.6 billion more, or a 138 percent overrun.

The Editor says...
No matter how much the cost exceeds the estimates, almost no project is ever cancelled.  Exceptions are rare, but still very costly.

Failing Theaters Would Receive $5 Billion Taxpayer-Funded Bailout under Democrat Plan.  Non-profit theater companies across the country would receive a $5 billion taxpayer-funded bailout under a new plan being promoted by a group of Democrats in the Senate.  The proposed bailout comes as prominent stages are facing unprecedented financial crises following their embrace of woke identity politics, which has alienated audiences and donors.  Among the companies poised to receive the new federal dollars would be New York's Public Theater, which staged the gruesome stabbing death of President Donald Trump in its infamous 2017 production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

No Wonder Gavin Newsom Didn't Want an Audit to Track $24 Billion in Homeless Spending.  Gavin Newsom's California put billions of tax dollars into a cannon, aimed it in the general direction of homeless "expert" NGOs, lit the fuse, and walked away.  The BOOM came when someone started asking questions about where the $24 billion went.  That day of reckoning is finally here.  And we learn that Gavin Newsom and his Democrat super-majority in this one-party state have no idea where it went or whether it did any good whatsoever.  A new state audit — fought tooth and nail by Newsom, according to former state legislator turned Congressman Kevin Kiley, who called for the audit — has revealed that California was not tracking the spending.  The state has a $73 billion deficit for the year under Gavin Newsom.

The Man Who Led Solyndra to Bankruptcy Gets $6.6B from Biden.  Remember Brian Harrison, who ran the Solyndra scam and walked away rich?  Well, he's back, and Biden is giving him $6.6 billion in grant money to make computer chips, about which he knows little.  Solyndra was an Obama scandal.  Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC's Arizona subsidiary, whose president is former Solyndra head Brian Harrison, will receive $6.6 billion to build a factory in Phoenix, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced Monday, Free Beacon reports.  According to the Beacon, Harrison was CEO of Solyndra when it declared bankruptcy in 2011 after receiving over $500 million in loans from the Obama administration.  Billions of dollars in Biden energy spending have gone to bankrupt companies ornearly bankrupt companies and their losing CEOs.  "Thanks to this investment, TSMC will also build a third chip factory in Phoenix, increasing its total investment in Arizona to $65 million and creating over 25,000 direct construction and manufacturing jobs, along with thousands of indirect jobs," Biden said.  Biden wants to pick winners and losers, and he's terrible at it.

Wisconsin City Shelled Out $700,000 in COVID Funds to Illegal Immigrants.  The city of Madison, Wisconsin, appears to have found a rather creative way to use its allotment of COVID-19 funds.  The local government has reportedly been funneling the money to illegal immigrants and asylum seekers, a move that is expressly forbidden in the American Rescue Plan.  Republican State Sen. Duey Stroebel sounded the alarm on the misuse of funds and is currently seeking answers from the city's leadership. [...] And exactly how much has Madison given to illegals and asylum seekers?  A whopping $700,000 from its State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF).  It represents almost 10 percent of the city's SLFRF grant funds, which have been given to nonprofits providing services to those who came across the border.  This money was originally aimed at aiding the recovery from the pandemic.  Stroebel called out the city's leadership for using the relief funds to assist illegal immigrants "at the expense of Wisconsinites" and referred to the move as "the out of touch priorities of Madison politicians."

World's Largest Digital Camera Complete: 'Will Help Unlock Secrets Of The Universe'.  This incredible piece of technology isn't just a pipe dream — it's a reality, and it's called the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Camera.  Once in place on a telescope in Chile, the 3200-megapixel camera will be tasked with gathering an unprecedented amount of data about our universe, yielding new insights into everything from dark energy to asteroids.  After two decades of tireless work, scientists and engineers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and their collaborators are celebrating the completion of this groundbreaking camera. [...] Astronomers are beyond excited to see what the LSST camera can produce and how it will significantly broaden space research.

The Editor says...
When the Department of Energy was created, did anyone have the slightest idea that it would spend 20 years building a camera for an observatory?  What does that have to do with energy production?  How much did this project cost the U.S. taxpayers?  There was no mention of the price in the article above.  The 2021 budget for the Department of Energy appears to have been 41,892,625,000 dollars.  (That's at the bottom of page 19 of this report.)  [#2] The "Secrets of the Universe," if any exist, will not be "unlocked" by this telescope.  The origins of the universe are explained in the first chapter of the Bible, which is widely available at low cost.

Biden's electric road to nowhere.  More than two years after President Joe Biden pledged to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the United States only seven are operational across four states.  The Washington Post reported Friday on the sluggish pace the allocated $7.5 billion in infrastructure funds have been put to use.  The bulk of the funds, $5 billion, are to go toward building fast chargers along major interstates — what's being called the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure or NEVI program.  To satisfy the federal program's requirements, chargers must be built at least every 50 miles over major highway routes and be operational 97 percent of the time.  They also must take credit card payments and certain components must be made domestically.  Additionally, states must submit proposals to the Biden administration for approval, solicit bids for construction and then can award the funds.  So after the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was passed in November 2021, only seven charging stations are operational.

Joe Biden had $7.5 billion to spend on 500,000 EV charging stations.  He has built ... seven.  Way back in 2021, Joe Biden vowed to spend $7.5 billion of our taxpayer dollars to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.  The greenie future was just around the corner, he assured, soon everyone would be driving an electric vehicle, and the future was so bright, we'd have to wear shades.  Now that his term is ending, how's that going? [...] Seems his call to leave it to him to turn our economy green isn't working out quite like he thought it would work out.  It's like the shovel-ready jobs promised by President Obama early in his term that he eventually admitted never quite panned out like he thought it would?  Now Joe Biden has "toppped" that Obama failure with his electric vehicle charging stations scheme, making his promises even more empty than Obama's.

Biden budget shells out $320 million on border walls — for Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Tunisia.  Why, exactly are we paying for some place like Tunisia's enhanced border security, which is a cost they can bear themselves, while failing to build a border wall amid millions of foreign invaders rolling into the U.S. from some of those very same countries?  The irony is incredible here.  Biden knows that border security works, which is why he's taking cash from the U.S. taxpayer and handing it over to foreign countries to ensure that their borders stay secure from terrorists and other foreign invaders.  Meanwhile, he spends tremendous time, money and energy to ensure that our border wall is open as can be.  He's fighting Texas through the courts all the way up to the Supreme Court to ensure that they can't defend their border from crime and terrorism from "newcomers" from more than 100 countries still rolling on in without papers.

Biden's DHS Using Taxpayer-Funded Comic Books to Fight Perceived Election 'Disinformation'.  The Biden government is deploying taxpayer-funded comic books to combat what it considers 'disinformation' ahead of the 2024 presidential election in November.  Produced by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the comic books are intended to educate voters on how foreign governments try to influence U.S. elections.  Backed by CISA's parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the government-produced comic books also raise civil liberties concerns as they position the government agency as the final determinant of 'truth.'  Several lawmakers on Capitol Hill have criticized the DHS program.  Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) called the comic books another avenue for the government to "trample on the First Amendment" and label any dissident as 'disinformation.'

The List of Things Illegal Immigrants Get for 'Free' in Liberal Massachusetts.  Liberal Massachusetts is overrun with illegal border crossers and there's really no wonder why when you see the laundry list of things that are provided for 'free' courtesy of taxpayers in the Bay State.  All of these perks just act as incentives, driving more illegals into the state.  And remember, there are American citizens in Massachusetts who are poor and don't get nearly as much from the state.

New York City to Give Migrant Families Debit Cards for Food, Baby Supplies.  New York City will give debit cards to migrant families for food and baby supplies.  The first cards will be distributed to families on Monday, sparking fear that the new program could lead to fraud or abuse as well as speculation that the city will be prioritizing migrants over current citizens.  As many 180,000 migrants have arrived in the city over the last two years with 65,000 now in shelters.  "A family of four is expected to receive up to $350 per week under the program, which will last six weeks, city officials said.  The program will begin with 10 families on Monday, expanding to about 115 families, or roughly 450 people, over the next week," noted the New York Times.

The Editor says...
What's to prevent them from using the cards to buy cigarettes, tattoos, and lottery tickets?

Hollywood Studios Reap $25 Billion from States' Film Tax Credits; Taxpayers See Massive Losses.  Hollywood has reportedly received a whopping $25 billion in state tax incentives to date — a win for studios like Disney and Netflix but a big "L" for ordinary taxpayers, who are footing the bill for the giveaways.  Frequently championed by Democrats, state tax credits for movie and TV productions are intended to juice local economies by creating jobs and boosting revenue for small businesses that provide services like catering and transportation.  That, in turn, is supposed to generate more tax dollars.  But despite the $25 billion spent so far, states are seeing paltry returns on their investment — sometimes less than 20 cents on each dollar given away, according to studies cited in a New York Times report.

SPACECOM wants $1.2B in FY25 for 'unfunded priorities,' most classified.  US Space Command has asked Congress for $1.2 billion in fiscal 2025 to fund efforts either not included or not fully supported in the official Defense Department budget.  Most of the programs included in the annual wish list obtained by Breaking Defense are classified, thus the document doesn't provide many details about each one.  For example, there are three lines in the SPACECOM spreadsheet labeled simply Classified Program A, B and C, for which the command is asking a total of $704 million.  However, the fact that the command made public its top-line for so-called unfunded priorities, as well as a run-down of programs and funding requirements is a big step towards transparency.  Last year, those details were all hidden behind a classified annex attached to the letter by then-commander Gen. Jim Dickinson when he transmitted his wants to Congress.

The Editor says...
[#1] Everything they do is classified, and it all happens in space, so we'll never see any of it.  How will we know if they spend the money on their space projects or if they send it to Ukraine, or the CIA, or if they just lose it?  How will we know that they spent the money on something worthwhile?  Secrecy breeds fraud.  [#2] If there is a US Space Command, why does NASA still exist?

How Much for a 'Gay Senior Citizen Home'?  The huge spending bill was released after 2 a.m. yesterday morning and is 1,000-plus pages.  The House is already expected to vote on it today and the bill is expected to pass.  A Washington Post report says Congress is "racing to pass" the massive spending package.  Why the rush?  Well, many in Congress (and the White House) would rather nobody has much time to find out what's actually in it.  When you see what's in the bill it becomes obvious why these people are in such a hurry to pass the latest porkulus package.  On Fox News, Jesse Watters ran through just a sampling of the insanity contained in this bill:  [Tweet]

The 12-Month, $404 Million Contract to Transport Migrant Kids — that You're Paying For.  As part of the Center's efforts to bring transparency to the U.S. immigration system using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Colin Farnsworth — our chief FOIA counsel — requested a contract between the U.S. government and a private entity to transport unaccompanied alien children (UACs) from shelters run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Department of Health and Human Services to their sponsors in the United States.  We received all 119 pages of it, and the bottom line is that taxpayers forked out $404 million over a 12-month period, in part to complete a criminal conspiracy, under a contract that failed to detail how "care provider escorts" would identify the "sponsors" they were giving the kids to or how they would assess whether those kids would be safe.  That's a big deal, given the likelihood that this was the last contact many of those children would have with the U.S. government.

Government report reveals American cash is getting into terrorists hands through $2.9 billion UN plan.  American taxpayers' money is ending up in the hands of the Taliban, according to a U.S. government watchdog, which found that bundles of cash flown into Afghanistan by the United Nations are finding their way to the country's central bank.  The latest report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction found that the U.N. has delivered more than $2.9 billion in cash since the extremist group took over in 2021.  The money, most of which comes from the U.S., is deposited in private banks for humanitarian organizations and their lifesaving work.

GAO: 'Unclear' if Pentagon Tracking Reports of Misused Aid in Ukraine.  While the Pentagon has assured Congress that no U.S. military equipment sent to Ukraine has been diverted, stolen, or otherwise misappropriated, a new report from the Government Accountability Office could not determine if the Department of Defense was tracking allegations of misuse two years into the conflict.  "If you never look, you will never find it," a source familiar with how the report was compiled said of the worst-case possibility that aid was being misappropriated.  The report comes as President Biden struggles to keep the supply lines open to Ukraine.  Although a majority of Congress supports sending further aid to help hold back the Russian onslaught, and the Senate passed a bipartisan aid package late last month, House Republicans have yet to approve the latest round of now-stalled military assistance.

Consequences Minus Truth.  Next up for us will be "Joe Biden's" attempt to complete the bankruptcy of our country with $7.3-trillion proposed budget, 20 percent over the previous years spending, based on a $5-billion tax increase.  Good luck making that work.  New York City alone is faced with paying $387 a day for food and shelter for each of an estimated 64,800 illegal immigrants, which amounts to $9.15-billion a year.  The money doesn't exist, of course.  New York can thank "Joe Biden's" executive agencies for sticking them with this unbearable burden.  It will be the end of New York City.  There will be no money left for public services or cultural institutions.  That's the reality and that's the truth.  A financial crack-up is probably the only thing short of all-out war that will get the public's attention at this point.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if it happened next week.

Is A New Biden Scandal About To Erupt?  The Joe Biden presidency has had its share of missteps, maybe more than any other administration before it.  But the latest scandalous behavior is not an error in the eyes of this White House.  In pursuit of cultural and political engineering that only the Democrats would ever consider, the administration has flown 320,000 illegal immigrants into the country directly from foreign airports.  According to the Center for Immigration Studies, "U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has approved secretive flights that last year alone ferried hundreds of thousands of inadmissible aliens from foreign airports into some 43 American ones over the past year, all pre-approved on a cell phone app."  This was not disclosed at a news conference or at the daily White House press briefing but learned through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that pried the information from an administration that clearly wanted to hide it.  It's anyone's guess as to where these aliens have landed.  The CBP has withheld the names of the airports that "received 320,000 inadmissible aliens from January through December 2023."  It is also refusing to reveal which foreign airports the immigrants departed from.

The Editor says...
The people arranging for these many gas-guzzling flights are the same people who complain about your "carbon footprint."

House passes $460 billion package to fund six government agencies just three days before another shutdown.  The House on Wednesday passed a $460 billion spending package that will fund six agencies of government, relying Democratic support to make up for the majority of Republicans who opposed it.  The bill passed 339-85, with 132 Republicans voting yes, 83 voting no, and all but two Democrats voting for it.  The package brought together funding for Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Energy-Water, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-VA and Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under one vote.

Biden Administration Shells Out Millions For Foreign LGBT Causes And Migrants.  The State Department has bankrolled a program to create 2,500 "LGBTQI+ Allies," given taxpayer dollars to "queer" Muslim writers in India and funded a Portuguese film festival depicting incestuous and pedophilic content since Biden took office in 2021.  The Biden admin had sent nearly $4.6 million in taxpayer funds to at least 55 foreign nations to support LGBT causes as of June 2023, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis.  The federal government has also used taxpayer dollars to fund services for LGBT refugees in Latin America over the past couple of years, federal grants show.

Eric Adams Says Giving Pre-Paid Credit Cards to Illegal Migrants Is 'Smart' and a 'Real Win'.  Democrat mayor Eric Adams is defending his decision to hand out pre-paid credit cards to illegal migrants living illegally in New York City.  During a press conference on Friday, Adams claimed that the move is a "real win" and a "smart way to bring down the cost" of the thousands of illegal aliens who have invaded the city.  Adams said that the city is saving appropriately $600,000 a month and $7.2 million a year by giving "individuals" — notice the Democrat didn't call them illegal migrants — pre-paid cards that will be allowed to be used at local bodegas, grocery stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores across Manhattan.

Maine residents in uproar over $13 million 'Taj Mahal' migrant housing complex.  Residents of a Maine town have hit out at the $13million construction of a complex of 60 apartments for asylum seekers, where they can live rent free for two years then pay a fraction of the rental price.  Locals in Brunswick have expressed fury over the project, which is being funded by a mix of private and public money and which has been heavily criticized by Donald Trump Jr.  The apartment complex in Brunswick is one of the many projects being launched by the town in what critics have labeled a 'Taj Mahal', red-carpet welcome for asylum seekers.

Migrants [are being] Handed Spacious Apartments for Free as New Yorkers [are] Left Paying Thousands for Tiny Rooms.  Illegal border crossers in New York City continue to be afforded thousands of dollars monthly in free rent for apartments and hotel rooms as Big Apple citizens are forced to pay thousands a month for tiny apartments.  The New York Times, for instance, published a lengthy article on Feb. 25 celebrating the "resettlement" of 170 migrant families who have been moved from city-paid hotel rooms to suburban Central Islip and other areas where they are being given upwards to $2,500 a month in free rent.  One illegal from Venezuela, who moved from a Manhattan hotel — where she and her children had one room, a microwave, a mini-fridge, and a table and chair — into a spacious, two-bedroom apartment in the near eastern suburb, gushed about the program.  "To come from where we have come from, and to be here," she marveled to the paper.  "For some people this may be a small apartment, but for me this is huge."

New York to hand out $10,000 cards to illegals, no I.D. required, what could go wrong?  For a mayor who claims that the migrant influx is going bankrupt his city, he sure has a funny way of responding to it. [...] Just on the surface, the plan stinks, as the $53 million to be spent was doled out by a no-bid contract.  It gets worse when one learns from the Gelinas report that the $53 million is just the set-up fee.  The money to be doled out to the migrants is extra.  Worse still, the migrants will be entitled to as much as $10,000 a month at city expense, the pre-loaded debit cards to be doled out on the honor system that migrants will spend that free cash only for food and baby supplies.  The idea of handing out cash was based on news that migrants were throwing out their food and the food handed out on a no-bid contract was spoiled and rotten.

Nebraska Parks Claimed Employees Logged An Impossible 66-Hour Workday.  The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission received $15,837 from a federal grant while claiming an individual volunteer worked up to 66 hours in a single day, according to a Feb. 2 report from the U.S. Department of the Interior's Inspector General.  The DOI's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides grants to state agencies to restore and maintain fish habitats.  The Fish and Wildlife Service reimburses states for 75% of the costs related to fish habitat projects.  States must cover the other 25%, either with actual cash or with an equivalent item such as hours of labor.

Biden's Climate Agenda Will Cost Taxpayers Nearly $800 Billion.  President Joe Biden's so-called "climate initiatives" will cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars.  According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the President's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has a heftier price tag than initially thought.  The CBO said Biden's climate agenda was projected to cost $428 billion.  In 2022, the CBO initially expected the IRA's climate and energy provisions to tap out at $400 billion.  However, experts admit that the estimate was too low.  "The budgetary effects of energy-related tax provisions remain highly uncertain," the CBO said.  However, per the latest figures, the investment banking company Credit Suisse revealed that the Left's radical climate policy will cost nearly $800 billion.

Senate Advances $95B Foreign Aid Bill for Ukraine, Israel, Gaza, and Taiwan, Omitting Border Security Provisions.  The U.S. Senate has cast a contentious vote, advancing a massive $95 billion foreign aid package that supports Ukraine, Israel, Gaza, and Taiwan, but notably omits any provisions for bolstering U.S. border infrastructure.  In a 67-32 cloture vote, the Senate crossed party lines, with several RINO senators joining Democrats to move the foreign aid bill forward.  Republicans who joined Democrats in voting in favor include:  [List of names]  According to Capitol Hill correspondent Jamie Dupree, the bill is "likely to pass the Senate — maybe by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week."

Catholic NGOs Continue to Cash In.  Catholic Charities continues to profit from the destabilization of America after receiving millions more dollars from the government.  Four branches of Catholic Charities received a combined sum of over $15.5 million last week from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Shelter and Services Program.  The funds were disbursed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with Catholic Charities in the diocese of San Diego receiving $12,793,700.  Catholic Charities in the diocese of Laredo received $1,322,015, while Catholic Charities in the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston obtained $882,388.  Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley received $512,196, and the diocese of El Paso, Texas, was granted $346,639.  In total, $77 million was allocated to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in this second round of funding distribution.  The initial allocation in June was significantly larger, with $291 million disbursed.  Catholic NGOs received nearly $40 million from the first distribution.

How Jeff Bezos gets your Halifax tax dollars.  At a budget meeting on Friday Feb. 2, the HRM approved Halifax Public Libraries' proposed $25 million budget for 2024/25, an increase of $1.5 million from last year.  What makes this a bitter pill to swallow, even if it was pre-approved in December, is that nearly half of the increase — $692,355 of your hard-earned tax dollars — is because of and will mostly go to Jeff Bezos.  When the library wants to buy a book, an actual ink-on-paper object, it costs about $15 and they can have it until it falls apart.  If the library wants an audio book, it costs thousands of dollars to lend it out for two years. [...] This is something most of us would gladly pay a premium to have in this city, as long as it went to anyone other than Jeff Bezos.

The Big Apple goes debit card mad.  The migrant story now has a debit card chapter.  I thought that the story was a joke when it came across the internet; it wasn't. [...] Furthermore, isn't this going to encourage more migrants to take the New York-bound bus?  I think so, and most New Yorkers understand that.

Illegal Immigrants in New York to Get Pre-Paid Debit Cards in $53 Million Program.  Illegal immigrants in the Big Apple will soon start receiving pre-paid debit cards that they must pledge to use only to buy food, according to New York City records and media reports.  Records indicate that New York City has awarded a $53 million contract to a company called Mobility Capital Finance (MoCaFi), which will create and distribute the pre-paid cards, called immediate response cards.  Under the program, MoCaFi will begin delivering the cards to the Roosevelt Hotel, the first touchpoint for illegal immigrants arriving in the city, and will hand out them out "directly to asylum seekers receiving financial assistance."

States Recently Threw Out Millions of Dollars of Unused Masks and Other Pandemic Gear.  Recently, the Associated Press published an investigative report [which] detailed the extraordinary sums of money lost as states threw away or held fire sales on tens-of-millions of dollars worth of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that they had purchased during the pandemic but no longer need.  Ohio vaporized $29 million of taxpayer money; Maryland $93 million.  The AP report was reprinted or covered by media around the country, from major national outlets, including NPR and PBS, to innumerable local news operations from New York to California.  At first, this may seem like a story of government waste, albeit waste that was the result of well-intentioned over-purchasing during an emergency.  But a brief investigation suggests that much of this equipment did not need to be discarded.  And the fact that authorities, and their advisors, operated without even a modicum of due diligence is indicative of a pervasive problem with the public health establishment.  You may wonder why the states don't simply hold on to these materials, such as masks and gowns, in case they are needed in the future.  The answer, we are told, is that much PPE has a limited shelf life and is not considered or guaranteed to be effective after its expiration date.  For this reason, South Carolina dumped 650,000 expired masks.

The Editor says...
What part of a paper mask "expires" after a few years, so that one day it's beneficial, and the next day it's worthless?

Illegal aliens are a fiscal nightmare.  President Biden has transformed America's southern border into a humanitarian catastrophe and a national security nightmare.  This bloody, deadly mess is a clear and present danger to this republic.  It is also a massive fiscal threat.  Mr. Biden's obliteration of the border is evaporating federal, state and local coffers.  Precise figures on anything illegal are, by definition, elusive.  Nonetheless, the Federation for American Immigration Reform's report "The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers 2023" estimates that taxpayers bleed $182.1 billion in annual benefits to illegal aliens.  This includes $66.4 billion in federal spending and $115.7 billion in state and local outlays to those who have entered the country illegally. [...] "Taxes paid by illegal aliens only cover around 17.2% of the costs they create for American citizens," FAIR calculates.  This includes $16.2 billion in federal taxes and $15.2 billion in state and local levies.  These $31.4 billion still stick U.S. citizens with 82.8% of the illegals' $150.7 billion annual tab.

Trashed: NYC's Dramatic Debut of Side-Loading Garbage Trucks Does Not Get the Intended Reactions.  If I had a dime for every time I read or heard a pompous leftist from a blue state talk about how much more "advanced" and "sophisticated" their states supposedly are in comparison to red states, especially those here in the South, I'd be able to retire early on and live quite comfortably.  Undoubtedly, those same people would assume that their places of residence were on the cutting edge of technology in all things, including city/county garbage trucks that have automated side loaders that pick up the cans without sanitation workers having to do much — if any — of the heavy lifting.  In fact, such a scenario is playing out as we speak in New York City, where on Thursday, our purported intellectual betters debuted such a truck surrounded by much hoopla, with music playing, cameras rolling, photographers snapping pictures, and politicos smiling and posing for photo ops while holding bags of trash: [...]

The Editor says...
They've had side-loading trucks like this, in a suburb very near me, for a few years now.  It's not any faster, but now the driver is the only person on the truck.  Apparently it's all about cutting labor costs.  But the trucks are so expensive, it's hard to see how anything is gained.

NYC launches $53M program to hand out pre-paid credit cards to migrant families.  Mayor Eric Adams' administration will soon start handing out pre-paid credit cards to migrant families being put up in Big Apple hotels, The [New York] Post has learned.  The $53 million pilot program, run by the New Jersey company Mobility Capital Finance, will provide asylum seekers arriving at the Roosevelt Hotel with the city cash to help them buy food, according to city records.  It'll start with a group of 500 migrant families in short-term hotel stays and will replace the current food service offered there, according to City Hall.  The cards can only be used at bodegas, grocery stores, supermarkets and convenience stores — and migrants must sign an affidavit swearing they will only spend the funds on food and baby supplies or they will be kicked out of the program.

Ukraine Corruption Continues:  Five Arrested for Stealing $40M Meant for Weapons.  Americans who wonder how Ukraine is spending all the tax money the Deep State Uniparty has sent there just found out where some of it is going.  Straight into the pockets of corrupt officials who work in the Zelensky Regime's defense ministry.  Five officials have been arrested for stealing some $40 million, and if past reports indicate anything, a lot more than $40 million has gone down the drain for the sake of the Uniparty's latest globalist adventure.  [Tweet]

Trillions [are being] Spent on 'Climate Change' Based on Faulty Temperature Data, Climate Experts Say.  To preserve a "livable planet," the Earth can't warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the United Nations warns.  Failure to maintain that level could lead to several catastrophes, including increased droughts and weather-related disasters, more heat-related illnesses and deaths, and less food and more poverty, according to NASA.  To avert the looming tribulations and limit global temperature increases, 194 member states and the European Union in 2016 signed the U.N. Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty with a goal to "substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions."  After the agreement, global spending on climate-related projects increased exponentially.  In 2021 and 2022, the world's taxpayers spent, on average, $1.3 trillion on such projects each year, according to the nonprofit advisory group Climate Policy Initiative.  That's more than double the spending rate in 2019 and 2020, which came in at $653 billion per year, and it's significantly up from the $364 billion per year in 2011 and 2012, the report found.

A Dim Ray of Hope Emerges for Cities Who Stupidly Invested in EV Bus Fleets.  EV bus maker Proterra was supposed to become one of the crown jewels of the Biden Green New Deal policy suite, given that it was the nation's pre-eminent manufacturer of battery electric buses purchased by dimwitted virtue-signaling local officials all over the country.  But last summer, Proterra became mired in bankruptcy proceedings, leaving these officials to try to explain to their voters why the buses they bought for as much as $1.2 million each currently sit idle and broken down in garages around their cities.  In Asheville NC, as I wrote here last week, 3 of 5 costly EV buses sit idle and in disrepair due to a variety of software and hardware issues, with no reactivation in sight since the parts and software fixes would have to be supplied by the bankrupt busmaker.

Who benefits from this?  Nobody!
1st gravitational wave detector in space 'LISA' will hunt for ripples in spacetime.  Humanity's first space-based gravitational wave detector has received the go-ahead.  The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission, which consists of three spacecraft that together form a single gravitational wave detector, is a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).  It's set to launch in the mid-2030s.  The adoption of LISA was announced by ESA on Jan. 25, and recognizes that the mission concept and associated technology are sufficiently advanced.  Getting the green light means scientists can start building the spacecraft as well as its required instruments; work will begin in Jan. 2025 after a European industrial contractor has been selected for construction.

Setting Good Money on Fire After Setting Bad Money on Fire in Gaza.  Over the decade-and-a-half since Hamas was elected, Gaza has received approximately $40 billion in support from around the world.  That included $5 billion from the United Nations, almost $2 billion from Qatar, $20 billion from the Palestinian Authority (which itself receives billions annually from the world community), as well as over a billion dollars each from the US, Europe, and Iran.  The average works out to about $3 billion annually for a population of approximately 2.3 million people or about $1,300 per person living in Gaza.  That $1,300 makes up a little less than half of the per capita income of the average citizen of Gaza.  Other sources of income are primarily small businesses and agriculture. [...] However, the reality is that, if Palestinians live in poverty, it's the fault of Hamas.  The leaders of Hamas have stolen at least $11 billion of the money that was supposed to go to the citizens of the Gaza Strip.  They enjoy that fortune relaxing safely in their multimillion-dollar compounds in Qatar.

Sometimes, you can fool all of the people all of the time.  Our leaders must really believe we are stupid. [...] The Fed's effort to reduce inflation over the last three years has only reduced M1 from $20 trillion to $18 trillion, leaving an excess of $10 trillion sloshing around in circulation.  No wonder today we talk in trillions and not billions.  No wonder the stock market still looks strong.  No wonder it looks like our economy is good.  When, in fact, the purchasing power of the dollar has dropped dramatically.  Fortunately for the dollar, other countries are experiencing their own challenges.  Congress has played its part keeping excess money circulating.  The 'Inflation Reduction Act' of 2022 authorizes the government to infuse another $500 billion into the economy (talk about wordsmithing).  Almost all this money will be spent soon to reduce greenhouse gases.

Feds Burn Over $1 Million On Video Game To Help LGBTQ Youth Stop 'Binge Drinking'.  The federal government has spent over $1 million to develop and test a web-accessible video game that aims to help LGBTQ youth stop "binge drinking," a federal grant database shows.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has approved $1,075,660 in grant funding since 2016 to develop and test the effectiveness of a Japanese role-playing game-inspired web app in reducing binge drinking among sexual and gender minority youth, according to a federal grant database.  The grant claims LGBTQ youth are "at greater risk for alcohol-related morbidity and mortality across the life-course."  The NIH pledged to pay $343,340 for the game's development between April 2016 and May 2019 and $732,320 for studying its effectiveness in binge drinking mitigation between July 2023 and June 2028, according to federal spending records.  The agency awarded both grants to the University of Pittsburgh.

'Their' Democracy:  Tyranny Comes to the US.  [Scroll down]  Their democracy has also advanced the invasion taking place at our southern border.  In F.Y. 2023, an astonishing 2.5 million illegals, that we know about, illegally gained entry to the U.S. Using various means, the Biden administration enabled the assault.  One way was refusing to uphold its constitutional duty to protect states from invasion as required by Article IV, section 4 of the U.S. Constitution and U.S. immigration laws.  For example, at Eagle Pass, Texas, the Biden administration directed the U.S. Border Patrol to cut razor wire so that illegals could enter.  Absent help from the federal government, and because Article 1, section 10 of the Constitution gives states power to protect themselves if invaded, Texas gave its police authority to arrest illegals.  In response, the Biden administration sued Texas for doing the job Biden refuses to do.  Additionally, the Biden administration made illegal immigration an economic boom for the invaders while shifting costs onto U.S. taxpayers.  Unlike previous generations of legal immigrants required to be financially independent, current illegals get massive state and federal aid.  The Biden administration even diverted Department of Veterans Affairs heath care resources to aid illegals.  Moreover, through various federal departments, the Biden administration gave billions in taxpayer funds to non-government organizations (NGOs) to provide illegals "free" housing, food, medical care, hotels, and airfare.

Govt waste in one year:  Just a glimpse.  In 2021, your federal government spent $6 million every single minute. [...] For just a glimpse of that insanity, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the enormous Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), has 27 Institutes and Centers (I.C.s), and in fiscal year 2020 had a budget of $41.6 billion (plus a separate $3.6 billion for COVID-19 that year).  President Biden's request for fiscal year 2023 was almost $49 billion[,] plus the new "mandatory" budget items ($5 billion for a new Advanced Research Projects Agency — Health, $12.5 billion for Pandemic Preparedness, and $1.2 billion for PHS Program Evaluation, etc.), which runs the total to over $62 billion.  All 27 I.C.s asked for more money; last year, the Office of the Director was the only unit that took a "cut," from $2.521 billion to $2.519 billion.  It asked for $2.728 billion for next year.  This is for the Cabinet department (HHS) that ranked the absolute worst, by far, in "improper payments" (i.e., waste) in 2022 of $132.6 billion.  A distant second was the Small Business Administration, which wasted $37.3 billion, followed by the Dept. of the Treasury, which wasted "only" $26 billion.

Illegal immigrant says NYC has provided him free housing, food for seven months.  Social media was shocked after a young muckraker's candid chat with illegal aliens highlighted the extent to which taxpayers are footing freebies.  Denial and deflection have remained go-to tactics from Democratic politicians and President Joe Biden's recent remarks attempting to distance himself from the southern border crisis were no different.  While the gaslighting persisted, video journalist Nick Shirley questioned illegals in New York City drawing a sharp distinction between how the government was treating its own citizens.  Sharing clips of a more than 24 minute video across social media, one segment showed Shirley standing near the Roosevelt Hotel, one of a number of cushy locations where NYC Mayor Eric Adams (D) had been housing illegals since Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had forced the issue into corporate media's focus with his busing plan.

Biden pours nearly $700,000 into program to prevent trans boys from getting pregnant.  The Biden administration has dished out nearly $700,000 to support the creation of a national pregnancy prevention program for transgender boys, federal grant records show.  Health and Human Services (HHS) handed over the funds in September 2023 to the Center for Innovative Public Health Research, a nonprofit that develops health technologies, according to its website.  The program will utilize a text-messaging program that was designed for "cisgender sexual minority girls" between the ages of 14-18 to "address social and structural influences of sexual behavior" in transgender boys, according to the grant's description.

We Are in an Abusive Relationship with Our Government.  California is now covering the costs of genital-mutilating surgeries for illegal aliens.  Leftism's slippery slope invariably leads to depraved absurdity.  Consider how Governor (receding) Hairdo and the Pyrite State's other communist saboteurs have greased the shifting ground under Californians' feet:
  [#1]   There is no illegal immigration crisis.
  [#2]   There may be a crisis, but California taxpayers won't be paying for it.
  [#3]   Taxpayers may have to foot the bill for the illegal immigration crisis, but California will do nothing to incentivize illegal immigration.
  [#4]   After further review, these aliens aren't "illegal," but rather "undocumented."
  [#5]   Health care is a human right.
  [#6]   California must provide "undocumented" aliens healthcare.
  [#7]   Mutilating the genitals to make them look like the opposite sex is health care.
  [#8]   California taxpayers must pay for "undocumented" aliens' genital surgery.
  [#9]   Californians who object to paying for undocumented aliens' genital surgery may be guilty of "hate" crimes and will be prosecuted.

This is a polite way of saying they were STOLEN:
Chicago Public Schools Have Lost $23 Million Worth of 'Free' Laptops and Other Electronic Devices Provided to Students.  Public schools in Chicago have lost $23 million worth of laptops, iPads, and other electronic devices provided for 'free' to students.  As many as 77,000 of these devices have just vanished into thin air.  Where did they go and who stole them?  Taxpayers are constantly lectured about public schools needing more funding and better equipment.  Perhaps this is why so many people roll their eyes when they hear that argument.

Chicago Public Schools lost $23M worth of laptops, iPads and other devices in 1 year: report.  An annual report from the Inspector General of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) revealed that millions of dollars worth of tech devices were reported lost or stolen "without appropriate search and recovery efforts."  The fiscal year 2023 annual report released Tuesday states CPS schools reported 77,505 tech devices as lost or stolen during the 2021-22 school year, totaling well over $23 million in original purchase price.  The discovery, as a result of the district's first post-COVID-19 inventory, calls the numbers "unacceptably high" and says the oversight process is in need of a "serious overhaul."  The report said the missing items included laptops, iPads, Wi-Fi hotspots, printers, document cameras and interactive whiteboards.

The Editor says...
Obviously, kids who get free laptops, without putting down any deposit or making any investment, will not value that property.  Politician who spend other people's money do not care when the money is squandered.

It appears the Church of the Climate Change Cult (CCCC) is losing some of its Flock Part 5.  When President Biden released the IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) back in 2022 the cost estimates for the climate and energy sectors were a miserly US$384.9 billion over the following 10 years but less than a year later appears to be way off the mark as several recent reports have noted!  A University of Pennsylvania review from late April 2023 pegs the foregoing costs at $1,045 billion.  Yet another lengthy report by Jonathon A. Lesser an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute wrote one for the GWPF (Global Warming Policy Foundation).  The report indicates the estimated costs originally contained in the IRA are indeed about ten times the original estimate and verifies that "subsidies for green energy impose disproportionate economic harm on lower-income residents and small businesses; in effect, green energy policies are forcing the least well-off in society to subsidize the most well-off, increasing economic inequality."  Lesser's conclusion nicely summaries his review by stating:  "the profligate spending on costly, but low value, green energy will collapse under its own economic weight.

There's no justification for green energy subsidies and mandates.  If renewable energy, efficiency improvements, and net zero targets really made companies more productive and profitable, then we wouldn't need subsidies or mandates.  Companies would implement these climate-friendly practices of their own accord to increase their profits.  But if renewable energy and other climate-friendly practices do not improve companies' productivity and profitability, then they are costly burdens undertaken for external global benefits.  But even in this case, subsidies and mandates are destructive and wasteful ways of getting companies to adopt costly climate mitigation technologies and practices.

Electric buses: another bankrupt green boondoggle.  Electric buses are just like electric passenger vehicles: they're not ready for prime time, only more so.  Proterra buses are a case in point.  Cities that wasted money on them found they had far less range then advertised.  They commonly couldn't complete even short, flat routes specifically designed for them.  The enormous weight of their batteries cracked frames, and getting parts from the factory was virtually impossible.  But to make up for their failures, they were far more expensive than reliable diesel buses.  Proterra went bankrupt in August of 2023.  President Biden gave Proterra at least $10 million, and lauded it as the future:  "when you start making a thousand buses a year, you're going to need more room for customers."  That makes as little sense as anything Biden is saying these days.

United Nations Demands $150 Trillion to Fight 'Climate Change'.  The United Nations (UN) is demanding that taxpayers around the world cough up a staggering $150 trillion to fight "man-made climate change" — a fabricated "crisis" that the unelected globalist organization helped to create.  The UN made the demands in a new report published by its Department of Economic and Social Affairs.  The agency claims that it needs global governments to commit to handing over $5.3 trillion per year to the bureaucratic agency.  According to the report, the UN needs $150 trillion in order to "save the planet" from "global warming" by complying with the "Agenda 2050" goals of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Oregon Lost Track Of $426 Million In Federal Pandemic Funds For Emergency Rental Assistance.  The state of Oregon's housing agency lost track of $426 million in federal pandemic-era funds for emergency rental assistance (ERA), according to a new state audit.  In the 43-page audit released Thursday, the Oregon Audits Division revealed that Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) couldn't definitively say where the millions designated to the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program ended up.  "The agency has no way of knowing how much of the $426 million went to eligible Oregon recipients and how much was sent to landlords, renters and non-eligible recipients in error," read the audit.  OHCS also told auditors that it couldn't quantify the amount of ERA funds distributed or the number of applicants who received funding.  The number of total applicants paid shifted from just over 56,000 to over 67,000 in the auditors' investigation.

California's Health Care Available To Illegal Immigrants Covers Sex Change Surgeries, Hormones.  The state of California's program providing taxpayer-funded health care to illegal immigrants covers sex change surgeries and hormones, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of the program.  The program, which is known as Medi-Cal, covers hormone therapy and surgical procedures "that bring primary and secondary gender characteristics into conformity with the individual's identified gender, including ancillary services, such as hair removal, incident to those services," according to a state memo from May 2022.  Roughly 700,000 illegal immigrants in the state between the age of 26 and 49 qualify for full coverage as of Jan. 1, California State Sen. María Elena Durazo said in May of the state's latest move to expand the program.

Look Who Biden Just Gave $50 Million to Promote 'Climate Justice'.  Whether or not you believe that anthropomorphic climate change is a genuine problem or not, you have to admit that our government's programs to deal with it are thinly veiled scams. [...] The Biden Administration just announced the distribution of $600 million — more than half a billion — to various nonprofits to pass along to their pet projects (and their favorite political activists). These groups are basically Left-wing activists who serve as the shock troops of the Democrat Party.  Of particular interest is the "Climate Justice Alliance," which, even without its deep dive into antisemitic politics of late, is a truly horrible group of communists who shouldn't be getting a dime from the taxpayers.

Waste of the Day:  Duplicative Federal Commissions Waste $287 Million Annually.  If the federal government eliminated several duplicative regional commissions and authorities, it would save taxpayers $287 million annually, the Citizens Against Government Waste found.  In its annual report "Prime Cuts" 2023, is a list of recommendations to reduce the record national debt.  The organization suggests eliminating regional development agencies, including the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, the Denali Commission, and the Northern Border Regional Commission.

Dr. Rand Paul Releases 2023 'Festivus' Report on Government Waste.  Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released his 2023 "Festivus" Report, totaling ~$900,000,000,000 in government waste.  This marks Dr. Paul's ninth edition of the Festivus Report as he continues working to alert the American people to how their federal government uses their hard-earned money.  Some of the highlights include the National Institutes of Health spending a portion of a $2.7 million grant to study Russian cats walking on a treadmill and Barbies used as proof of ID for receiving COVID Paycheck Protection Program funds.  The Department of Defense ruined over $169 million worth of military equipment by leaving it outside, the United States Agency for International Development spent $6 million to promote tourism in Egypt, and the Small Business Administration gave 'struggling' music artists like Post Malone, Chris Brown, and Lil Wayne over $200 million.

Mayorkas Enabled Huge 'Waste And Abuse' Of Taxpayer Dollars In Handling Of Border Crisis, GOP Probe Finds.  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is directly responsible for massive "waste and abuse" of taxpayer dollars in his handling of the crisis at the southern border, according to a new report by the House Homeland Security Committee first obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.  Under Mayorkas' leadership, the use of hotel rooms to house illegal migrants instead of taxpayer-funded beds in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities, along with the cancellation of former President Donald Trump's border wall construction, have resulted in massive overspending and waste on the American taxpayers' dime, according to the report.  The report marks the final portion of Committee Chairman Mark Green's investigation into Mayorkas that kicked off in June.

Maryland Health Department Doesn't Know What It Did With $1.4 Billion.  Imagine being in charge of spending for a state's health department initiatives, including the billions in federal funding received during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Now imagine losing track of $1.4 billion.  That's what the Maryland Department of Health did when it failed to adequately track federal reimbursements it received during the pandemic, leading to more than $1 billion in unaccounted-for funds, according to a recent audit from the state Office of Legislative Audits, the Washington Post reported.  But that's not the worst of it.  At the end of Fiscal Year 2022, the department couldn't account for $3.5 billion in reimbursed funds it should have received from the federal government.  By April, the office recovered $2.1 billion of those funds, leaving $1.4 billion that should have been reimbursed undocumented.

Biden Finally Built an Electric Vehicle Charging Station.  People Aren't Using It.  The Biden administration touted the opening of its first taxpayer-funded electric vehicle charging station as proof that "Bidenomics is delivering for Americans."  Just days after the opening, the station sat empty.  The inaugural station - which opened on Dec. 8, two years after the administration allocated $7.5 billion to build electric vehicle chargers across the country — is located in London, Ohio, a small town situated just southwest of Columbus.  The station features an Arby's, a Cinnabon, and plenty of merchandise for truckers.  It also features few to no users.  "At about 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, nobody was using the chargers," Inside Climate News reported after visiting the station.

Chicago's migrant crisis spirals out of control:  City spent nearly $1 million on failed camp before pulling the plug.  Chicago spent nearly $1 million to build a migrant camp on a toxic site, as the city continues to struggle with a massive surge of asylum seekers, with officials now impounding incoming buses.  Official records seen by ABC 7 show the city spent more than $985,000 on the shuttered migrant camp at a Brighton Park lot[,] despite warnings that the site was not safe and outrage by locals, including a lawsuit.  The nearly $1 million bill is not much compared to the total expected cost of the camp, which was mostly financed by the state government under a $125 million contract with a private contractor.

Biden Finally Built an EV Charging Station but There's One Little Problem.  [Scroll down]  But this is not where Paul Harvey would tell you that you know the rest of the story.  The very first Bidencharger is located at a truck stop in London, Ohio, that features "an Arby's, a Cinnabon, and plenty of merchandise for truckers," according to the Free Beacon.  It opened on Friday, Dec. 8, just three days after I so recklessly claimed that the Green New Deal Lite hadn't built any EV charging stations.  Please, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.  But this being a Biden boondoggle, you have to know there's going to be a catch, and here it is: "At about 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, nobody was using the chargers," Inside Climate News Admitted.  This comes as no surprise.  If I were spending my own money on EV chargers, I'd put the first one where there are plenty of EV drivers around to generate a return on my investment.  A truck stop on the outskirts of Columbus seems like an unlikely place to find a Tesla charging in the middle of the day.

The US Military Wants To Blow $9.6 Billion On 'Gold-Plated' Nukes.  The newest production variant of the B61 family of nuclear gravity bombs that have been in service since the early 1960s — the B61-12 — has recently been certified to be launched by B-2 Spirt Bombers.  It has also been certified for the F-15 since June 2020.  Its program average unit cost is $20 million per bomb, or about $9.6 billion for 480 of them.  The program has been described by the Federation of American Scientists as being "Gold-Plated" (i.e. way too [...] expensive).  If we were talking about designing and producing 480 new bombs from the ground up, including having to provide all the highly enriched uranium, the $10 billion program cost would still be high, though somewhat more justifiable.  But we aren't.  Instead, we are talking about taking existing B61s and upgrading them to be guided bombs with flight profiles, including those optimized for bunker busting.

Two Weeks That Changed America.  On March 16th, [2020,] Donald Trump declared a National Emergency for COVID-19 and effectively shut down the nation for "15 days to slow the spread".  At a press conference announcing the temporary shutdown he said:  "With several weeks of focused action, we can turn the corner, and turn it quickly."  Regardless of the severity, never throughout the annals of mankind has a nation been shut down to combat a pandemic.  However, the politically compromised and dishonest medical advisors to Trump (including Drs.  Fauci and Birx) advised him to declare a National Emergency and agree to a shutdown and social distancing by pointing to the supposed success of China's choreographed lockdowns.  Soon thereafter, Trump allied with Mitch McConnell and the Democrats to structure an unprecedented economic relief package which was passed by Congress on March 27, 2020.  Trump signed the $2.2 Trillion Coronavirus relief bill or the CARES Act on the same day.  This was the largest single spending bill in human history and equivalent to the annual Gross Domestic Product of Russia.  Within the voluminous CARES Act was $400 million to the states to legitimize, promote, and underwrite mass mail-in voting and by default, ballot harvesting.  By including this spending in the relief package, both political parties and the White House gave their stamp of approval for mass mail-in voting and the inevitable attendant abuse and manipulation.

Mayor Karen Bass's $67 Million Homeless Program Has Only Housed 255 So Far.  A year after Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass spearheaded her "Inside Safe" program to house the city's homeless, results look shaky.  Bass has shelled out roughly $67 million on the program but only moved 255 of L.A.'s 46,000 unhoused individuals into permanent housing, so far.  Naturally, she told NBC's I-Team that she was "not satisfied with those numbers."

Mayor Adams' hotel-for-migrants money pit.  Even as he slashes public services, Mayor Adams is ramping up spending on migrants:  This year alone, city taxpayers will spend $4.3 billion to shelter and provide other services to recent arrivals, a 48% increase from the spring estimate.  But what are we getting for all this spending?  The city has finally, begrudgingly handed over its contract for the Roosevelt Hotel, after months of delay — and the document offers more questions than answers.  The Roosevelt Hotel, smack in Midtown, is Adams' flagship migrant facility.  Open as a welcome center and shelter since May, it's supposed to demonstrate how heroically the mayor is handling everything, even if President Biden won't pick up the tab.  Instead, it's become a physical blight, with graffiti scrawled all over the back, dozens of illegal mopeds strewn every which way, metal grates everywhere, trash overflowing two giant containers placed smack in the street, blacked-out windows.  There's no evidence Adams ever sends a top deputy over to see what's going on; the city's security contractors run the place.

U.S. Not Giving Enough Extortion Money for Climate Change, Say Poor Countries.  Vice President Kamala Harris is in Dubai this week to take part in the UN's annual effort to extort money from rich countries to give to poor countries.  It's called the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).  COP28 for short.  "Today, I am also proud to announce a new $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund, which helps developing countries invest in resilience, clean energy and nature-based solutions," Harris said Friday during a speech at the summit.  Does anyone have any idea what a "nature-based solution" to climate change might be?  Wouldn't that be, like, standing aside and letting nature take its course?  I'm sure that's not what it means, but that would be a capital idea.  Unfortunately, the poor countries of the world found that $3 billion contribution to the climate loss and damage fund woefully inadequate.

Asking the (Healthcare) Arsonist to Douse the Fire.  There are several reasons for the U.S. doctor shortage.  The first and most obvious is the overwhelming, time-devouring regulatory and administrative burden placed on physicians by federal healthcare BARRCOME:  bureaucracy, administration, rules, regulations, compliance, oversight, mandates, and enforcement.  Any time Congress fixes a problem, it does so by creating BARRCOME, which costs money.  Approximately half (!) of all U.S. "healthcare" spending goes to BARRCOME, not care.  Since the U.S. spent $4.3 trillion on its healthcare system in 2022, roughly $2 trillion "care" dollars were diverted from patients' needs to pay for healthcare bureaucrats, both government and insurance.  Expressed more bluntly, Washington stole $2 trillion's worth of Americans' medical care to pay its non-clinical minions.

DC spends over $270,000 on BLM paint job as violent crime skyrockets.  Taxpayers in Washington are footing the bill for a $270,000 paint job to refresh "Black Lives Matter Plaza" as violent crime in the district has spiked 40% since last year.  The move to repaint the anti-police street art, which features 50-foot yellow letters along two blocks of 16th Street outside the White House, comes as the district has implemented millions in budget cuts to the Metropolitan Police Department over the past several years and crime has skyrocketed.  "It's insulting on multiple fronts," Zack Smith, a crime and justice expert at the Heritage Foundation, told the Washington Examiner.  "If the city council and the mayor's office are serious about combating violent crime, protecting the lives hopefully of all citizens, but particularly black lives, then they would pour more money into public safety — particularly putting more police officers on the street."

What's Extreme?  Some intrepid reporter should ask Joe Biden to name one federal program that could be eliminated, not that he would receive an answer.  Not only does Biden refuse to eliminate a single program, but he refuses to reduce his ever-larger budget requests for nearly every program.  Job Corps is a good example of what should be eliminated in entirety.  Established in 1964, Job Corps has received a grade of "F" from the GAO every year of its existence.  And yet every year, its budget grows:  in 2022, $1.755 billion compared to $1.701 billion in 2010.  The average cost per graduate (2017 figures) was well over $50,000 — and this for very basic job skills that could be acquired for free by working at McDonald's or any number of businesses.  And yet Biden continues to request more money for Job Corps every year.

The Pentagon has failed its SIXTH audit in a row! "Half of DOD's assets can't be accounted for".  I would say, "This is your taxpayer money at work" but in order to say that we'd have to know where the money went.  For a sixth time in a row, you read that right, six times, the Pentagon has failed its audit.  No one seems to know what we are spending our billions and billions on.  [Tweet]  Besides so much of our money just being wasted on stupid things like woke initiatives and things Rand Paul will point out at Festivus, the DoD has lost half of the money they were given.  And you know what makes it worse?  We only started auditing the Pentagon on a yearly basis in 2018.  This means the Pentagon has NEVER passed an audit.  And, according to the Comptroller and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, this year, with half the budget missing, is an improvement!

Billions Unaccounted for at 25 US Government Agencies.  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that numerous government agencies had "discrepancies" in their 2022 budgets.  Twenty-five agencies in total failed to properly report their expenditures to USAspending, which is intended to act as American's guide to where their tax dollars are going.  The GAO is now urging Congress to hold these agencies accountable.  To the surprise of no one, COVID related spending reports contained the largest errors.  In fact, the Treasury stated $231.5 billion was budgeted for the pandemic in their annual report, but only $36 billion was reported to USAspending.  Health and Human Services (HHS) stated they were spending $85.7 billion on the pandemic response, but reported spending $91.7 billion to USAspending.  Homeland Security (DHS) had a $10 million discrepancy in reporting as well.  Numerous entries totaling $1.2 trillion did not contain sources and did not state where the money was spent.

The Pentagon Fails Another Audit — Trillions Missing.  They say the Pentagon is the government's favorite money laundering tool for a reason.  It is comical that they even attempt to audit the Pentagon when they know the agency will fail miserably.  The government spent $187 million to conduct the meaningless audit at 700 locations.  This year, as with the year prior, only 7 of the 29 sub-audits passed.  HALF of the claimed assets were nowhere to be found by the 1,600 hired auditors.  How does trillions of dollars disappear?  Trillions have gone missing since pre-9/11.  There is no ongoing investigation into finding the whereabouts of these funds that belong to taxpaying citizens.  The September 11, 2001, attack occurred one day after former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sounded the alarm bells and notified the public that $2.3 trillion in transactions could not be traced.  The WTC7 demolition on 9/11 destroyed the room where the Pentagon audit was taking place and also happened to be the location of my computer system.  I received from the SEC explaining that everything had simply been destroyed and no further questions were permitted.

Pentagon asks for $114M to spend on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in 2024.  The Department of Defense (DOD) is requesting approximately $114 million to finance its latest round of diversity initiatives.  The DOD plans to use the funds for "diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility" (DEIA) programs in fiscal year 2024.  "The FY 2024 President's Budget request demonstrates the DoD's commitment to DEIA and includes $114.7 million for dedicated diversity and inclusion activities," the department wrote in its Strategic Management Plan for fiscal year 2022 to 2026.

The Editor says...
If you are a right-handed able-bodied heterosexual white male, their "inclusion" does not include you.

Energy Subsidies:  [I]f renewable energy is supposedly cheap, why does it take such huge subsidies to produce it?  We are in the midst of a crisis of cost of supposedly renewable energy.  Projects are being abandoned or not even started, as companies demand even higher subsidies and electricity rates.  Renewable energy is phenomenally expensive, even before grid and storage costs are taken into account.  Consumers and taxpayers are being burdened with an unnecessary expense for no good reason other than whacked climate hysteria.

House Report:  Illegals to Cost America Nearly Half a Trillion Dollars.  American taxpayers may foot a $451 billion bill for known "gotaways" — those who have evaded U.S. border security when entering the country — and illegal migrants released into the United States under the leadership of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, according to a report by the GOP-led House Homeland Security Committee.  The 50-page report claims millions of dollars are spent each day on costs directly associated with the "unprecedented crisis" caused by Mayorkas at the southern border.  The range of costs includes "everything from emergency medical care to increased demands on law enforcement to housing and shelter benefits for illegal aliens."  The document draws on figures from the Center for Immigration Studies, which calculated the cost of the country's immigration policies under Mayorkas, finding it may be as high as almost half a trillion dollars.

[Self-inflicted] Migrant crisis results in jaw-dropping 2.6 [million] overtime hours for some NYC agencies.  Many city workers are racking up jaw-dropping overtime to help tackle the Big Apple's multi-billion-dollar migrant crisis — even as Mayor Adams begins slashing agency budgets for public safety and other critical services.  Forty-seven — or nearly half — of the city's top 100 OT hogs work at the Department of Social Services and Department of Homeless Services, whose duties include assisting migrants, according to newly released city payroll records.  Each worker accumulated at least 1,937 hours in extra pay for the fiscal year ending June 30.  Leading the way was Anthony Pierce, a Bronx eligibility specialist at the DSS — he worked 3,172 hours of overtime, a 142% increase over previous 12 months.  That averages out to roughly 14 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Editor says...
I used to work with people who would occasionally pad their timesheets and get paid for hours when they weren't even in the building.  But to submit a timesheet that claims 14 hours a day, seven days a week, requires the complicity of at least one supervisor, does it not?

Has Anyone Been Fired for the Massive Theft of COVID Funds?  The list of fraudsters is longer than anyone thought possible.  And the fraud schemes range from the clever to plans so stupid you have to wonder who was dumber — the fraudster or the government manager who approved the funds.  No one was fired for the malfeasance, the negligence, the stupidity, the laziness, or the sheer, shocking incompetence involved in losing hundreds of billions of dollars to criminals and ordinary people who saw that a child could rob the government of hundreds of thousands of dollars without any effort at all.  No one was fired, but Biden is actually trying to promote one of the most extraordinarily inept bureaucrats in the country to the position of Secretary of Labor.  Julie Su ran the California Employment Development Department during the COVID-19 crisis where about $30 billion disappeared into the ether, including tens of millions of dollars in unemployment benefits stolen by California inmates sitting at computers in prison robbing the taxpayer blind while guards watched.

Toronto's shocking priorities: lavish $33,000 spent on branded drug gear as addiction crisis soars.  The City of Toronto has spent tens of thousands of dollars in the last three years on branded crack pipe stickers and other paraphernalia.  The hefty price tag of $33,561 for Toronto Public Health branded stickers can be found on crack smoking kits, crystal meth kits, foil kits and injection kits, according to access to information documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).  [Tweet]  "Each of the stickers on the kit bags cost $0.2017," details the document, noting that a total of 166,392 City of Toronto branded kits have been distributed for free.  "Why in the world does the city need to spend thousands of dollars on stickers for crack pipes and meth kits?" CTF Ontario director Jay Goldberg asks.  "This is a crystal-clear example of reckless city hall spending that needs to stop."

Fake 'Emergency' Spending in Washington Winds Up Costing Us All.  In recent weeks, the Biden administration has submitted two supplemental spending requests to Congress.  The first is $106 billion for "security" items, and the second is $56 billion for "domestic" programs.  That's a $162 billion wish list of spending increases.  The budgetary approach taken by the administration and many members of Congress is, to put it mildly, profoundly irresponsible.  Yes, some aspects of the requests, such as helping Israel in its fight against terrorism, addressing the crisis at the southern border, and the ongoing debate about aid for Ukraine, are important matters for Congress to discuss.  However, by seeking to place all $162 billion of requests in the "emergency" category, the administration hopes to dodge the bipartisan spending limits agreed to this spring.  That means the entire amount would be financed through deficit spending.  This would be problematic under normal circumstances.  Today it's downright dangerous.  That's because America is still suffering the economic consequences of the $7.5 trillion spending spree that Congress went on from 2020 to 2022, using the pandemic as an excuse to throw money at a variety of special interests.

'Middle-of-the-Road' Pension Fund Manager Collects 8X Governor's Pay.  Wisconsin Pension Fund Manager Edwin Denson made $1.2 million last year, making him the highest-paid public employee in Wisconsin, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Denson's salary is eight times the Wisconsin governor's salary, The Journal reported.  It's over six times what Wisconsin's U.S. Senators make, and three times what the President of the United States makes.  Despite this extravagant compensation, the Journal called Wisconsin's Pension Fund returns "middle-of-the-road," with the fund ranking fifth out of 10 for large pension funds in five-year performance.  It ranks 11 out of 25 for funds with the same fiscal year-end date.  Despite these mediocre returns, bonuses have ballooned for many Wisconsin pension fund empoyees.  The Journal reports that the bonus pool has skyrocketed from $3 million in 2009 to $24 million in 2021.  The average bonus in 2021 was $206,452.  Since 2011, 97% of the investment board's employees eligible for bonuses have received them every year.

Biden Might Release Another $10B to Iran Tomorrrow.  Iran is behind the Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, and Yemeni attacks, and they are behind the attacks on US military bases, injuring our soldiers.  Despite that, the Biden regime is allegedly considering releasing another $10 billion to Iran.  They use the funds for terror.  This is madness.  Richard Goldberg is a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  He said the decision is imminent.  Goldberg wrote: "Why should Iran have any access to more than $10 billion after sponsoring one of the worst terrorist attacks against American citizens and the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust?"

The Editor says...
The simplest explanation is that Barack H. Obama hates America, Barack H. Obama is a Muslim, and Barack H. Obama is the de facto president who tells Joe Biden what to do.

How much did the DoJ spend to arrest J6 protestor Gregory Yetman?  Three years after the January 6 protest that got out of control, the FBI has swooped in and moved to arrest one Gregory Yetman, allegedly for pepper-spraying a cop. [... The FBI staked out Yetman's house.] They cased the joint for three months, obviously working in shifts, probably some with overtime.  They used helicopters.  They used drones.  They used drawn guns and flash bangs that damaged the property, despite getting no resistance from the occupants.  They were heavily armed and heavily fortified.  They spent time on paperwork.  And there were a lot of them, based on the video within the tweet.  All of these things cost money, lots of money, probably millions, with each agent on the force drawing a six-figure salary.  Is this an agency that has too much money and not enough to do? [...] This targeted guy served honorably in the military and had no criminal record, yet here they go, spending millions to arrest and humilate him, with an undoubtedly draconian sentence headed his way in a rigged courtroom.

COVID-19 aid thieves bought fancy cars, a Pokemon card — even a private island.  A freshwater spring bubbles amid the mangroves, cabbage palms and red cedars on Sweetheart Island, a two-acre uninhabited patch of paradise about a mile off the coast of this little Gulf Coast town.  Pelicans divebomb nearby into the cool waters of Florida's Withlacoochee Bay and the open view westward holds the promise of dazzling sunsets.  It may have seemed like an ideal getaway for Florida businessman Patrick Parker Walsh.  Instead, he's serving five and half years in federal prison for stealing nearly $8 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds that he used, in part, to buy Sweetheart Island.

Threats to the United States now at a Whole New Level.  It turns out that nations do not stumble into wars and conflict.  Wars are generally the result of globalist forces with ulterior motives or political leaders who seek to shore up and protect their political position by demonizing a target, like Russia, and then rallying the people's support around the enemy of that target, like Ukraine, in the name of patriotism and American interests.  The American people are wising up after spending $8 trillion over some twenty years in the so-called war against terror in the Middle East in Iraq and Afghanistan — protracted engagements that cost lives and ended in failure, often creating resentment from the native people we were purportedly trying to help.  In 2001, the year of 9/11 that triggered the war on terror, total U.S. national debt stood at about $3.4 trillion.  Today U.S. national debt has grown by 10-fold to $34 trillion.

California Spent Over $4M On Gender-Related Surgeries For Prisoners In Past 6 Years.  California has spent more than $4 million in taxpayer dollars on gender-related surgeries for inmates around the state, including numerous death row inmates, since 2017.  The Washington Free Beacon released a report where it stated that millions of dollars have been spent on sex changes and other gender-related operations and procedures for 157 inmates since California became the first state to agree to pay for these types of operations for prisoners, with four of those criminals on death row.  According to the report, since 2017, California paid for 35 male convicts to surgically receive artificial vaginas and vulvas at a cost of $2.5 million to taxpayers, and 11 male prisoners received breast implants at a cost of more than $180,000.  The state government also paid more than $1 million for the removal of 40 female detainees' breasts.

The US Spent $4.1 Billion on Global LGBT Initiatives.  During the past three fiscal years, $4.1 billion in federal money from taxpayers has flowed to LGBT initiatives in the United States and around the world, an Epoch Times investigation has revealed.  From Oct. 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2023, the U.S. government issued more than 1,100 grants to fund LGBT-promoting projects around the world, according to a review of a federal spending website.  The scope of projects varies widely.  Plans to create a "safe space for LGBTQ youth and adults to seek support and resources" earned a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. government in 2022 for the LGBT Life Center in Norfolk, Virginia.  A proposal for encouraging "diversity, equity, and inclusion in Serbia's workplaces and business communities by promoting economic empowerment of and opportunity for LGBTQI+ people in Serbia" was also a winning plan.  To fund it, the U.S. government awarded Serbian activist group Grupa Izadji a grant of $500,000.

You Have Paid $4.1 Billion to Support LGBTQ Initiatives in Other Countries Thanks to President Biden.  You're paying quite a bit of money to fund LGBTQ initiatives in other countries.  According to a recent report, the Biden administration has been quite generous with your hard-earned cash over the past three years.  The White House has given about $4.1 billion in taxpayer dollars to LGBTQ endeavors in countries like Serbia, Armenia, and several others.

Your Tax Dollars Pay For Millionaire Democrats' Swanky D.C. Apartments.  Taxpayers are funding luxury housing accommodations for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and over 200 other members of Congress, many of whom boast net worths over $1 million.  As one of their last actions with their majority, Democrats quietly tucked a provision into internal House rules that grants lawmakers access to an optional $34,000 annual subsidy to pay for their Washington, D.C., housing and meal expenses.  Taxpayers have doled out over $8,700 to pay for the democratic socialist's lodging and meals throughout the first half of 2023, records show.  In total, 113 Democrats and 104 Republicans have taken advantage of the program, raking in a combined $1.4 million from taxpayers during the first half of 2023, House disbursement records reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon show.  Recipients of these funds include at least 17 millionaire Democrats, including Rep. Katie Porter, who reported a net worth of up to $1.8 million in her latest financial disclosure, and House Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D., Mass.), who boasts a net worth of up to $13.5 million.

Biden Wants Another $56 Billion in 'Emergency' Spending.  Under the guise of responding to natural disasters, the White House is pushing Congress to approve $56 billion in additional borrowing to fund a wide range of nonemergency spending like broadband internet and humanitarian aid.  Less than half of the $56 billion requested by the Biden administration would be directed toward disaster relief — and only $9 billion would "address ongoing disaster response and recovery efforts," according to a breakdown published by the White House.  The majority of the new spending would be aimed at what the White House calls "critical domestic priorities" like welfare programs, the war on drugs, and government-funded broadband internet.  In other words:  nonemergency line items that could — and should — be decided as part of the regular budget process, not as a supplemental funding bill.

NYC's new high-tech MTA subway cars are already out of service.  The MTA's rollout of its multibillion-dollar fleet of new subway cars has gone off-track.  The agency confirmed this week it was pulling six of the seven ballyhooed R211 rail cars out of service due to equipment problems — just months after the high-tech trains were unveiled.  The shiny new subway cars — which feature wider doors, security cameras and digital displays — had issues including leaky gearboxes that can cause a train's wheels to lock up and drag along the rails.  A video posted online shows one of the new trains apparently affected by the mechanical issue loudly clanging its way through the Nostrand Avenue station on Oct. 21.

Across America, we labor, only to have DC give our money away overseas.  The Biden Administration and Congress have given more than $75 billion of our tax money (with more on the way) to Ukraine.  Why?  For humanitarian, financial, and military support.  Why are we paying for Ukraine's government?  I did not find that clause in the US Constitution anywhere.

How Did Biden Manage To Lose $300 Billion?  Friday afternoon, the Treasury Department reported that, despite a growing economy and low unemployment, the federal deficit shot up by $320 billion in fiscal year 2023.  That's unusual.  But what's really bizarre is why the deficit exploded.  According to the report, overall spending actually dropped by 2% compared with 2022 as the COVID-19 spending splurge abated.  What drove up the deficit this year was a sudden and completely unexpected 9% drop in tax revenues.  Not only did revenues come up hundreds of billions lower than last year, but they were well below what everybody expected them to be.  At the start of the year, the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget projected revenues for fiscal 2023 at around $4.7 trillion.  The Congressional Budget Office figured it would be $4.8 trillion.  The actual amount:  $4.4 trillion.  In other words, there's between $300 billion and $400 billion worth of missing tax revenues.

Federal telework policies wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on unused office space.  The Biden administration is admitting several 'challenges' remain due to its sweeping federal work-from-home wasting billions of taxpayer dollars due to unused office space.  Congress has been stepping up oversight of government agencies and their telework policies, now that it has been months since President Biden formally ended the COVID-19 emergency.  Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and other lawmakers say billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted based on unused federal office space.

Hollow the Science.  Joe Biden has just committed $575 million for the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge.  Do you honestly think those receiving federal funding to investigate climate change are the most impartial voices on the matter?  As reported in an Epoch Times article perhaps too optimistically titled "Era of 'Unquestioned and Unchallenged' Climate Change Claims is Over," after scientists published a credible article in a journal refuting some climate change gospel, rather than publish their own paper contesting the claims, a senior opinion editor at Scientific American and the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies went on a smear campaign, including attempting to discredit the authors and the journal editor by demanding their emails under FOIA.  The article claims that numerous scientists speaking out about the suppressive efforts were afraid to be quoted by name.

Aid to Ukraine:  A conservative position.  Since the start of the war in 2022, the U.S. has authorized $113 billion in military aid to Ukraine.  Simply put, that is $900 per household, which seems like a lot; however, that is a small sum compared to domestic spending programs.  The CARES Act passed in 2020 due to the pandemic cost $2 trillion, roughly $15,600 for every household.  The total U.S. debt is around $33 trillion.  That cost per household is around $256,000.  The $900 billion for Ukraine only makes 1 percent of debt per household.  COVID spending was around $5 trillion, which is more significant than Ukraine's spending per household.  The total defense budget is $816.7 billion, and U.S. spending for Ukraine is less than 10 percent of that budget.

The Editor says...
Yes, other expenditures are wasteful and excessive, but that doesn't excuse pork-barrel projects or justify billions of dollars for Ukraine, Iran, or anywhere else.

Sens. Schumer, Gillibrand Secured $34 Million to Plant Trees in NY.  While New York City struggles with a housing and migrant crisis, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) secured $20 million in federal funding for New York City to plant trees, The New York Post reported.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also secured another $14 million to plant trees in other cities across New York State.  The funding came from the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service's Urban and Community Forestry program, which received $1.5 billion in funds from the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022.  The program is part of the Biden Administration's Justice40 initiative to promote environmental justice, and is meant to provide tree canopies and environmental justice to disadvantaged communities, according to its website.

The Editor says...
Those "disadvantaged communities" have bigger problems than carbon dioxide or the lack of trees.

Biden Admin Sent $2 Billion to Afghanistan Since Taliban Takeover.  What was the purpose of Biden's pullout from Afghanistan again?  So we could send them money without any inconvenient terrorist attacks getting in the way?  I've spent a lot of time reporting on Biden's betrayal but these numbers are still staggering.  After the latest earthquake, the Biden administration is sending another $12 million in aid.  The money, like much of our aid, is going through "USAID humanitarian partners", which is to say NGOs that the Taliban allow to operate, which either pay money to the Taliban or are the Taliban.  Samantha Power's USAID boasts that "the United States is the single largest humanitarian donor in Afghanistan, providing nearly $2 billion in humanitarian assistance for Afghans since mid-August 2021, including more than $1.46 billion from USAID."  Abolishing USAID would be a fantastic way to defund terrorists and save a lot of money.  $2 billion.  To a terrorist-controlled entity.

The US Funds Hamas.  When Donald Trump was in office the United States cut off funding that was going to terrorists.  It wasn't a tough call.  Or rather, it shouldn't have been one.  But as you would expect the Left in the US and elsewhere have a soft spot for Palestinian terrorists, who get a pass because their primary victims are Israeli Jews.  As "White colonialists" (European Jews are White, but vast numbers are Arab and Black) the Jews are an approved target of hate.  The UN refuses to label Hamas or Hezbollah as terrorist groups and as a consequence they are eligible recipients of foreign aid, and the UN funnels huge amounts of money into their coffers.

The COVID Bailout of State and Local Governments Was Unnecessary.  In a new report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that states (including Washington, D.C.) had spent just 45 percent of the funding they had received through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program, a $350 billion line item within the $2 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which passed in March 2021.  Local governments had reported spending just 38 percent of their funds received through the same program.  Those figures are based on mandatory reports filed quarterly with the Treasury and reflect spending through the end of March 2023, two years after the bailout was approved by Congress.  "The new GAO study confirms that the ARPA spending was not needed," Chris Edwards, chair of fiscal studies at the Cato Institute, tells Reason.  "By the fall of 2020, it was clear that the states were in good fiscal shape and not facing Armageddon as many policymakers were claiming.  They did not need federal handouts."

Biden Sent Millions of Dollars In Covid Relief Funds to Palestine.  Americans are not in President Joe Biden's best interest.  Instead, making good with foreign countries is at the top of his concise list of to-dos.  According to recent reports, the Biden Administration sent $33.7 million from the American Rescue Plan to a Palestinian relief organization previously accused of providing safe harbor to terrorists in Gaza.  Data from USASpending.gov shows that the COVID relief bill allocated $33.7 million to the United Nations Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA) through the State Department's Migration and Refugee Assistance program, which was part of $500 million that was in the bill for the State Department to fund migration and refugee assistance.  UNRWA has been criticized for teaching children to hate Jewish people, applauding terrorism, and spreading Hamas propaganda in schools.

Close the Border.  The American people, at least the reader, has to start getting tough.  Those in the government are not your enemies, because they don't even give you the respect of being a human being. [...] Everyone is more important than the U.S. citizen.  They will mobilize every resource they have to cater to the problems of other people, Palestinians, Israelis, Ukrainians and Chinese, but you?  Not a dime.  Even during the pandemic, a few hundred dollars were sent to the people who had their whole lives disrupted, their businesses shut down, their jobs disappeared and all they could do is toss a couple of hundred dollars at the problems they caused.  They give more money to every single illegal per month than they gave to the American people (in total) during the pandemic.  Now, they're building shelters and whole communities for them.  At the same time, they offered $700 to those on Maui.

The US Has Poured Hundreds Of Millions Of Taxpayer Dollars Into Gaza Since Hamas Took Over.  The United States has sent hundreds of millions in taxpayer money to the Gaza Strip since the territory has been under the control of the terrorist group Hamas.  Hamas, which took over Gaza in 2007, launched a series of attacks against Israel starting on Saturday, resulting in the deaths of over 1,200 Israelis and the kidnapping of hundreds of others, some of whom have been tortured or raped.  The U.S. has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to improve Gazans' welfare, and the Biden administration plans to send more taxpayer funds to the region in the coming years despite the risk that some of it is being stolen by Hamas, according to a review of publicly available records.

The US Has Poured Hundreds Of Millions Of Taxpayer Dollars Into Gaza Since Hamas Took Over.  The United States has sent hundreds of millions in taxpayer money to the Gaza Strip since the territory has been under the control of the terrorist group Hamas.  Hamas, which took over Gaza in 2007, launched a series of attacks against Israel starting on Saturday, resulting in the deaths of over 1,200 Israelis and the kidnapping of hundreds of others, some of whom have been tortured or raped.  The U.S. has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to improve Gazans' welfare, and the Biden administration plans to send more taxpayer funds to the region in the coming years despite the risk that some of it is being stolen by Hamas, according to a review of publicly available records.

The Brink of Lexington.  [Scroll down]  In less than a month, weeks actually, the debt rose from $33 trillion to $33.5 trillion.  Where did that $500 billion come from?  Where was it hiding?  In what corner of the building was it sequestered waiting for a chance to be acknowledged?  That is astonishing, but it isn't the problem.  Not knowing where it came from or why it was dumped into the debt out of nowhere is.  No news networks mentioned it, no tweets went out to acknowledge it.  Half a trillion dollars of debt just appeared on the ledger overnight. [...] As an example, since the debt ceiling deal went through, the deficit is now $1.5 trillion, but it was promised that it would not exceed $1 trillion.  It's now on its way to $2 trillion and that or greater amounts will be sustained forever, because so much of the deal McCarthy made allowed for the creation of new programs and entitlements (like paying up to $4,400 per illegal immigrant family) that will never go away, not without a counter-revolution.  We are here, because they already effected a revolution.  To get away from this reckless spending, there will have to be a counter-revolution.  None of this is reversible, no matter who is in office or what party they represent.

Shut It Down!  This week Republicans and Democrats got together to avert a government shutdown.  Too bad.  There's so much that ought to be shut down.  Useless Cabinet departments, for example, like Housing and Urban Development, Labor and Agriculture.  Agriculture employs almost 100,000 people.  Why?  Independent farmers grow our food.  They don't need a giant department.  Let's get rid of the Department of Education, too.  Why does it even exist?  Education is a local responsibility and none of the federal government's business.  Yet its spending is up 300% over the last 10 years.  The department didn't even exist before 1979. Has education improved since then?  No.  Government's grand plans, like No Child Left Behind and Common Core, helped no one but bureaucrats. [...] Education is best left to local governments and parents.  We don't need a Commerce Department.  After all, commerce just happens.  Get rid of the bureaucrats and sell the buildings.

The Art of Leveraging the Poor, to Fund the Wealthy.  As both sides of the aisle clash over budgetary priorities, a massive fight is anticipated over the Rural Development budget which will determine key appropriations to this year's "Farm Bill."  What's being referred to as the "Farm Bill" by the media, and various members of Congress, is actually an Omnibus slate of policies proposing amendments to everything from the Stockyard and Packers Act of 1921, to adding Reparations as an entitlement program.  The biggest issue at stake, however, are the vast adjustments prioritized to "mitigate climate change."  The scope of proposals have the ability to create a new digital system of authoritarian neo-feudalism, with the woke climate compliant being the titled nobility class, yet owning nothing.

Auditors question $180M of nearly $1B in state program costs.  The Louisiana auditor says more than $180 million is questionable costs from about $1 billion that flowed through the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for the first half of 2023.  A September report from Legislative Auditor Mike Waguespack evaluated documentation submitted by sub-grantees and contractors for more than $962.7 million in reimbursements through the Public Assistance Program from Jan. 1 through June 30.  The total includes 3,232 reimbursement requests, with noted exceptions for about 19%.  "As a result of applying our procedures, we found exceptions, which exceeded $500 per reimbursement request, totaling $181,006,792 in 636 reimbursement requests," auditors wrote.

Feds spent $3.3B on furniture while employees worked from home during pandemic.  The federal government dropped $3.3 billion on new office furniture — from picnic tables in Atlanta to easy chairs in Pakistan — as the vast majority of its employees worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, a watchdog report exclusively obtained by The Post shows.  Between 2020 and 2022, federal agencies spent more than $1 billion per year on the plush decor — a rate consistent with pre-pandemic levels despite departments filling just a quarter of their available office space on average.  The taxpayer watchdog OpenTheBooks.com revealed the furniture splurge in a study published Tuesday, citing a Government Accountability Office report that found 17 of the 24 federal agencies are using as little as 9% and as much as 49% of their building capacities well into the fourth year of the pandemic.  The extravagant purchases included $237,960 on solar-powered picnic tables for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $120,000 on luxurious Ethan Allen leather recliners for the US Embassy in Islamabad.

Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act committed more than $100 million to promote 'tree equity'.  The "climate change" (uh huh, sure) picture is clear:  the transfer of wealth (to them and away from us), and an attack against nature and sensibility. [...] Leave it up to federal bureaucrats to argue that high crime rates are simply because criminals don't have access to trees, having nothing whatsoever to do with the procrime policies of the Democrat politicians in these concrete jungles with minority neighborhoods.  Who knew?

Biden Forest Service Hands Out Over $100 Million To Advance 'Tree Equity'.  "Tree Equity" is a term first coined by American Forests, a conservation nonprofit, that blames the lack of trees in minority neighborhoods on "redlining and other discriminatory policies," according to the organization's website.  The Forest Service argues on its website that planting trees will reduce crime and improve health outcomes.  The grants are funded through the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden's signature climate law.  While trees cover nearly half of Atlanta, the most coverage in the nation according to Trees Atlanta, the Forest Service approved a grant to the city for $10 million to "address issues related to tree equity" and develop a "sustainable, diverse nature-based workforce." Similarly, San Francisco had 14,543 trees per square mile as of 2021, and the Forest Service allocated $14 million to plant more trees this year, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

Food Stamp Program Loses $1 Billion Every Month to Alleged Fraud, Errors:  Sen. Ernst.  The U.S. food stamp program is losing about $1 billion a month because of alleged fraud and errors, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) has said.  The lawmaker made the claim in a Sept. 26 statement that announced new legislation aimed at combating the alleged billions of dollars in monthly losses from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which allows low-income families with benefit cards to buy basic food items at approved grocery stores.  Known as the "Snap Back Inaccurate SNAP Payments Act," the legislation would slash spending by nearly $1 billion a month by ensuring that all errors — regardless of the amount — be counted.

NYC steamrolls the elderly to feed the wolves (illegal invaders).  Ahead of the 2024 elections, voters throughout the country need to know that Democrat-run New York City is now taking money away from senior citizen meal programs, day care, and inmate rehabilitation to squander it on $300 hotel rooms for migrants.  As reported by Bloomberg News in June, the (projected) cost of housing migrants is $4.3 billion between April 2022 and July 2024. [...] Some asylum seekers are genuine, but most are economic migrants who want to take advantage of the city's generous welfare programs.  If millions of people cross our border every year, and roughly a quarter million announce their presence as required by law to apply for asylum, the conclusion is obvious.

NYC to pay over $1 billion in hotel costs for migrants.  New York City is bracing for the impact of the continuing illegal immigrant crisis, with an extended contract deal with local hotels to house migrants over the next three years at a significant cost of over $1 billion.  According to The New York Post, the revised contract, with a value of approximately $1.365 billion, is set to cover the rental charges for over 100 hotels repurposed into emergency shelters for migrants over the next three years.  The new cost is about five times the cost of the city's original hotel contract for housing migrants.

Pentagon's $1.7T F-35 jets have 'maintenance issues,' finish missions barely half the time: feds.  The US military is set to spend at least $1.7 trillion on nearly 2,500 F-35 fighter jets that have "costly maintenance issues" — and have a coin flip chance of completing their missions, according to a new government report released Thursday.  The F-35 air fleet was included as a line item in last year's annual defense budget, but the Pentagon remains "behind schedule" in maintaining the fighter jets, the Government Accountability Office found.  The GAO report also showed the $100-million-apiece F-35s are capable of performing missions just 55% of the time, and more than 10,000 of the aircraft have been grounded for repairs.  Just 450 are currently fielded.

How to Say No.  Along with inflation, which has harmed almost every American, it's estimated that at least 20% of COVID funding (or $200 billion) for small businesses was lost to fraud.  Losses on green energy will probably be even greater.  Forbes is correct in stating that "When the government tries to pick winners and losers in the marketplace, like the Obama-Biden administration did in 2009, taxpayers often get to foot the bill."  Biden has passed $6.272 trillion in spending in fiscal 2022 alone, making the scale of funding and potential fraud a hundred times greater than under Obama.  It's crucial to understand what is meant by that bland word"spending."  "Graft" would be a better description since government spending involves seizing funds from affluent individuals and corporations and distributing them to the administration's supporter and contributors.  Those supporters are a diverse group — ethnic minorities, green energy producers, teachers' unions, public worker unions, gays and transgenders — but the one thing that connects all of them is involvement in pay-to-play politics.  Biden's expenditures are ruinous for the country at large, but they are lucrative for the administration.

Not a Penny More.  It is delusional to argue that magic platforms and weapons systems such as ATACMS and F-16s would change realities on the ground.  Ukraine lacks the manpower, training, and resources to regain its lost lands, and NATO is prudent enough to not risk an all-out nuclear war with Russia.  American leaders know this.  The American people know this.  American intelligence and national security bureaucracy know this.  To continue on the present course is a dead end.  The "counteroffensive" didn't just die; it was stillborn.  It had no chance of success, as some of us predicted:  People were sold a lie by certain Washington think tanks.  Our intelligence and military have explained that there is no clear path to victory.  Our elected leaders say that this is a frozen conflict.  To keep funding a stalemate at a time when there is quite literally an invasion of our own Union is a sure sign of incompetence, insanity, malice, or a combination of all.  To neglect the American border while continuing to send billions for social development and government in Ukraine is a practically criminal act deserving the highest condemnation.

Only 55 percent of F-35s [are] mission capable, putting depot work in spotlight:  GAO.  Just 55% of the Pentagon's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet was mission capable as of March 2023, a disappointing statistic driven by factors like a lack of depot capacity, insufficient supply of spare parts and overreliance on contractors, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.  The watchdog's assessment — published days after a Marine Corps F-35B went missing for over 24 hours in South Carolina — highlights a complaint frequently aired by government officials: prime contractor Lockheed Martin, along with its countless subcontractors, were given too much control over sustaining the stealth fighter, a situation officials told GAO is untenable for the program's future.

Kansas City Made a Barbie-Themed Streetcar.  It Cost Taxpayers $25,000..  Kansas City, Missouri, unveiled a Barbie-themed streetcar, dubbed the "Dream Streetcar" earlier this month.  The streetcar is decked out in familiar bubblegum-pink wrapping and even rewrites the city's name as "Kensas City."  A lucky passenger can even choose a seat decked out to resemble characters from the recent Barbie film, like "Stereotypical Barbie, President Barbie, Cowboy Ken, and even Allan."  Oh, and the whole thing cost taxpayers $25,000.  According to records obtained by KCUR, Kansas City's NPR affiliate, the hefty public spending is due to the fact that the Dream Streetcar is not actually a sponsored ad for the blockbuster Barbie movie that premiered in July.  Instead, it's a project by the Kansas City Streetcar Authority (KCSA) to increase ridership, even though the streetcar is free to ride.  The streetcar is funded by a special tax levied on property owners in a "Transportation Development District" near the streetcar's path, as well as a 1 percent sales tax on purchases made in the area.

"I don't know where the money is": Boston U launches inquiry into Kendi's 'anti-racist' research center.  How much money went into Ibram X. Kendi's Center for Antiracist Research, anyway?  According to the Boston Globe, Kendi raised "tens of millions of dollars" for his Boston University-hosted center in just the three years since it launched in the wake of the George Floyd homicide in Minneapolis.  How much research has all that money produced? [...] Boston U didn't stay quiet for long, however.  Late yesterday, they announced a broader "inquiry" into Kendi's on-campus center, apparently including an accounting of the money.  The university seems to have been taken by surprise by Kendi's layoffs, and the complaints "about the center's culture and grant management practices" have reached a pitch that they can no longer ignore.

Marines under fire for flying $80M F-35 over SC during thunderstorm when report shows jets can't handle storms.  A F-35 jet could have crashed on Sunday due to poor weather in South Carolina, new audio suggests, as questions mount as to why the disastrous training exercise was allowed to proceed.  The F-35B Lightning II which the unnamed Marine pilot was flying is believed to be at risk of malfunctions if it flies in thunderstorms, according to a Forbes investigation in November.  Its sister jet, the F-35A, is more severely affected and cannot fly within 25 miles of lightning.

The Editor says...
What kind of a fighter jet only works in good weather?  I guess this tells us we'll be attacked someday during a thunderstorm.

'Emergency' Spending.  Did you survive the budget cuts from the last debt ceiling fight?  President Joe Biden called them "draconian," while Republicans praised the deal's "historic reductions in spending."  But both parties conned us, as my new video explains.  What they call "cuts" were just a reduction in their planned spending increase.  Instead of raising spending by 7.8%, they increased it by "only" 3.9%.  Only politicians get to call an increase a cut.  Biden praised the deal, saying, "We're cutting spending and bringing the deficits down at the same time!"  But they didn't.  Now they're using tricks to spend even more.  "Call it an emergency — done," says Cato Institute budget specialist Romina Boccia.  "Spend the money on whatever you want."  Boccia reports how the Senate is moving to increase spending beyond the agreed-upon caps simply by calling it "emergency" spending.  "They gave $296 million to NASA for 'emergency infrastructure.'"

A big telescope on the moon could peer deeper into the universe than James Webb.  A robotic telescope on the moon could peer deeper into the universe than the famed James Webb Telescope can and perhaps even help find life on exoplanets, scientists say.  Astronomers think that powerful instruments on the moon may open the next frontier in astronomical research, allowing them to study phenomena invisible to existing ground and space-based observatories.  Various ideas have been proposed, including supersensitive gravitational wave detectors that could spot more subtle ripples in space-time than Earth-based detectors can and radio telescopes that could take advantage of the moon's quiet environment to detect signals from the earliest epochs in the universe's history.

The Editor says...
[#1] If you want to take up a collection and pay for this project through voluntary donations, go ahead.  But if you're using the taxpayers' money (or just printing new baseless money) to pay for it, I am opposed.  [#2] How many people in the U.S. would benefit from this project?  Twenty?  Thirty?  How many people are clamoring for such a project today?  Maybe ten?  [#3] What is the end product, and is it worth the cost?  If the telescope breaks, what will it cost to fix it?

NYC Pays Al Qaeda Terror State $200M to Rent Hotel Rooms to Illegal Aliens.  The Roosevelt Hotel claims that it's the place "where classic elegance meets contemporary luxury".  Classic elegance and luxury at the midtown Manhattan hotel looks like busloads of migrant invaders arriving and camping outside the golden doors.  The scene is no better inside where 41 migrants have been arrested for beating wives, girlfriends and significant others.  There have also been assaults on employees and an arrest for child endangerment.  While the Roosevelt Hotel may have an old name, Mayor Eric Adams and New York City actually leased it from Pakistan for $220 million.  That amounts to paying $210 per room for each night that an illegal alien invader uses it to smoke meth or abuse their wives and daughters.  The Roosevelt Hotel was named after Teddy.  You can imagine what he would have done if thousands of foreigners had invaded a hotel and turned it into a drug den on his watch.

Has the Pentagon been hiding US bases in Africa from Congress?  The Intercept released a rather strange report this weekend involving Pentagon activity on the continent of Africa and an apparent lack of congressional oversight for such activities.  And by "activity" I don't mean the occasional jeep getting lost or some peacekeeping troops being ambushed by snipers.  We apparently have entire military bases in Africa that haven't been reported to Congress.  I realize that probably sounds crazy to some of you, but it's apparently not nearly as close to impossible as we might have thought.  And our troops at those "enduring" forward operating sites under the control of U.S. Africa Command have been up to all sorts of interesting activities.

Twilight Of The Democrats.  It may be true that, on paper, Biden revived the economy, but the reality most voters experience is different.  Prices are up 16.9% since Biden took office, real wages are down 3%, mortgage rates are at their highest in 22 years, and credit card debt has reached a new peak.  It's likely that the constant flow of money to Ukraine only worsens Americans' fears that the president is mishandling the economy.  With hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars going overseas, 500,000 Russian and Ukrainian troops killed or wounded, and no end in sight, the conflict has become the kind of nightmarish "forever war" that voters once associated with Republicans.  For many years, Democrats insisted that they were the party of diplomatic solutions; today, they are eagerly sending depleted uranium rounds and internationally banned cluster munitions to Ukraine.

Border Patrol Agent Reveals Biden Regime Gives $2,200 of Taxpayers Money Per Illegal Immigrant Families Each Month.  In a shocking revelation, Todd Bensman, the Center's Texas-based Senior National Security Fellow, has reported that the Biden regime is allocating a staggering $2,200 per month to illegal immigrant families (1 parent & 1 child) for the cost of living expenses.  This comes at a time when the average American on Social Security receives just $1,400 per month and Maui survivors with only $700.  According to a video interview with an anonymous Border Patrol Agent, illegal immigrants are "double dipping" the system.  One parent and one child receive $2,200 per month, and then a separate parent and child — often from the same family — receive another $2,200 per month.  This amounts to a whopping $4,400 per month for some immigrant families, a figure that exceeds what many working Americans earn.

Even NASA admits that the SLS is unsustainable.  If you have been following the sad saga of the Space Launch System — the rocket that NASA is depending on to get America back to the moon — you wouldn't be surprised to learn that the General Accounting Office is a critic of the rocket.  Everybody sane is a critic of the rocket.  But it was a bit of a surprise to see that even NASA, which has poured about $50 billion into a rocket (and space capsule) that costs more than $4 billion dollars a launch, has admitted that it cannot sustain the program unless its budget skyrockets to a level that seems unlikely.  So far SLS has launched once.  We got some extremely nice pictures out of it.  (That cost estimate is higher than NASA's because it includes more than the hardware itself).  The SLS is the core piece of hardware that NASA plans to use to jump-start our return to the moon more than 50 years after our first landing there.  It is also the most ridiculous program in American history.

More than $600 million [has been] spent on environmental reviews for [a] high-speed train that isn't built yet.  The state of California has spent more than $600 million on environmental reviews for a high-speed rail project that has not yet been completed, according to documents obtained and reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation.  The state shelled out a total of $618,038,924.01 for numerous companies involved in construction to conduct environmental reviews for the state's high-speed railway project, the records show.  California voters approved the funding of the undertaking to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco and the Central Valley with high-speed rail in 2008, but it has encountered delays and budget overruns in the 15 years since California voters initially approved issuing bonds to finance the project.

Billions in Tax Dollars:  The Story of Vacant Federal Offices.  Is it any surprise?  Billions of YOUR dollars — wasted on cavernous, empty federal offices.  Why?  Because D.C. bureaucrats have grown too accustomed to the luxuries of Biden's lax 'work-from-home' agenda.  Shocking reports indicate these government employees, paid by your tax dollars, are shamelessly hopping into bubble baths during meetings, teeing off at golf courses, and even indulging in happy hours — all on the clock.  According to the Government Accountability Office, a staggering 75% of office space across 17 federal agencies remains unused.

Where did all the FEMA billions go?  As usual, the Biden White House wants more money.  The latest request is for more FEMA money, with Hawaii's wildfire disaster in Maui being the supposed culprit. [...] Maybe there are better ways for FEMA to spend its disaster relief money than by housing FEMA officials in $1,000 a night hotel rooms while the only aid being given is in those $700 checks.  One guy with a FEMA checkbook and a room at the Best Western could do thatt.  But they insist it was on the up and up.  But that's probably small potatoes.  Where much of FEMA's money reportedly goes is to "the border" where they provide housing, transport, communications, medical care, food, and supplies to millions of incoming illegal aliens, through their NGO buddies on contract.  Seems paying for an unguarded border and subsidizing the business model of Mexico's cartels costs a lot for FEMA, leaving it unable to respond to other disasters involving actual Americans.  While they're claiming Lahaina blew out their budget, take a look at some of the back-of-the-envelope calculations of what fire victims actually got:  [Tweet with video clip]

Here's How a Former State Senator Transformed COVID Relief Funds into Porsches and a Ferrari.  Questions as to where the trillions of dollars in federal taxpayer COVID funding have gone have been looming for years.  Yet, there do not seem to be any solid answers, which indicates a significant chunk of the money has gone to waste, and in this case, the wallets of corrupt government officials.  Andy Sanborn, a former Republican New Hampshire state senator, is being accused of misappropriating about $844,000 in COVID relief funds to purchase luxury cars and pay for other lavish expenses. [...] Since the pandemic began, Congress passed six COVID-related pieces of legislation, which amounted to a whopping $5 trillion in relief spending.  Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF) noted that only about $1 for every $12,000 was allocated to promoting oversight of the use of the funds.  Apparently, our intrepid elected officials were not too concerned about where these trillions of dollars were going, were they?  It can be no wonder that Americans are now wondering where all that cash went.

Feds Arrest 300 in COVID Aid Fraud Schemes Totaling $830 Million.  Just $300 Billion to Go.  There will never be a full accounting of COVID-19 aid fraud in the United States.  Part of the reason is that no one in government really wants to know.  The fact that the supposed guardians of the public purse got away with such incredible incompetence with few, if any, federal employees losing their jobs is criminal.  The best guess regarding losses of taxpayer money to fraud is $300 billion and rising.  There's at least another $125 billion that budget watchdogs considered "wasted."  Whose heads are rolling?  Not Julie Su, the former head of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency whose department doled out $180 billion in unemployment claims during the pandemic.  Of that $180 billion, more than $32 billion was fraudulently given out.  At least $2 billion went to inmates in various state prisons despite the criminals being ineligible for the cash.  But Ms. Su is being rewarded for her incompetence and stupidity by being nominated to serve as Secretary of Labor.

Biden's DHS Sends over $770M in Taxpayer Money to NGOs, Sanctuary Cities Facilitating Illegal Immigration.  President Joe Biden's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is sending another round of millions in American taxpayer money to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and mostly sanctuary cities for facilitating illegal immigration throughout the United States.  On Monday [8/21/2023], Mayorkas announced that the DHS, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), would give 53 NGOs and cities more than $77 million in federal grants for their help in absorbing border crossers and illegal aliens released into their communities.

Germany on Track to Miss Climate Goals Despite $500 Billion Plus Green Spending Spree.  Germany is on track to fall short of its ambitious long-term climate change goals despite its plans to have spent more than $500 billion to reach them, according to Reuters.  The German government is primed to miss its targets of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030 and reaching net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, according to Reuters.  The German government will have spent by 2025 the equivalent of at least $580 billion toward achieving the goals that it is now forecasted to miss, according to Bloomberg.

Disney World's Special District Board Spent Almost $500,000 In Taxpayer Money On Park Tickets.  Calls are being made for Florida's inspector general to investigate Disney World's former special district board after allegations arose that members used millions in taxpayer funds for season passes and other perks, the New York Post reported.  The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District revealed to the inspector general Monday that members of the board that used to oversee Walt Disney World's Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) allegedly spent more than $2 million in taxpayer funds last fiscal year on employee perks, the New York Post reported.  Among the perks that members and employees reportedly enjoyed were tickets amounting to $492,382.96, as well as discounts on hotel stays, merchandise, and food and beverages.  Glen Gilzean, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight administrator, has since stopped the perks, the outlet stated.

Let Them Eat Solar Panels.  Recently, during a speech at a high-dollar fundraiser for the League of Conservation Voters in Washington, D.C., President Joe Biden exulted about a solar project in Angola.  According to a transcript of his speech that can be found on the White House's website, Biden said:  "We have plans to build a railroad from the Pacific all the way across the Indian Ocean.  We have plans to build in — in Angola one of the largest solar plants in the world.  I can go on, but I'm not.  I'm going off-script.  I'm going to get in trouble."  Ignore, of course, Biden's gaffe about building a railroad across the Pacific.  Ignore, too, his statement that he was "going to get in trouble" for going off script.  Joe Biden is the president of the United States.  He commands a huge arsenal of warships, warplanes, and nuclear weapons.  With whom, exactly, might he be getting in trouble?  Instead, focus on the part about the solar project in Angola. [...] You can be forgiven for not knowing that Angola, an impoverished country of 32 million people where more than 60% of the population doesn't have access to electricity, has made any climate commitments at all.

Biden Asks Congress for Billions to Expand Illegal Migration.  President Joe Biden's deputies are asking the House GOP majority to fund new travel and housing programs for more economic migrants who are being encouraged to take opportunities needed by ordinary Americans.  The August 10 request for $3.3 billion funding "is not all designed to promote more illegal immigration, but most of it seems to be," said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies[.]

Biden Regime to Spend $1.2 Billion to Vacuum Carbon Dioxide Out Of The Air.  On Friday, the Biden regime announced it will spend $1.2 billion in taxpayer money to vacuum the sky of carbon dioxide.  Energy Secretary Granholm boasted about the project to reporters on Friday [8/11/2023].  "These two projects are going to build these regional direct air capture hubs," US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters, according to CNN.  "That means they're going to link everything from capture to processing to deep underground storage, all in one seamless process." [...] The UN says the last chance to save planet Earth may be vacuuming CO2 out of the sky and burying it.  And, they're serious.  In order to stave off the worst of global warming's consequences, the world's nations must find a way to reduce carbon emissions by 40 to 70 percent by 2050.  That's one of many claims made in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Joe Biden's bus to nowhere.  It's amazing how Democrats tout certain green companies to the public, pump government billions into them, buy the stock, cash out the stock ... and then watch them go bust.  It happened with Solyndra under the Obama administration.  Now it's happened with Proterra.  Seems the corrupt, impunity-laden Biden administration is no stranger to pump-and-dump stock schemes, which is what Fox News's Jesse Watters said was happening.  [Video clip]  Apparently these companies exist to benefit Democrats, to give them some of the cash stream that comes of these monster government spending bills that are done in the name of 'going green.'  Without this government money, these green vessels wouldn't get out of the harbor.

Biden administration has given $2.35 billion to the Taliban since the withdrawal.  Since the fall of Afghanistan, the U.S. has forked over funds to groups under the brutal Taliban regime to the tune of $2.35 billion.  That's according to a new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), released to the public on Tuesday.  Another $1.7 billion 'remained available for possible disbursement' at the time of the report, dated July 30.

You Won't Believe What We're Spending One Trillion Dollars to Buy.  [Scroll down]  Literally nothing.  According to Disclose.TV, the interest Washington pays on our outstanding debt will come up to nearly a trillion dollars.  A trillion dollars that won't result in a single Social Security check, not a dime for Medicare, no stealth fighters, no nothing.  We're spending almost a trillion dollars to service the debt, and we didn't even get to keep our AAA credit rating.  The national vig exploded by more than 50% this year, thanks to just three things.  First, there was Donald Trump's $4 trillion in "stimulus" to cover the unneeded lockdowns.  Then there were trillions more in funny money spent since by Biden and the Democrats during 2021-2022 — and they permanently jacked up spending, I should add, and not just one-time stimulus checks.  So the third thing is that the Fed had to jack up interest rates to try and choke off the inflation resulting from all that spending.

Our enemies are laughing a little louder now.
Senate forcing Air Force to advance electric helicopter tech.  The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee is "concerned" the U.S. Air Force is not testing and using electric helicopter technology and is pushing for an acceleration in the Air Force's adoption of electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs).  The committee has voiced concerns about the current pace of research and implementation of the technology, according to its report on the draft of the 2024 Department of Defense Appropriations bill.  The committee perceives a "significant potential for the development of cost-effective [eVTOLs] that can serve the needs of the warfighter, particularly in the role of personnel recovery, medevac, and logistic resupply."

The World Now Wasting $1 Trillion Or More Per Year Investing In Useless "Renewables".  The world is currently filled with government-, corporate-, and billionaire-funded organizations advocating for a transformation of the energy system to "clean" and "abundant" renewables.  In my post a week ago, I described the International Energy Agency — a consortium of governments (now 40+ of them, including all the major ones) originally formed in the 70s to combat the OPEC oil embargo of the time, but since transformed into a "a center of advocacy for elimination of fossil fuels from the world's energy supply."  For today, here's another one you may or may not have heard of — the Energy Institute.  EI is a London-based advocacy organization set up under the UK charity laws.  It appears to receive its funding largely from corporations and wealthy individuals.

Trucking giant Yellow shuts down despite $700M COVID bailout.  Trucking giant Yellow collapsed on Sunday, ceasing operations immediately and leaving some 30,000 workers without jobs.  The closure is the biggest in terms of jobs and revenue in the U.S. trucking industry, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported its shutdown.  The company, which received $700 million in federal COVID relief funds in 2020, is preparing to file for bankruptcy and is in talks to sell off all or parts of the business.

Federal bureaucrats intentionally misclassify themselves as 'law enforcement'.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wasted $9.7 million by intentionally misclassifying administrators and bureaucrats as law enforcement officers, according to a letter from the Department of Justice and U.S. Office of Special Counsel.  An investigation was opened after two whistleblowers alleged the ATF was "systematically and intentionally misclassifying upper-level non-law-enforcement jobs as law-enforcement positions and recruiting and filling these coveted, primarily supervisory jobs with only special agents or Industry Operations Investigators."

$50 Trillion of Futility.  One of the climate alarmists' most intractable problems is the disproportion between the problems their models forecast and the solutions they propose.  That is, if you believe the models, there is no remotely plausible course of action we can follow that makes a perceptible difference.  So our impoverishment is pointless.  The hero of the Senate, John Kennedy, made this point while questioning Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk.  The exchange occurred in May, but I just saw it today.  It doesn't matter: the point is evergreen.  [Video clip]

The next "green" horror: exploding carbon-capture pipelines.  Right now South Dakota is under attack by a freshly born green corporation, Summit Carbon Solutions, funded by China's Belt and Road initiative, and you, through the Green New Deal provisions buried in the last debt ceiling deal, to pipe "carbon," from the oil fields to some obscure part of the Dakotas and bury it.  There can be no more stupid waste of money than this. [...] A policy researcher friend tried to track down the annual billions, trillions over the last thirty years, that the U.N. and its various satellites have given of your money to "climate change" mitigation outfits in the Global South.  The money vanishes, nothing happens, it's stolen.  She google-earthed one heavily PR'ed outfit, only to discover that it didn't exist, just a pile of sand.  These projects are payoffs to an army of activists placed at every weak point in the system.  If the projects exist, they don't work.  Both the Guardian and Harper's have done extensive work on the fraud of "climate mitigation."  Carbon sequestration is a scam meant to steal public money.

Biden Admin Wastes Your Hard-Earned Money to Find out Why Minority Children Dig Japanese Comics.  We need to stop and ask why [...] our government believes in spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to find out why minority children dig Japanese comic books?  What possible benefit could this initiative have to American society that it requires the state to throw our money at it?  Moreover, if the state is going to take our money under threat of imprisonment, aren't there more worthy causes like education, infrastructure, and crime?  What could possibly be so urgent about understanding the obsession with Manga that it requires hundreds of thousands of dollars?  But there is an even deeper issue here.  This is not just about wasteful spending.  It shows just how bloated our federal government has become.  The state has grown so fat and happy that it has money to spend on studies about minority children and Japanese comics.  This goes leaps and bounds beyond what the government's actual role is supposed to be:  Protecting our rights.

The Next President Must Root Out Federal Overreach And Waste.  [Scroll down]  In our zeal to do good, we have taken on too much.  Rebuilding racist roads?  If the road works, the original intent is moot today.  We'll do better going forward.  Charging stations everywhere for every sort of green vehicle energy even though those vehicles don't exist in critical numbers hardly anywhere?  If there's a profit to be made, we can let the market take care of that need.  A king's ransom for green energy production?  A comprehensive look at the total global cost in terms of money, carbon footprint (if that matters to one), environmental degradation, and human rights will reveal that hydroelectric, natural gas, and nuclear power will "save the planet"; solar and wind power generation will not.  Neither will changing out domestic appliances for an environmental "improvement" so slight its impact cannot be measured.  The cost is crushing.  Already trillions in Boomer taxbucks have been irrecoverably wasted.

In San Francisco, they don't know where they put all that COVID relief money they solicited from the public.  In San Francisco, the lockdown enthusiasts at the height of COVID pandemic had a great solution for all the businesses and people put out of work by their lockdowns:  A government-run charity — which solicited and took donations from the public. [...] According to the San Francisco Standard, there were a lot of little guys who donated to the fund, too — the website for the program accepted donations as low as $1, and the website itself said "you can donate any amount."  Breed didn't mention them in her laudatory press release, but little guys pitched in to do their part for COVID, too.  And after all that hoopla, and all those $30 millions rolling in ... the City doesn't know what it did with the money.

Sanctuary State California Gov. Gavin Newsom to Spend $4.5M on Lawyers for Illegal Aliens.  The sanctuary state of California will soon spend $4.5 million on providing free lawyers to illegal aliens working on farms thanks to a plan by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).  Newsom announced the pilot program this week, which will see $4.5 million in state taxpayer money shifted to lawyers who are helping illegal alien farmworkers involved in labor investigations.  "This new program includes case review services, legal advice, and representation by an attorney — all at no cost to farmworkers seeking assistance," a press release states of the pilot program.

Joe Biden's government of empty buildings.  We often ask who's running the government with a White House led by doddering Joe Biden.  But with a new audit out, maybe the real question is what is the government. [...] Turns out the government buildings Joe Biden presides over in his expensive, bloated government are about as empty as the old dotard's head.  It's like we have a pretend president, presiding over a pretend government.  Practically every agency headquarters is something like 80% empty.  But the empty buildings still stand, as if to suggest that something had been there.  Mainly, it's the illusion of power and importance.

Biden's new student loan forgiveness program will cost taxpayers $475 billion over the next 10 years, economic model predicts.  President Joe Biden's new student loan forgiveness plan based on income-driven repayments will cost taxpayers $475 billion over the next ten years, an economic model has predicted.  The Penn Wharton Budget Model lays out the sum of one of Biden's new pushes to give millions of Americans debt relief, after the Supreme Court struck down his first plan two weeks ago.  A conservative estimate sees the program costing as little as $390.9 billion over a decade, while the maximum projection puts the bill at $558.8 billion.

Crime up 66%? Paint a mural!.  Federal data shows that Minneapolis has the most crime-ridden light rail system in the country and that year-over-year crime is up by 2/3rds from 2022 to 2023.  Transit ridership is about 1/2 of pre-pandemic levels, and barely bouncing back from the levels hit since the lockdowns were eased.  [Illustration]  In other words, you only ride it if there is no other choice.  And lots of people have a choice.  The geniuses at Metro Transit have come up with a solution that my local newspaper StarTribune seems to love: murals.  [Tweet]  Now I have nothing against murals, and I am not even in the mood to object to the rather steep price tag for the latest one they painted unless it gets covered in graffiti right away.

Sitting on a Deck-Chair on an Iceberg-Adjacent Ship.  Let's just look at the major items in the federal budget for FY 2023, from usgovernmentspending.com  (BTW, I count foreign policy, foreign aid, and veterans benefits as adjacent to National Defense.  So should you):

Federal Pensions         $1.4 trillion
Federal Health Care      $1.7 trillion
National Defense         $1.2 trillion
Federal Education        $0.3 trillion
Federal Welfare          $0.6 trillion
All Other Spending       $1.1 trillion
Total Fed. Spending      $6.4 trillion
Federal Deficit          $1.6 trillion       
See where the money goes?  In Social Security and federal employee pensions, in Medicare and Medicaid, in National Defense.  Even the dreaded Welfare is only half a trillion, give or take a hundred billion.  Where are all the green energy tax breaks?  And all the DEI stuff to give us a truly modern non-binary army?  Good question.  Today, we should understand, ever since ObamaCare, new government programs are all about manipulation of regulations and cunning expansions of the administrative state that are kept carefully under a blanket where congressional staff and corporate special interests and devoted activists snuggle each other for the greater good.  And don't forget, Oppressed Peoples, it's all free!

Did the Congress vote on this?
Biden Administration Announces $39 Billion in Student-Loan Forgiveness for Over 800,000 Borrowers.  The Biden administration announced Friday that it would forgive $39 billion in student loans for 804,000 borrowers, explaining it had pursued certain fixes to existing income-driven-repayment plans.  "For far too long, borrowers fell through the cracks of a broken system that failed to keep accurate track of their progress towards forgiveness," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.  These income-driven plans set a forgiveness threshold of 20 or 25 years.  Borrowers must make payments that qualify over this period, either 240 or 300 in total.  These payments can be as low as $0 based on an individual's income and family situation.

Biden administration to buy air conditioning units in push for 'equity and environmental justice'.  The White House is touting its decision to buy air conditioners as a part of a plan to promote "equity and environmental justice" during a historic heat wave that it attributes to climate change.  A Tuesday memo from the Biden administration said that heat wave included record-high daily high temperatures in several areas of the country.  The plan cited its $3.85 billion Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program that it said helped lower cooling costs and will provide air conditioning units for low-income households for over 6 million households.  "The situation is alarming, and it requires an all-of-society response to ensure that communities have the support they need to plan, prepare, and recover from these extreme weather events, which are costing the U.S. billions of dollars every year," the memo stated.

The Editor says...
Hot weather is not "alarming." You may not know this, but there once was a time when Dallas had a record high temperature every day for a year.  It wasn't because of global warming.  It was the first year that daily temperature records were kept.  (Gotcha!)  The lack of accurate temperature measurements was the issue, not the weather.  Similarly, there will be days when record high temperatures, and record lows, will be observed.  That's only because the temperature records only go back a little more than a century.

Four Examples of Absurd "Only in Washington" Budget Logic.  [#2] Only in Washington are deficit spenders 'moderate' and deficit fighters 'extreme.'  House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., referred to House conservatives as "irresponsible individuals" in the spending fight.  The media regularly use terms such as "agitator" and "hard-line" to describe conservatives who try to slow down Washington's endless gravy train.  In contrast, members from both parties who are reliable votes for bloated spending packages — such as Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. — are regularly described as "moderate" in supposedly neutral press articles.  Recklessly adding to the national debt isn't considered extreme, but pushing for modest spending cuts is somehow beyond the pale.  This is because, above all else, the Washington political and media establishments love the status quo of a powerful, big-spending federal government.  Wasting untold billions on slush funds for pork and overpaid government employees is considered normal because it's been going on for so long.

The Trillion-Dollar Grift: Inside the Greatest Scam of All Time.  On March 27, 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Trump signed the CARES Act, pumping more than $2 trillion into the U.S. economy.  The scale of the crisis was beyond anything we had ever seen, and so was the help. [...] The list of various CARES Act schemes is endless and astounding: the couple who scammed some $20 million off unemployment insurance while living as high rollers in Los Angeles; the Chicago man under indictment for selling bunk Covid tests and allegedly raking in $83 million (he has declared his innocence); the Florida minister who the feds allege faked the signature of his aging accountant, suffering from dementia, to steal $8 million in PPP loans (in a twist, the pastor has been locked in a legal battle to determine whether he's psychologically fit to stand trial).  One particularly loathsome and effective plot:  offering fake meals to underprivileged children in Minnesota to reel in a whopping sum of $250 million.

The Editor says...
Interesting.  And those are just people who got caught.  How many more got away with fraud?

WEF: "We Need Moonshots" to Solve the Climate Crisis.  All this comes hot on the heels of a reminder that Swiss Re estimates US $196 trillion is required to fix the climate crisis.  I can't remember the exact number, but I'm pretty sure the actual US Apollo Mission moonshot didn't cost $196 trillion, even in inflation adjusted dollars.

The Editor says...
There is no climate crisis.  Any money spent on "solving" an imaginary crisis is money down the drain.

NYC Paid Up to $14,050 Per COVID-19 Vaccination Administered: Audit.  New York City health officials regularly overpaid a contractor to administer COVID-19 tests and vaccines, paying as much as $14,050 for a single COVID-19 vaccination, an audit shows.  Officials let Executive Medical Services, a contractor awarded a contract early in the COVID-19 pandemic, to set its own staffing levels, leading to uncontrolled costs, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander found.  That led to exorbitant costs and low efficiency, with an analysis of invoices showing that only one vaccination was administered for every two billed hours.

The Biden Admin Is Scrambling To Spend $27 Billion 'Slush Fund' Before Congress Claws It Back.  President Joe Biden's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making plans to rapidly invest billions of dollars in green energy and technology projects before the money must be returned to Congress in just over a year, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.  The $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) is one of several funding opportunities for green projects established by Biden's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that Democrats are hoping to fully spend before Republicans have a chance to take back control of Congress, the Post reported.  The GGRF is unique, however, because the IRA mandates it fully disburse its funding by September 30, 2024, a move by Democrats to shield the program from GOP efforts to recover the funds, an anonymous Democratic aide told the outlet.

The Biden Regime Is Doling Out Your Tax Money to Promote Trans Madness Worldwide.  Why is the Biden regime so obsessively preoccupied with promoting sexual deviance and transgender delusion and fantasy?  Not only is it aggressively promoting "Pride" inside the United States, but it is also sending your tax dollars abroad to make sure that young Ecuadorians see their fair share of drag queens, and that Polish boys can decide they're really girls after all. [...] The Washington Free Beacon reported Friday [6/30/2023] that "the Biden administration has given nearly $4.6 million to help foreign groups promote LGBT projects like drag shows and pride parades."  This money comes from hard-working Americans who logged long hours, often at physically taxing jobs, to provide for their families, and dutifully forked over a significant percentage of their earnings to the U.S. government, which saw fit to use it to corrupt and sexualize children in other countries.  This is what things have come to, and it's likely only to get worse.

Joe Biden's White House Payroll at Historic Highs- 524 Employees at a Taxpayer Cost of $52+ Million.  While American families are suffering, during the first three years of his administration the Biden White House's has spent $158.8 million on the largest White House payroll in American history, based on headcount.  The Biden administration released its annual report to Congress on the White House Office Personnel as of June 30, 2023.  OpentheBooks shares the details of the outrageous costs,"The top paid is Demetre C. Daskalakis ($260,718), Deputy Coordinator for the Monkeypox Response.  The second most highly paid is Anand H. Das ($216,414), Senior Deputy Associate Counsel.  Both were previously stationed at federal agencies (the Center for Disease Control and the Securities and Exchange Commission, respectively), and now serve the White House 'on detail.'"

Oops: Treasury Erred in Giving $700 million COVID Loan to Trucking Company, Congress Says.  A new congressional report found that the Treasury Department gave a dubious $700 million loan to a failing trucking company with funds allocated by the bipartisan CARES Act.  Only companies that were fulfilling important defense contracts or had high-level security clearance should have been eligible for such loans, the report states.  Yellow, the trucking company that received the loan, did not meet these requirements.  However, by securing the approval of the Department of Defense or the director of national intelligence, the agency could grant the loan even if the national security conditions were not met.  Using this "catch-all" provision, the Treasury granted the loan and took on ownership of roughly a third of the company.

After crafting their COVID giveaways and losing $200 billion, Democrats blame Trump.  There's nothing faster than a Democrat when it comes to shoveling money.  And there's nothing faster than a money-shoveling Democrat to lay the blame for the associated problems with that on President Trump.  Which brings us to the latest report out that COVID relief funds were misspent, wasted, or stolen, to the tune of $200 billion. [...] COVID relief funds were originally passed in April 2020 by a Democrat-led House under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who's no stranger to federal spending.  According to Wikipedia, Democrats assembled that package together and forced President Trump to sign it whether he liked it or not. [...] Democrats stuffed the spending bill full of money and a lone Republican, Rep. Thomas Massey, desperately tried to keep some measure of accountability, for which he was scored by Democrats.  Now Trump is being blamed for signing the bill, despite the fact that Democrats crafted it to their own specifications.

Miami To Spend $8 Million To Indoctrinate Residents Into Climate Cult.  This is what you get after 30+ years of spreading awareness, and it's not like Miami isn't a Democrat voting city already which is chock full of Warmists already.  I guess they need to brainwash more into allowing government to take more of their money and freedom[.]

Biden's $42 Billion Broadband Boondoggle.  President Joe Biden has rolled out his Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) plan, which will be subsidized by $42 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.  That is an obscene amount of money to invest in technology that will be obsolete by the time it's built.  Nailing down internet service statistics is fraught, but let's look at various reports to get some idea of what's happening.  The stated goal of BEAD is to "connect everyone in America to reliable, affordable high-speed internet by the end of the decade."  The billions in subsidies are being divvied up among the states and territories based on the number of households without access to broadband service.  The administration estimates that 8.5 million households and small businesses are in areas without high-speed internet infrastructure.

The Editor says...
Many people live in rural areas by choice, and the lack of fast internet service is part of the bargain.  So are fresh air and privacy.

The Great Grift: More than $200 billion in COVID-19 aid may have been stolen, federal watchdog says.  More than $200 billion may have been stolen from two large COVID-19 relief initiatives, according to new estimates from a federal watchdog investigating federally funded programs that helped small businesses survive the worst public health crisis in more than a hundred years.  The numbers issued Tuesday by the U.S. Small Business Administration inspector general are much greater than the office's previous projections and underscore how vulnerable the Paycheck Protection and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs were to fraudsters, particularly during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Editor says...
Bias alert:  The Associated Press casually calls Covid "the worst public health crisis in more than a hundred years," when in reality it was nothing of the kind.  It was a widespread case of the flu, in which over 99 percent survived, except for those who were already in poor health.  There was an upheaval in our society, but it was entirely avoidable:  the upheaval resulted from the government's over-reaction, baseless assertions, and draconian edicts.  It was not a public health crisis.  It was a brush with totalitarianism.

Over $200 billion in COVID relief funds lost to potential fraud and abuse, gov't watchdog finds.  A report released Tuesday from the Office of Inspector General of the Small Business Administration found that the federal government lost more than $200 billion in COVID relief funds to potential fraud, waste, and abuse.  The OIG's latest estimate is significantly higher than previous projections that speculated approximately $100 billion.  The relief initiatives included the Paycheck Protection and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs, created to provide emergency financial relief to small businesses and those who lost their jobs due to restrictive lockdown measures.

Public schools used COVID spending for staff bonuses.  Back in 2021, Congress passed what became known as the American Rescue Plan.  The nearly two trillion dollar spending behemoth had funds in for nearly everything under the sun and it was touted as a way to minimize the damage from the pandemic and the shutdowns.  But there was money in there designated for many other things as well.  In more recent news, a new report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that math and reading scores among American students are at the lowest levels seen in decades.  What do these two things have in common?  After the bad news hit, Joe Biden's Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona, was rushed out to apply some spin to the report.  Don't worry, he told us.  Help is on the way, thanks to the President.  Funds from his American Rescue Plan are going to the schools and they will turn these low scores around.  That all sounds great except for one minor problem.  As the Free Beacon reports this week, the money already went to the schools.  And a large chunk of it didn't go to the students.  It went to lucrative bonuses for teachers and administrators.

Democrats are really good at solving problems that nobody has, and responding to lobbyists that nobody knows.
Biden Admin. Splashing $1.7 Billion on Electric and Low-Emission Buses.  The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday it is releasing some $1.7 billion in grants to fund new electric and low-emission buses across the country.  The taxpayer dollars come from the 2021 infrastructure bill signed into law by President Joe Biden, AP reports, with the money going to transit projects in 46 states and territories. [...] This is not the first time this administration has professed a love for electric buses, as Breitbart News reported, with Biden claiming back in 2021[,] "Diesel [from school buses] pollutes the air ... and causes our students to miss school."

The Editor says...
I challenge you to find any school official anywhere who has ever heard of a student who missed school because of diesel smoke from a school bus.  There's a reason why the tailpipe is in the back end of the bus.

Price Tag of NASA's Martian Rock Retrieval Mission Is Skyrocketing.  As NASA's chief of science programs, Thomas Zurbuchen oversaw missions like the James Webb telescope launch and the landing of the Mars Perseverance rover.  When he stepped down from that post in 2022, he told The New York Times that the key to innovation was to take smart risks and not to panic when some of them don't pay out.  It appears NASA itself is struggling to apply that wisdom.  Last week, according to reporting from Ars Technica, leaders at the space agency were told that the development cost for the Mars Sample Retrieval (MSR) program had doubled.  Originally, the cost to collect rock samples from Mars was estimated at $4.4 billion; now, that number is north of $8 billion.  And that's just for development.  The estimate does not include launch costs, construction, or operating costs.  The final tab could be north of $10 billion.  The plan is to send an unmanned sample retrieval lander to Mars in 2028.  That vehicle would return to Earth with the rock and soil samples that the Perseverance rover has collected since it landed on Mars in 2021.

The Editor says...
Here's an idea:  NASA can set up a crowd-funding page to see if they can collect $10 billion to gather rocks on Mars.  If they can raise the money from those who contribute voluntarily, the project should go ahead.  But if they're taking the taxpayers' money, that was collected under threat of imprisonment, the project (along with all similar NASA white elephants, if not NASA itself) should be scrapped.

The Pentagon's $52,000 trash can.  Leading military contractors jacked up the price of several everyday products after receiving non-competitive contracts, costing taxpayers more than $1.3 million in apparently unnecessary markups, according to Pentagon contracting data acquired by Responsible Statecraft.  Until 2010, Boeing charged an average of $300 for a trash container used in the E-3 Sentry, a surveillance and radar plane based on the 707 civilian airliner.  When the 707 fell out of use in the United States, the trash can was no longer a "commercial" item, meaning that Boeing was not obligated to keep its price at previous levels, according to a weapons industry source who spoke to RS.  In 2020, the Pentagon paid Boeing over $200,000 for four of the trash cans, translating to roughly $51,606 per unit.  In a 2021 contract, the company charged $36,640 each for 11 trash containers, resulting in a total cost of more than $400,000.  The apparent overcharge cost taxpayers an extra $600,000 between the two contracts.

Biden Announces $600 Million for 'The Most Aggressive Climate Action Ever' During California Visit.  Climate action projects across the nation, including in California, will get $600 million more in federal funding, President Joe Biden announced during a tour of a nature preserve in northern California on June 19.  California's share — $67 million — will help build power lines and transmission infrastructure, and support the state's transition to 100 percent clean energy, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom's office.  "We're taking the most aggressive climate action ever," Biden said.  "I'm here today to announce that we're putting our critical climate investment to work."  The U.S. Department of Energy is also expected to announce a $2 billion investment to modernize the nation's electric grid.

The Editor says...
[#1] Where did Joe Biden come up with $600 million?  [#2] No amount of spending will improve the weather.

Republican Lawmaker Seeks to Phase Out 'Zombie' Federal Programs Costing Over $510 Billion.  House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) wants to phase out the more than 1,100 "zombie" federal agencies and programs that have continued for years after legislative authorizations have expired, at a cost of more than $358 billion annually.  The McMorris Rodgers proposal is the Unauthorized Spending Act (USA), which she has introduced in every Congress since 2016.  The Washington state Republican believes the measure (H.R. 1518) is needed to restore to voters the power of accountability in the nation's capital.  "We have a fiscal crisis in America today, too much of the federal government is on autopilot.  Americans are rightly frustrated by a government that thinks it knows best," McMorris Rodgers explained in a statement on her official website.

Chicago mayor Brandon Johnson makes $10 million "growing pains" error with e-signature blunder.  Chicago's newly sworn-in mayor, Brandon Johnson, just made a $10 million whopper of a mistake.  ShotSpotter, which this year changed its name to SoundThnking, is a firm that sells gunfire-detection software, has few friends in Chicago.  It is blamed, wrongly in my opinion, for setting up the chain events that led to the death of 13-year-old reputed gang member Adam Toledo in a police shooting.  A Northwestern University study found that 86 percent of Chicago police deployments initiated by ShotSpotter alerts led to "dead-end deployments."  During this year's mayoral campaign, Johnson vowed to cancel Chicago's contract with SoundThinking.  But earlier this month, a contract with his e-signature approved a $10,184,900 payment to SoundThinking, covering a contract extension approved by his predecessor, Lori Lightfoot, last autumn.  The mayor's senior advisor, Jason Lee, says Johnson's e-signature was mistakenly attached to the document authorizing the hefty payment.  Of the contract carelessness, Lee said, "That's not the procedure that we will have moving forward, but that's what was done."

$400 Billion in Pandemic Aid Was Stolen, Wasted or Misspent: Analysis.  The greatest grift in American history?  That's how a new report from the Associated Press characterizes the staggering levels of theft from Covid-19 relief aid programs.  Analysts found that crooks may have stolen more than $280 billion from the $4.2 trillion the federal government has dispersed to help individuals and businesses suffering as a result of the pandemic.  Another $123 billion has been wasted or misspent, the AP says, bringing the total to about $400 billion — or roughly 10% of all aid provided so far.  The number is expected to grow as more scams are uncovered, even as the government continues to distribute the remaining $1 trillion from the total of $5.2 trillion Congress provided during the pandemic.  "How could so much be stolen?" asks the AP's Richard Lardner.  "Investigators and outside experts say the government, in seeking to quickly spend trillions in relief aid, conducted too little oversight during the pandemic's early stages and instituted too few restrictions on applicants.  In short, they say, the grift was just way too easy."

$400 billion in COVID relief, vanished to fraud.  Word got around to fraudsters early that money was going out fast, and $400 billion was theirs.  Convicts in prison, Nigerian scammers, all-around criminals, crooked business people, crooked non-business-people, South American thief rings all got their cut.  Some 2,000 people have been charged with fraud in a bid to claw some of the money back, but millions more potential cases were "lost" in early 2021.  Meanwhile, the hundreds of thousands of small businesses whom the money was slated for, often did not.  During the COVID era, news was rift of small businesses being denied COVID relief unless they were very large, or else politically connected.

Biden's World Bank Head Promises To Spend 'As Much As We Possibly Can' On Climate Change.  Ajay Banga, the Biden-appointed president of the World Bank, promised to "push" the financial institution to its limits to combat climate change in an interview with Reuters late Tuesday.  While Banga said he would not take any actions that would threaten the global financier's "AAA" credit rating, he said that he would leverage the bank's balance sheet "as hard as you can" to address climate issues, Reuters reported.  Members of the Biden administration, notably including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and President Joe Biden himself, and climate activists have — at times over the objections of developing nations — called for Banga to shift the bank's focus from combating poverty to additionally combating climate change.

FEMA to Give $363.8 Million to Non-Federal Entities to Provide Shelter for Illegal Aliens.  Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the guise of humanitarian concern, has enacted the "Shelter and Services Program," funneling $363.8 million of taxpayers' money in the fiscal year 2023 to non-federal entities, claiming to support the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the "safe, orderly, and humane release" of illegal immigrants.

Biden State Dept Demands $76 Million to Push Diversity and Inclusion, Citing 'National Security'.  The Biden State Department is requesting an additional $76 million budget allocation from Congress to fund its initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, describing the matter as a priority for national security.  In her role as chief officer for diversity and inclusion at the State Department, Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley testified before Congress on Tuesday morning, arguing the funds would allow her to hire new employees, monitor the racial and gender composition within the department and maintain records of employee reports concerning discrimination, harassment, and bullying.

The Editor says...
That sounds like a lot of money to "monitor the racial and gender composition within the department."  Is the ethnic balance something that changes from one hour to the next?  Does it really affect national security if the racial and gender composition gets out of balance — i.e., too white?

The Air Force Is Using Taxpayer Money To Fly Service Members To Branch 'Pride' Events.  The U.S. Air Force has authorized Air and Space Force commanders to use taxpayer money to cover the travel costs for service members seeking to attend the branch's upcoming "pride" events.  On June 1, Marianne Malizia, the director of the Air Force's Office of Diversity and Inclusion, issued a memo notifying branch commanders of several upcoming LGBT-related events in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Department of the Air Force (DAF).  According to the memo, Air and Space Force commanders will be permitted to utilize "unit funds" to pay for service members under their command to "travel to, and participate in, this year's DAF Pride events if approved by their individual supervisory authority."

Biden's State Department Launches Multimillion Dollar Push To Fight Climate Change, Teach Gender Studies in Iraq.  The Biden administration is prepared to shell out up to $12 million to teach Iraqis how to fight climate change and appreciate "gender diversity," an effort it says will help strengthen democracy in the Middle Eastern nation.  President Joe Biden's State Department on May 15 posted a grant solicitation offering three universities in Iraq up to $4 million each to develop programs to help fight climate change and advance gender equity.  Recipients must develop "fields of study, course offerings, and/or majors" centered on "gender issues" and "the adaptation to and mitigation of the impacts of climate change," the grant offering shows.  Additionally, the State Department wants Iraqi universities to develop recruitment programs for students who will work toward advancing "greenhouse gas reduction" and "other areas of study related to climate change."  Programs approved for funding must also have "progressive curricula" and "strengthen the diversity of the student body of American-style Iraqi institutions of higher education."

US farmer tears into Biden administration over China, Russia payment claims: 'A real slap in the face'.  An American farmer is speaking out after the Biden administration reportedly sent billions to U.S. adversaries.  During an appearance on "Fox & Friends First," National Black Farmers Association President John Boyd Jr. ripped the Biden administration for dispensing money to China and Russia, arguing that the president has done nothing but deliver "empty promises" to the farming community.  "It's a real slap in the face.  Here you have American farmers losing their farms and right here in the United States with this.  Last year alone, we lost over 10,000 farms in the United States and this administration had done nothing but give us broken promises here," Boyd Jr. argued, Friday.

US Sent Billions in Funding to China, Russia for Cat Experiments, Wuhan Lab Research: Ernst.  Hundreds of millions of U.S. tax dollars went to recipients in China and Russia in recent years without being properly tracked by the federal government, including a grant that enabled a state-run Russian lab to test cats on treadmills, according to Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).  Ernst and her staff investigators, working with auditors at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Congressional Research Service, as well as two nonprofit Washington watchdogs — Open The Books (OTB) and the White Coat Waste Project (WCWP) — discovered dozens of other grants that weren't counted on the federal government's USASpending.gov internet database.  While the total value of the uncounted grants found by the Ernst team is $1.3 billion, that amount is just the tip of the iceberg, the GAO reported.

California Senate Approves $300 Weekly Checks for Unemployed Illegals.  The California Senate on Tuesday voted to pay $300 weekly checks to unemployed illegal immigrants even as the state faces a roughly $31.5 billion deficit and mass illegal immigration.  Democratic state senators passed Senate Bill 227 by Sen. María Elena Durazo (D.) with a 30-7 vote, sending the measure to the Assembly for approval.  The legislation would offer undocumented aliens up to 20 weeks of unemployment benefits if they meet minimal work requirements.  California's unemployment insurance fund, which was defrauded of some $31 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic, would be in charge of dispensing the checks.  California employers are on the hook for the fund's $20 billion debt in the form of higher payroll taxes that threaten employee-heavy small businesses and restaurants already devastated by California Democrats' strict COVID-19 lockdowns.

Trans-Identifying Man To Be Placed In Women's Prison, Receive Nearly $500K After Settlement.  A man who identifies as a woman will move to a women's prison and receive a nearly half-million dollar payout after a settlement with the Minnesota Department of Corrections (MDOC).  Christina Lusk, 57, was convicted of a First Degree Felony drug charge in 2019 and incarcerated in MCF Moose Lake, a medium-security men's prison.  Lusk sued MDOC in 2022, arguing that MDOC's placement of Lusk in a men's prison based "solely on genitalia" is unconstitutional and unenforceable.  The settlement includes Lusk's transport to Minnesota's women-only Shakopee prison and access to "gender affirming healthcare," NPR reported.  On top of the new placement, Lusk will receive a $495,000 payout, which includes $250,000 in legal fees.

The Editor says...
If the elected officials of Minnesota had any backbone at all, they could easily prove the man is a male (and insane), on the basis of his chromosomes, his pelvis, his numerous public records, and his history.  The state of Minnesota missed its chance to make this guy prove he's a woman.

Black Chicago Residents Freak Out Of The City Approving 51 Million For Illegals.  The Chicago City Council voted Wednesday to spend $51 million in funding from a 2021 budget surplus to pay for efforts to care for migrants from Central and South America who have been sent here from Texas, following a heated debate that was repeatedly interrupted by angry protesters.  The vote came one week after three alderpersons opposed to the measure temporarily blocked a final vote during Mayor Brandon Johnson's first City Council meeting.  [Video clip]

Biden Spent $1 Billion To Get Schools Electric Buses.  This Michigan District Says Theirs Hardly Work.  Michigan's fourth-largest school district is having "significant" performance issues with its expensive electric buses, issues that come after the Biden administration spent $1 billion to "transform America's school bus fleet" with electric models.  During an April 19 presentation to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education, the district's environmental sustainability director, Emile Lauzzana, highlighted a number of issues with the district's electric bus fleet.  Those buses, Lauzzana said, have "a lot of downtime and performance issues" and aren't "fully on the road," despite the fact that they are "approximately five times more expensive than regular buses."  The infrastructure upgrades required to use the buses, meanwhile, were "originally estimated to be only about $50,000" but "ended up being more like $200,000," according to Lauzzana.  "I have a number of colleagues in different states who are facing similar challenges," the district official lamented.

Misplaced Biden Priorities in the Dept of Defense.  Consider these actions, all of which have made America much weaker:  [#1] The botched Afghanistan withdrawal that left tens of billions of dollars of US military equipment behind.  The Taliban are happily transferring some of that gear to terrorists in the region and are considering selling some to the Russians.  There has been rampant speculation that the communist Chinese have gained access to some of the equipment for the purposes of studying capabilities and reverse-engineering them for incorporation into the inventory of People's Republican Army at some point in the future.  Lastly, no one in the Biden administration has been held fired, demoted, or otherwise held accountable for the debacle.

On global warming, so many problems with the data.  Here are some of the destructive policies of the radical greenies that are based on predictions, not scientific data:  The destruction of energy-producing companies that produce reasonably priced energy. (They clearly don't care about the harm to the poor and middle class by high inflation).  The promotion of the highly flammable pollutant lithium while seeking to control CO2, a non-pollutant, clear gas, that makes plants grow and allows the world to be fed.  Spending trillions on carbon capture.  Selling worthless carbon credits so people like John Kerry can pretend they care as they fly in their private jets.  Outlawing gas stoves, furnaces, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and gas grills.  The destruction of fishing and killing of whales by wind farms.  Environmentalists claim to worry about landfills and pollution so where are they going to put all the gas- powered equipment which will be worthless when the wind turbines wear out?  Why should anyone trust the same people who did the following when they said they could control temperatures, sea levels, and storm activity, if we just hand over trillions, and give up our freedom and quality of life?

Counter-Disinformation: The New Snake Oil.  The San Diego Convention Center was packed with the defense industry elite.  Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton, and a myriad of other arms industry salesmen, hungry to peddle their wares.  WEST Conference 2023 is billed as the "premier naval conference and exposition on the West Coast."  A collective of military leaders and titans of the defense industry, intermingled in incestuous harmony. [...] The conference embodied the idea of the military industrial complex's self-licking ice cream cone structure.  There was no discernible line between merchandiser and consumer, just a single organism supporting itself.

Biden's $11b 'rural electrification' plan is 'a money laundering scheme for the green agenda'.  Morano on Biden spending $11 billion for solar & wind in rural America:  "This is literally a money laundering scheme for the green agenda.  That's all this is.  $11 billion to do more solar and wind which isn't going to produce energy.  At best, it's going to make a few makeshift government jobs that expire when the money for the solar and wind mandates runs out.  We've already been through this with Obama administration when Solyndra was booming business until it wasn't when the money ran out.  And so they're going to make their grids less reliable, more prone to blackouts.  This is truly nuts."

$38M in Pandemic Relief Aid [was] Sent to Dead People.  Data scientists from the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee identified nearly $38 million in potentially improper or fraudulent pandemic loans were obtained using Social Security Numbers of dead people.  The loans were made through both the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and Paycheck Protection Program.  Pandemic Response Accountability Committee Chairman Michael Horowitz testified in February before the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability that PRAC used a verification process to determine that 69,000 questionable Social Security Numbers were used to obtain $5.4 billion in pandemic loans and that another 175,000 questionable social security numbers were used in applications that were not paid.

CA Gov. Newsom Manages to Turn a Massive Budget Surplus Into a $32 Billion Deficit — in Just One Year.  [F]ew other states are running at a deficit, and at $306 billion California has the largest budget of them all.  Some critics argue that the fault lies with the state's progressive tax code which relies on wealthy taxpayers whose income fluctuates with the performance of the stock market.  You could also argue that, like our president, Newsom loves to spend but doesn't seem to be so good at math.  He proposed a variety of financial moves that he says will solve the problem: [...] Of course, the deficit has grown another $10 billion since he announced those plans, so their effectiveness is questionable.

New York City Is Shelling Out $8 Million Per Day To House Migrants.  New York City is shelling out roughly $8 million a day to provide shelter for 37,500 migrants, officials said during a city council meeting Monday [5/8/2023].  On average, the city is projected to spend an average of $256 to house each individual migrant per day in Department of Homeless Services shelters, Park said.  Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began busing migrants to New York City in August and is expected to increase the transports following the end of Title 42, the Trump-era expulsion order.

The modern corrupt legislative way of doing business: Know nothing, fund everything!  This week the Democrat-controlled legislature of the state of California passed a bill allocating $150 million dollars from which cash-strapped hospitals could obtain loans to help pay their bills. [...] Loans will have to be repaid in six years, though it will be possible for the loan to be forgiven if the hospital meets certain requirements.  In another news report describing the process in which this bill was approved and passed included one particular quote that illustrated magnificently the modern manner in which almost all American legislatures now function, from small city councils to Congress in Washington, regardless of party.  As stated by one state senator during preliminary hearings before the bill passed:  "We don't know how many hospitals, we don't know which hospitals.  We don't know which areas those hospitals are (in), we don't know anything. [...]"

Deputy Energy Secretary has either lost his mind or he thinks we've lost ours.  In recent years I have witnessed actions and statements that are so mindbogglingly divorced from reality that they defy any sort of analysis.  This week, during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Biden Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk, made a series of statements that strike me as the most illogical and unreasonable ever uttered.  Note that his conversation with Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) is not about magic, metaphysics, or religion, but about his considerations of physical and economic reality.  If readers of this Substack think that the Pandemic Countermeasures business is a racket, get a load of the Climate Countermeasures racket that Mr. Turk is proposing.

Senator Kennedy stumps Biden official on $50 trillion cost to fight climate change.  Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., left one Biden administration official without words Wednesday when he pressed him to answer one simple question:  How much would spending $50 trillion in American taxpayer money to become carbon-neutral lower global temperatures?  "If we spend $50 trillion to become carbon-neutral by 2050 in the United States of America, how much is that going to reduce world temperatures?" Kennedy asked Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.  Turk appeared unable to provide a specific number, and instead began arguing that the U.S. needed to do everything it could to reduce carbon emissions before being interrupted by Kennedy pressing for an answer to the question.

What if one day the federal workforce just disappeared?  Turns out, it has.  As of Wednesday [5/3/2023], it's been 1,143 days since workers across the country were sent home in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  It's been 692 days since the Biden administration issued a plan for "an effective, orderly, and safe increased return of Federal employees and contractors to the physical workplace," and 227 days since President Joe Biden declared that "the pandemic is over."  But enter any federal agency's office building in downtown Washington, and you're likely to find a skeleton workforce, reminiscent of the early months of the pandemic.

Federal Watchdog: ATF Illegally Overpaid Millions to Agents.  The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) alleged Tuesday the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) illegally overpaid millions to agents in non-law enforcement roles.  OSC's observations are based on the study of the time-frame 2016-2021.  [Tweet]  CNBC noted that the OSC found that more than 100 ATF agents working non-law enforcement roles "were improperly provided Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP) and enhanced retirement benefits."

Biden to Spend $500K Teaching 'Professional Skills' to Trans Kids in Pakistan.  Decades hence, when historians are seeking the exact moment when relations between the West and the Muslim world turned the corner to become a model of trust and mutual respect, they will land on the day the Biden administration reached out to help "Transgender Youth" in Pakistan.  No, really.  There are trans kids in Pakistan, and they need "professional development."  And now our far-sighted administration is offering a $500,000 grant to teach Pakistani kids English.  One of the conditions of the grant is that the recipient provides "intensive professional development courses for Pakistani transgender youth."

Congress' unconstitutional pay scam gets members $34K raises.  Thanks to a backroom deal, House members can now claim automatic reimbursement of $258 a night for lodging expenses and $79 a day for meals in DC — even if they don't spend a dime.  But though House members can pocket up to $34,000 a year in additional tax dollars, it's not a pay raise because politicians are entitled to use false labels for everything they do.  There is a pity party in Washington: You weren't invited, but you'll pay the bill.

Report: Annual Costs of Illegal Immigration Soars to $150.7 Billion a Year.  A new report by FAIR, The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration, finds that as of 2022, American taxpayers shell out at least $150.7 billion each year to cover the cost of illegal immigration.  Broken down, the data reveals that taxpayers pay $182 billion annually to provide services and benefits to illegal aliens and their dependents.  These costs are offset by about $31 billion in taxes that are collected from the estimated 15.5 million illegal aliens living in the United States, bringing the net cost to $150.7 billion annually.

An update on 'Long COVID'.  On April 21, Tim Meads of the Daily Wire reported that nothing has come of the $1 billion in funding provided to the NIH for "Long COVID" research.  He is right.  A brief internet search for "Long COVID" reveals a common sentiment along the lines of "scientists don't know what causes Long COVID."  Even the latest NIH publication from March of 2022 (over a year ago) says, "Scientists don't know for sure what causes Long COVID."  This is amazing, since it took only a fraction of that time to come up with a miracle "cure" for COVID and distribute it all over the world.  It wasn't a cure (not even close), but that's what it was supposed to be.  Last year, I discovered an article published by the NIH (that I can no longer find) that ascribed the major cause of "Long COVID" to an anxiety disorder — in other words, hypochondria.  It appears that that article has been scrubbed.  Replacing it now are numerous articles doing just the opposite and now ascribing anxiety disorders to Long COVID.

U.S. Government Cost Taxpayers $247B in Payment Errors in 2022.  MoneyWise reported on the information from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  Our federal government "reported a whopping $247 billion in payment errors during the 2022 fiscal year," according to MoneyWise.  The Heritage Foundation's spending and budget expert, Richard Stern, told CNBC, "The government has just lost, as if you dropped it on the sidewalk, trillions and trillions of dollars over the last few decades.  That is money that was stolen from hardworking Americans to just simply get wasted." Fortunately, I guess, if you're a government bureaucrat who doesn't have a conscience to begin with, losing massive amounts of taxpayer money doesn't bother you.

Biden Vows to Give $1 Billion to U.N. Climate Fund that Sends Money to China.  On Thursday, Joe Biden vowed to give at least $1 billion of American taxpayers' money to a climate fund at the United Nations, even though the fund has sent millions of dollars to China in the past.  As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, Biden declared his support for the U.N.'s "Green Climate Fund" (GCF), claiming that the money his administration sends to the fund will support "developing countries in taking stronger climate action." However, the U.N. still officially categorizes China as a "developing country," thus making the Communist nation eligible to be one of the recipients of funding from the GCF.  In 2019, the GCF pledged at least $100 million to a "Green Development Fund" in Shandong, which is the second most heavily-populated province of China.  In September of 2022, the GCF gave $28 million to China, with tens of millions still being reserved for China specifically.  The GCF is scheduled to last until April of 2042.

White House: 'Bizarre' That House Republicans Want Billions of Unspent COVID Funds Returned to Treasury.  White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday it was "bizarre" that House Republicans want to rescind unobligated coronavirus aid funds to the Treasury Department.  Fifty to sixty billion dollars in coronavirus taxpayer funds are unspent, according to FreedomWorks.  President Joe Biden suspended the coronavirus national emergency in April.  "Would he [Biden] be interested in reviewing whether there is some of that [COVID] money that could be returned to Treasury?" a reporter questioned Jean-Pierre during the White House press briefing.

America's Broken Health Care: Diagnosis and Prescription.  In litigation involving Pfizer — although Pfizer is no different than other drug companies in this respect — internal Pfizer documents stated in stark language that "Pfizer-sponsored studies belong to Pfizer, not to any individual," and that the "Purpose of data [from those studies] is to support, directly or indirectly, marketing of our product."  Not to ensure that the drugs will make people healthier or improve quality of life — or to ensure that they will do no harm — but to support the company's marketing.  These internal documents go on to specify some of the ways the data is used for marketing.  One is "through publications for field force use."  Translated into plain English, this means the drug companies purchase reprints of medical journal articles and have their drug representatives hand them out to doctors so the doctors will prescribe their drugs.  And that would be a perfectly fine thing to do — if the journal articles underwent independent peer review.  With independent analysis of the accuracy and completeness of the research and data provided in the medical journals, we could trust them.  But as things currently stand, we can't.

Biden [Gives] $1 Billion to U.N.'s Flagship Green Climate Fund.  The U.N.'s flagship Green Climate Fund (GCF) will be $1 billion richer [beginning] Thursday [4/20/2023] after President Joe Biden gifts it a cash donation courtesy of U.S. taxpayers.  Biden will announce the billion dollar largesse, effectively doubling the overall U.S. contribution, to the organization which finances "low-carbon and climate-resilient projects in developing countries" while leading a push away from fossil fuels.  The announcement will be made during a virtual meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF).

DEA chief faces probe into 'swampy' hires, no-bid contracts.  A federal watchdog is investigating whether the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration under chief Anne Milgram improperly awarded millions of dollars in no-bid contracts to hire her past associates, people familiar with the probe told The Associated Press.  Among the spending under scrutiny by the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General is $4.7 million for "strategic planning and communication" and other contracts that were used to hire people Milgram knew from her days as New Jersey's attorney general and as a New York University law professor — at costs far exceeding pay for government officials.

Afghanistan whitewash [is] even worse than you think.  Throughout the withdrawal and ever since the Biden Administration had claimed that they were confident that the Afghani military could hold back the Taliban due to the large size and American training of the Afghan military.  They claimed 300,000 men at arms were ready to fight to hold back the barbarians at the gate.  Well, not quite.  [Tweet]  The real number was much, much lower.  As many as 80% of Afghan troops existed only on the books.  The rest were "ghosts" who existed only on paper in order to siphon off the military aid dollars that the United States was pouring into the country, and the Americans had been told that this was the case.  Everybody knew the military was a shell, not a fighting force.  The Air Force depended upon Americans, the Army was filled with ghosts, and the police were corrupt and uncountable.  It was a graft machine, not a military.

Biden's Migrants to Enjoy Multi-Billion-Dollar Welfare Payday.  More than a million migrants, whom President Joe Biden's administration has released into the United States through a parole pipeline, could enjoy a multi-billion-dollar welfare payday a few years from now, new analysis suggests.  As Breitbart News reported, since early 2021, Biden's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released more than a million migrants into the U.S. interior by awarding them parole — a program initially intended for rare, case-by-case circumstances.  Analysis conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies' George Fishman, a former DHS official from the Trump administration, finds that should many of these migrants awarded parole remain in the U.S. for at least five years, they will become eligible for American taxpayer-funded welfare benefits.

The Military-Industrial Stock Buyback Complex.  [Scroll down]  Today, we face something similar.  Not a world war, fortunately, but a collapsing defense industrial base that limits the American ability to supply its military.  And increasingly, American leaders are angry, not at Alcoa this time, but at the defense contractors who hold market power over what the military buys.  From Javelins to ordinary ammunition to ship repair to ball bearings, the U.S. military just can't get what it needs. [...] The modern story is relatively simple.  In the 1990s post-Cold War era, the White House sought to cut defense spending.  Bill Clinton's administration arranged a deal with defense contractors; they would tolerate lower revenue or stagnant revenue, if they got higher margins.  And so at a dinner known as 'The Last Supper' held in the Pentagon, the Clinton Defense Department encouraged a merger wave.  Throughout the 1990s, the DOD even paid the merger costs of its defense base firms; the number of major prime contractors (or 'primes') dropped from dozens to 5.  In addition, Congress, under 'Reinventing Government,' passed laws to eliminate contracting rules that blocked price gouging of the treasury.  All of this monopolization was done in a unipolar moment, when just-in-time manufacturing where suppliers kept no inventory on hand was applied to everything, even military stockpiles.  This was, in retrospect, insane.

Governor uses federal COVID funds to launch transgender website.  New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) used federal COVID relief funds to launch a website for non-binary and transgender Garden State residents, WKXW reported.  Separate searches within the Transgender Information Hub website for "COVID," "vaccine," and "American Rescue Plan" conducted by TheBlaze April 15 netted zero results.  "Across the country, the transgender and non-binary community often face barriers to accessing needed services.  In New Jersey, we must ensure that we are leading the nation by making a concerted effort to streamline and simplify access to important services, programs, and protection," Gov. Murphy said in a statement celebrating the site's launch.  The TIH's launch on March 31 was meant to coincide with the Transgender Day of Visibility.  The TIH remains in beta as a "work in progress" as of April 15.

Biden Is Even Worse than Obama.  Obama's signature "achievement," the Affordable Care Act, turned out to be a major failure, even on its own terms.  This law dragooned those actually paying for their health insurance into subsidizing poor, urban, and young people.  It ended up making healthcare more expensive, with the only beneficiaries being reliable Democratic Party constituencies.  Now more than 10 years into Obamacare, health costs have doubled, with middle-class people outside of the subsidy zone paying obscenely high premiums coupled with obscenely high out-of-pocket limits if they should get sick.  This illustrated a broader pattern.  Obamacare, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (signed by George W. Bush), and Obama's stimulus plan added to the national debt, but with very little to show for it.  In the past, big spending led to impressive achievements like the Hoover Dam or the Apollo program.  Obama left us with moronic monuments to his small-souled vision like the "cash for clunkers" boondoggle.

What Happens To A Country That Loses Its Mind?  To see biological males win "woman of the year" awards and others compete against women in sports, and at least one paid to promote sports bras, it's obvious the American mind has slipped a few gears.  But our current troubles are about more than celebrating what is clearly a mental illness that needs to be treated.  We have lost our way almost entirely across the board.  The locus of our insanity, one could argue, is Washington, D.C.  The federal government developed a habit long ago of spending beyond its means.  But the foolishness has reached new levels.  The federal debt is heading to $31.7 trillion like a freight train at full throttle with no brakes.  Spending is outpacing revenue by more than $1.5 trillion.  Social Security is headed for collapse sooner than its appointed guardians had expected, but the collective vision among our "leaders" on the Potomac doesn't go beyond the next election.  So nothing is done.  Despite the obvious problems, the Democrats want to tax higher and spend more.

Where's Waldo At Club Fed?  Government bureaucrats are slowly returning to the office after three years of working remotely.  Washington, D.C. has the highest work-from-home rate in the country, and the mayor is angry because the city is a ghost town.  Despite empty government cubicles, President Joe Biden tucked a 5.2% pay raise for the 1.4 million employees of executive agencies into his proposed budget.  That would be the single largest pay hike for the Swamp since 1980. [...] Last year, the average salaries for employees at 109 of Washington's 125 agencies were over $100,000 per year.  And the lucrative perks included 44 days of paid time off "earned" after just three years on the job — nearly nine full weeks paid to sip margaritas on the beach.  It's long past time to review the "cost effectiveness gap" at the Swamp's manifold agencies and ask why federal employees are paid so much to deliver so little in the way of results.

No worries guys, addressing climate change will only cost us $131 Trillion.  The UN came out with another super cool climate change report and the WSJ has a lovely little video about it:  [Video clip]  So how much will it cost to address climate change?  $131 trillion between now and 2050.  That's $131,000,000,000,000.  The entire world's GDP was $85 trillion last year!  A few years ago, the climate change estimate was $98 trillion.  Now it's $131 trillion.  What's it gonna be a few years from now?

The Editor says...
What does it mean to "address climate change?"  Is the U.N. going to stop the weather from changing?  Is the U.N. going to take control of the Sun?  Is the U.N. going to make it impossible for polar ice to melt?  Even if they can round it up, what will all that money buy?  [#2] Why does the U.N. exist?  [#3] Notice that the estimated cost to "address" climate change — which is a weasel word to excuse their failure when they fail to eliminate climate change or any of its effects — is increasing by trillions of dollars per year.  This gives the "problem" a false sense of urgency:  If it isn't addressed right now it will cost trillions more!  When you have to ask, "What's the rush?", the answer is probably deception.

NYC Wasted $253M Worth of Covid Supplies.  After states and cities engaged in frenzied buying and stockpiling of Covid-19 supplies in the early days of the pandemic, some are now realizing they have an overabundance of supplies.  New York City has already disposed of $14.1 million worth of extra supplies, with plans to dispose of $13.7 million more soon, according to the New York Post.  NYC was one of the earliest and most aggressive Covid preppers, with then-Mayor Bill DeBlasio championing a litany of initiatives early on to slow the spread.  Now, excess perishable supplies such as chemical Covid tests and hand sanitizer are being destroyed en masse by the city.  This isn't the first time New York has had problems dealing with excess Covid supplies.  Last summer, it was exposed that New York State had 700,000 gallons of hand sanitizer worth $4.3 million sitting unused in warehouses.

Incompetence rewarded, throughout the U.S. government.  Perhaps the greatest incompetence on the U.S. political scene is the military which spent $9 trillion in the Afghanistan war on terror over a period of 20 years and failed miserably to train the Afghan military to defend its territory.  To date, no military officers in charge of this colossal failure have been fired or demoted, while many private contractors and the military industrial complex laughed all the way to the bank, making exorbitant profits off of the Afghanistan campaign while it lasted.

Pentagon requests $26 billion budget increase despite 5 failed audits.  The Pentagon's annual budget is climbing closer to $1 trillion despite its five failed audits.  President Biden's $6.9 trillion budget request for fiscal year 2024 includes $842 billion for the Pentagon plus $44 billion for defense-related programs at other agencies and departments, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Energy.  The 2024 budget request "is $26 billion, or 3.2 percent more than what Congress enacted last year," Defense Department Comptroller Michael McCord told reporters on Monday.  "It's closer to nine percent more than what we requested last year, and it's basically $100 billion higher than what we had just two years ago."  McCord signaled that $1 trillion Pentagon budgets are on the horizon.

It Had to Be Su.  Joe Biden's pick to head the Department of Labor is current Deputy Secretary Julie Su, who is, according to a White House statement, "a tested and experienced leader."  As confirmation hearings await, senators might test her experience during an unemployment scandal in California.  Su headed California's Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) which oversees the Employment Development Department (EDD) responsible for unemployment claims.  On Su's watch, the EDD sent more than $31 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims to California, out of state, and even out of the country.  In 2020 alone, Su confirmed, fraudsters stole at least $11.4 billion in California unemployment benefits.  As it happens, fraud was not a new problem at EDD.  California's state auditor reported that "EDD had no comprehensive plan for how it would respond if California experienced a recession and [unemployment insurance] claims increased accordingly." Su had failed to modernize outdated EDD technology, and in the early days of the pandemic suspended eligibility requirements for EDD claims.  Convicted criminals took full advantage.

Biden Budget: The COVID Ratchet is Permanent.  [Scroll down]  So, the net effect of the COVID emergency was to ratchet up federal spending by about $2 trillion a year.  Forever.  If you take a look at federal spending in the 20th century, the same ratchet happened after the 1929 Crash and World War II.  As the philosopher said: "You never let a serious crisis go to waste."  I used to be angry at the perpetual hunger for more spending by our Democratic friends.  But now that I've read and digested Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt's The Concept of the Political, I understand.  If politics is the distinction between friend and enemy, then everything makes sense.  In politics you fight the enemy in World War COVID and World War Climate and World War J6-Deplorables to the death, and you shovel the loot and plunder at your DEI supporters.

Inspectors General Estimate $276 Billion of Fraud, Waste in Pandemic Relief Funds: 'Biggest Fraud in a Generation'.  At least $276 billion designated as "COVID-19 relief funding" was lost via "fraud" and "waste," according to cumulative estimates from the inspectors general of the Labor Department, Treasury Department, and Small Business Administration (SBA) shared on Thursday in testimony before a House Oversight and Accountability subcommittee in Washington, D.C.  Larry Turner, inspector general for the Labor Department, estimated that $76 billion slated for "unemployment insurance" was deployed via fraudulent claims.  He described the $76 billion fraud assessment as "on the low end" given that it did not include an analysis of money deployed via the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program established in 2020.

Biden calls for tax hikes to pay for more illegal alien 'processing'.  How this for a stinker of a deal for American taxpayers?  Joe Biden is proposing to hike taxes on Americans in his $6.8 trillion budget plan to pay for more free services to "help" foreigners who have crossed illegally into the U.S. [...] The 960 new personnel would solely consist of Border Patrol agents to catch illegal border crossers, not to send them back but to hand them over to additional Homeland Security personnel to "process" on an industrial conveyor-belt scale, sending them on to their destinations of choice throughout the U.S., work permits in hand, supposedly to await their asylum hearings, since all asylum claims are treated as equally serious and exceptional.

BLM Rioters Get $6M Because Cops Didn't Wear Face Masks.  While Black Lives Matter was swimming in hundreds of millions of dollars, funneled to it by radical nonprofits, major corporations and Hollywood celebrities, family businesses in New York City looted by those rioters were offered a maximum of $10,000 to rebuild their shattered lives.  One small business owner in the Bronx complained that it would hardly even begin to cover the $200,000 in damages to her store after rioters "smashed glass display cases and medical equipment".  But participants in an extremist group's Bronx protest are getting a much better deal.  New York City will be paying $21,500 to each of the "protesters" in the Bronx for a total of as much as $6 million.  And none of that money will be going to the looted businesses.  This has been described as the largest payout for mass arrests in American history.  The BLM riot era class action lawsuit claimed, among other things that the, "police officers responding to protests frequently failed to wear masks or to assist detained protesters in covering their noses and mouths, and on occasion even forcibly removed protesters' masks, exposing protesters to a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19."

The Editor says...
While the left-wing rioters were out there hurling bricks through windows, we're supposed to believe they were afraid of catching Covid-19?

Each Migrant Costs NYC $10,000 a Month.  Want to know why Mayor Eric Adams is panicking?  The numbers are ugly.  New York City has no shortage of social problems, but Biden's open borders crisis is really taking a bite out of the Big Apple. [...] American children suffer so Biden's open borders can boost Democrat numbers.  That's what this is about.

NYC spends nearly $370 daily on each asylum seeker household.  New York City on average spends about $363 a day on each asylum seeker household receiving services in city shelters and emergency relief centers and is on track to spend a total of $1.4 billion by the end of the fiscal year in June, Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol said during a recent City Council hearing.  The cost for the "asylum seeker crisis" could double to $2.8 billion in the next fiscal year, Iscol told the panel during a hearing last week.  He said the city cannot maintain that support.  "The city is at the end of its resources.  This is not sustainable," Iscol said. "It's why we have asked the state, it's why we've asked the federal government for support."

The Editor says...
Nothing other than politics is keeping New York, or any other city, from renouncing its "Sanctuary City" status.

America's $100 billion climate change flop.  For at least the last 20 years, politicians in Washington, at the behest of green energy groups, have spent some $100 billion of taxpayer money to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [...] We are the furthest thing from being climate change alarmists, but when you spend $100 billion of taxpayer money and achieve absolutely nothing, President Joe Biden and his green allies should be arrested for criminal fraud.  Where did all the money go?  Tens of billions of dollars have lined the pockets of left-wing environmental and social justice groups that have been emitting a lot of hot air but no results.  Green energy companies have milked taxpayers of tens of billions more, even as wind and solar only produce about 12% of our energy.  Is this the greatest ripoff of U.S. taxpayers in history?

This problem is not confined to the United States.
What happened to the German military's €100 billion fund?  Just over a year ago, Chancellor Olaf Scholz gave a speech to the German parliament that is likely to define his chancellorship — and he was barely two months into it.  The "Zeitenwende" speech (literally "turning of the times"), a response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, was built on the announcement that the German military would receive a special one-off fund of €100 billion to be upgraded.  On June 3, the center-right opposition in the Bundestag joined forces with the ruling parties to change the constitution and allow the additional debt — an unprecedented occurrence in the history of the Federal Republic.  Since then, Scholz's center-left coalition has been dogged by broadsides from the conservative opposition and critics who say Germany's troops have not benefited from this windfall.  "The Bundeswehr has tremendous deficits, and the Zeitenwende hasn't even started in it," Roderich Kiesewetter, foreign policy spokesman for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper on Monday.  "The military has lost a year and is barer than it was at the start of 2022."

Biden's DHS Funnels $350M to Illegal Aliens Released into U.S. Communities.  President Joe Biden's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is funneling hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to border crossers and illegal aliens directly released into American communities after arriving at the United States-Mexico border.  This week, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that the agency would be spending some $350 million on the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, specifically to fund support services for border crossers and illegal aliens arriving in various U.S. towns and cities.

Biden's DHS Just Revealed How It Plans To Use Your Tax Dollars To Interfere In U.S. Elections.  In its latest attempt to interfere in the electoral process, the Biden administration announced on Monday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to award millions of taxpayer dollars to local governments throughout the country for so-called "election security" purposes.  In an agency press release, the department revealed its plans to provide "more than $2 billion in funding for eight fiscal year 2023 preparedness grant programs," which it claims are designed to "help state, local, tribal, and territorial officials prepare for, prevent, protect against, and respond to" so-called "acts of terrorism."  Under Joe Biden's presidency, DHS has routinely identified targeting "domestic violent extremism" as its top priority.  Of course, such proclamations are never in reference to violence carried out by leftist groups such as Antifa or Black Lives Matter, but rather right-of-center people and organizations that threaten the regime's narratives and policy goals.

Have you heard about the proposed $1.7 million toilet in San Francisco?  We know that San Francisco has been the open defecation capital of the U.S.  for more than a decade.  This once-fine city has been ruined by the misgovernance of the Democrats.  In other words, all progress has been ruined by 'progressive' politics.  One of the solutions to this crisis which causes the surroundings to be unhygienic and unsafe for walking is to build public toilets that are freely accessible.  This is exactly what the powers that be in San Francisco set forth to do.

Official Estimate of Unemployment Misspending Rises to $191 billion — and That Is Still the "Low End".  Yesterday [2/8/2023], the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing provocatively titled "The Greatest Theft of Taxpayer Dollars: Unchecked Unemployment Fraud."  In his testimony at the hearing, the Inspector General of the US Department of Labor, Larry Turner, stated that the new "low end" estimate for unemployment benefit misspending is $191 billion: [...]

Kamala Harris, the $21 Trillion Woman.  That's the conservatively estimated cost of then-Senator Harris' "Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act."  With the Biden administration setting a May 11 end date for the COVID-19 public health emergency, we can finally close the books on the remarkable plan Harris introduced in May 2020. She proposed sending Americans "crisis payments" each month that emergency declaration was in effect, plus an extra three months after it expired.  The legislation never advanced, but if it had most Americans would have received $2,000 checks each month retroactive to March 2020 and continuing through this coming August.  Up to two parents and three children per household would have been eligible, for a maximum of $10,000 per month or an astonishing $120,000 per year.  That's nearly double the US median household income of $67,521 in 2020.  It even exceeds the risible guaranteed annual income of $97,000 recently proposed by the San Francisco Reparations Advisory Committee.  Think finding workers is hard now?  Across a span of 42 months, a typical family of four would have received a whopping $336,000 in federal checks — without working a minute.

Have you heard about the proposed $1.7 million toilet in San Francisco?  We know that San Francisco has been the open defecation capital of the U.S. for more than a decade.  This once-fine city has been ruined by the misgovernance of the Democrats.  In other words, all progress has been ruined by 'progressive' politics.  One of the solutions to this crisis which causes the surroundings to be unhygienic and unsafe for walking is to build public toilets that are freely accessible.  This is exactly what the powers that be in San Francisco set forth to do.

Probe Launched Into State Department Censorship of Conservatives.  House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer announced an investigation into the State Department after it was revealed by the Washington Examiner the federal bureaucracy spent hundreds-of-millions in taxpayer dollars on censorship of conservative news outlets.

What if Federal Workers Never Showed Up for Work and No One Missed Them?  This is one of the greatest federal government scandals of all time.  Many hundreds of thousands of federal employees have been getting a full-time paycheck from Uncle Sam (meaning from all of us) without showing up for work for three years now.  They don't call it Club Fed for nothing.  To be fair, just because an employee is working remotely doesn't mean they aren't working.  Only a little more than half of private sector workers are actually in the office these days — although, with each passing day, private workers are returning to work sites.  But in the public sector, the percentage of remote workers remains much higher than that.  The Federal Times news outlet reports that at the end of 2022, only about 1 in 3 federal bureaucrats were on the job in the office.  Wait.  The COVID scare ended two and a half years ago, and most private businesses have demanded their employees show up for work at least some of the time — or find a new employer.  What's so special and privileged about government workers?

What Kind of Military Does Our Country Need?  The United States spends more on defense than any other country in the world.  In fact, our 2021 total of $801 billion exceeded the $777 billion spent that year by the next seven countries — China, India, the U.K., Russia, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Korea — combined.  What do we get for our money?  If 2020's disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal is any indication, the answer is not much.  After twenty years of war with nearly 6,200 U.S. military and contractor deaths, our precipitous departure left behind some 9,000 American citizens; countless Afghan allies; and more than $7 billion in sophisticated weapons, munitions, and military equipment.

America Is Becoming a Corrupt Country.  Consider recent corrupt, criminal events and their implication for the future of American culture.  An estimated $20 billion was stolen from California's unemployment compensation program.  The money was largely taken by criminals already incarcerated in California prisons using prison computers.  Outside accomplices would pick up the money, according to the Sacramento district attorney I interviewed.  Stealing $20 billion takes a pretty good number of crooks.  If you assumed the average theft was $200,000, that would require 100,000 people willing to be thieves.  Of course, the number might be higher.  As Jason Smith, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said, the inspector general reported that a total of $191 billion in COVID-19 relief funding has been stolen.  The inspector general cited one case in which a person had used identity theft in 29 different states to steal $500,000.  At that rate, of course there would only have to be 40,000 dedicated crooks to steal $20 billion.

Veterans Affairs Made $307M in Duplicate Payments.  From Jan. 1, 2017 to March 31, 2021, the Veterans Heath Administration, under the control of the Department of Veterans Affairs, made more than 425,000 duplicate payments that cost taxpayers more than $307 million, according to a VA Department Inspector General report.  According to the report, the Veterans Health Administration oversees veterans' healthcare for the VA.  When it authorizes community care for a veteran who is eligible for both VHA and Medicare benefits, VHA is responsible for paying for that care even when Medicare also covers the same service, which has lead to the duplicate payments.

World's tallest Holiday Inn booked solid by Eric Adams for NYC migrants.  New York City is converting the world's tallest Holiday Inn hotel into the Big Apple's sixth mega-shelter for its surging migrant population, Mayor Eric Adams announced Tuesday.  The deal will supply 492 rooms for adult families and single women, Adams said in a statement.  "With more than 44,000 asylum seekers arriving in the last 10 months alone, we have helped provide shelter and support to nearly as many asylum seekers as the number of New Yorkers we already had in our shelter system when we first came into office," he said.  Terms of the contract weren't announced, but The Post reported last month that the owner of the 50-story hotel in Manhattan's Financial District had an agreement in place to charge NYC Health + Hospitals a nightly rate of $190 per room.

Your Taxes Paid Thousands Of Government Staff Covid Unemployment While They Worked From Home.  While millions of jobless Americans struggled to make ends meet during devastating government-mandated lockdowns, thousands of federal employees double-dipped from taxpayer-funded pandemic unemployment funds while mostly working from home.  Despite staying on taxpayers' payroll during the height of the pandemic panic, greedy bureaucrats in the Internal Revenue Service, Transportation Security Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, United States Postal Service, Amtrak, and the Secret Service defrauded taxpayers out of millions more dollars under the guise of Covid unemployment fund and wage assistance programs.

McCarthy blasts Biden, Schumer over omnibus: They're saying 'there's no waste in government spending'?  House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tore into his Democratic rivals and Republicans who helped pass the omnibus package, saying President Biden appears to believe there is not a cent of waste in current government spending.  On "Life, Liberty & Levin," host Mark Levin asked McCarthy whether the Democrats' playbook for fending off conservative Republicans' calls for budget cuts is to add hundreds of billions of dollars in new debt, then accuse the GOP of trying to shut down the government when they advocate for clawing back some of the new spending.  "That's exactly the trick," McCarthy said.  "But you've got to think about too, who are the senators who wrote it?  Two senators who are no longer here."

TSA Receives $400M in Pay Raises.  As part of the 4,000+ page, $1.7 trillion omnibus bill passed last month, the Transportation Security Administration will receive $400 million to boost its employees' salaries, according to Reason.  These pay raises are modest compared to a bill legislators tried to pass in June, which would have cost $1.6 billion and would have raised salaries across the board by about 30%.

This migrant mess is ruining NYC's Midtown.  Why is Mayor Eric Adams destroying Midtown?  The pulsing heart of the city, the theater, restaurant and tourism district, has not fully recovered from the COVID lockdown yet is already full of homeless hotels with their associated problems.  Now the mayor has announced he's going to turn yet another hotel into a shelter for illegal migrants in the middle of the Theater District.  The Paramount Hotel, a 600-room, Renaissance-style gem opposite the Richard Rodgers Theatre where "Hamilton" has been playing since 2015, is the fifth Midtown hotel converted to an "emergency" shelter in as many months.  Earlier this month, tourists were paying $330 a night to stay there and prices hit as high as $1,000 around New Year's Eve.

Reducing the Deficits of the Federal Government.  It has again become openly fashionable to rhetorically complain about excessive government spending.  One can wax eloquent about the fundamental insincerity of the complaint, but this misses a rather elemental and important point:  it is possible to reduce the ongoing deficits of the Federal government.  The simple mechanism for doing so is tax cuts.  I have written about this previously, illustrating that every tax cut ever enacted since John F. Kennedy has increased revenue to the Federal government.  Now it must be said and almost always is pointed out among critics that in the first year of collection, revenues go down.  But what is absolutely clear is that within less than five years, government revenues increase dramatically.  The growth of federal deficits over the past 60 years is directly attributable to excessive spending and not to a lack of revenue.

California's Green Debacle.  Climate change, which serves as the all-purpose villain for every adverse event today, is the driving force behind California's energy policies.  Whether in response to summer drought and wildfires, winter rains and mudslides, or alleged price-gouging by climate-denying oil companies, the state has adopted energy policies that will supposedly vanquish climate change, much as Hollywood's heroes vanquish evildoers.  The state's history of climate-related regulation extends back two decades.  In 2004, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order directing state agencies to build a hydrogen-fueling network on state highways by 2010.  It never happened.  Today, 53 such stations are in operation, concentrated around the Bay Area and Los Angeles, to serve the approximately 10,000 hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles in the state.  The average cost to build each station was about $2 million.  That works out to about $10,000 per vehicle, excluding the cost of the hydrogen itself.

Keywords:  Slush fund, black hole, quixotic, money pit.
Soros And Bezos Back Initiative To Raise $3 Trillion Annually To Fight Climate Change.  Left-wing billionaire George Soros and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos are helping a World Economic Forum (WEF) climate financing program that aims to raise $3 trillion annually to help slash emissions and restore "nature loss" by 2050.  The WEF and the Soros-backed Open Society Foundations and Bezos Earth Fund, along with more than 43 other nonprofits, businesses and academic institutions, will become part of the "Giving to Amplify Earth Action" (GAEA) initiative that will fund efforts intended to limit global warming, according to a Tuesday WEF announcement.  GAEA and its partners will finance charitable partnerships between public and private entities while identifying where the $3 trillion in funding is most needed.

Why Government Can't Be Compassionate.  Compassion is a wonderful quality, but not in every situation.  It is not good to be compassionate during war, or preparation for war.  Or in business dealings.  Or in education and training (to paraphrase T.S. Eliot, no student should ever be denied the right to fail).  Or in government in general.  For a government to be compassionate, it must obtain the necessary revenue to fund that compassion.  To do so in a meaningful way, government needs, at a minimum, for these purposes alone, somewhere between twenty and thirty percent of its citizens' income, the amount claimed in Europe and Canada for welfare-associated spending.  And this on top of what is needed for routine operations of government:  policing, courts, military, infrastructure, and public education.  In welfare states like France, with its marginal rate of 55.4%, affluent citizens are forced to hand over more than half of their earnings.  The more successful one is, the more one is taxed.  At one point, the French government discussed imposing a marginal rate of 100% or more, taxing not just all of one's earnings but seizing one's capital as well.

Biden's 50K Afghans Cost Taxpayers $189M in Damages to U.S. Military Bases.  The nearly 50,000 Afghans whom President Joe Biden's administration housed on five United States military bases for months through 2021 and early 2022 cost taxpayers almost $189 million in damages to the facilities, a federal report reveals.  Following the U.S. Armed Forces' withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, Biden opened a refugee pipeline that has resettled more than 86,000 Afghans in American communities — many without having been screened or interviewed in person beforehand.

'Members' of Congress pocketed more than $813K — even though they were never sworn in.  Members of Congress collected more than $800,000 in salary during the chamber's protracted speaker fight — during a period when they technically were not members.  The pols officially become members of Congress — leaving behind the title of Rep.-Elect — when they are sworn in by the Speaker of the House.  The event usually takes place on Jan. 3, the Constitutionally mandated start of each new Congress.  Even re-elected incumbents must be sworn back in every two years for their "member" status to be current.  But because Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) failed to clinch the votes to become Speaker until the early morning hours of Jan. 7 — a delay not seen since before the Civil War — members of Congress swiped four days of payment before they were actually sworn-in as members.

Do We Need a Department of Transportation?  [Scroll down] Government regulators have no real track record at improving anything, let alone system performance.  Regulators typically make things worse.  Let's take a look at the Department of Transportation (DoT).  It's stated mission is "To deliver the world's leading transportation system, serving the American people and economy through the safe, efficient, sustainable, and equitable movement of people and goods."  The DoT was established in 1966 and combines thirteen agencies that cover all aspects of transportation from air, road, and rail travel to the administration of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.  Its FY23 budget is $105 Billion, up from the FY21 budget of $87.6 Billion and it employs over 58,000 personnel.  What has the DoT done for us?  In addition to the failures listed above, there is plenty more where those came from.  First off, the Federal Aviation Administration, one of the DoT agencies, failed miserably in certifying the 737 Max jet, causing two major crashes and the loss of many lives.  While spending over $16.9 billion (FY23) on mass transit the U.S. has failed to modernize its system.  The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 removed much of the price controls and red tape in the railroad industry, resulting in a 159% increase in productivity and a real price decline of 44%.  Now, the Surface Transportation Board is starting to regulate reciprocal switching agreements.  The net effect will be to bog down the rail industry and increase prices.  With the ongoing failures of the Department of Transportation, is it fair to place the blame on one person?  No.  This is a system problem that needs to be dealt with in a different way.  What needs to be done is to start to dismantle the DoT, agency by agency.  Let's start with the FAA.

Carbon Capture Is a Woke Fantasy.  Let's say you're brainstorming with some friends, trying to figure out how to cash in on the woke green wave.  It would probably not occur to the less boldly imaginative among us to propose 1) capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from agricultural areas covering five Midwestern states, 2) dehydrating and compressing it into liquid form at various capture locations, 3) transporting it via brand new pipelines, and 4) sequestering it into its permanent rocky tomb a mile beneath the surface, safe from climate change, nuclear war, and all but the most severe cosmic catastrophes.  As a bonus, liquid CO2 that survives burial has commercial industrial applications, like dry ice for food preservation or creating cloudy or foggy effects for Hollywood productions.  It's also used in fire extinguishers and to carbonate soft drinks, and it is even an important cooling agent for cryogenic freezing, as was done, for example, to Ted Williams and his son John Henry.  If you're wondering where the money comes from for these enterprises, the Department of Energy has announced many tens of millions of dollars in funding for research and implementation of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) projects.

The Editor says...
What is the point of sequestering the CO2 below ground, if it is going to be turned into dry ice, which will release the CO2 back into the atmosphere?

'Tons' of food gets tossed daily by NYC hotel because migrants won't eat it.  Nearly a ton of taxpayer-provided food gets tossed in the trash every day at a massive Manhattan hotel being used to house migrants — because they'd rather secretly cook their own meals on dangerous hot plates, a whistleblowing worker has revealed.  Disturbing photos show garbage bags full of sandwiches and bagels awaiting disposal at the four-star Row NYC hotel near Times Square, where the city pays a daily rate as high as $500 per room, hotel employee Felipe Rodriguez told The [New York] Post.  "It's a crime to be throwing out so much food," he said.  Other images show a hotel room littered with empty beer cans and bottles following a wild World Cup viewing party in November, Rodriguez said.  That gathering — in a room whose occupant "gave the key to a cousin" while she "was in the Bronx, hanging out" — erupted into a fight over the match that left one man with a "big knot on his head," Rodriguez said.

The Editor says...
The solution is obvious:  Don't prepare, deliver, or supply any food until somebody asks for it, and asserts their intention to pay for it.  If they order food and then they don't pay up, throw them out.  In the snow.  At night.  The word will get around quickly.  Even if the city is paying the rent, at some point you have the right to protect your business and your property.

Biden Admin Spent Over $300 Million In Taxpayer Money to Fund Illegal Migrants' Dental and Health Care.  By now it's not shocking to learn that President Joe Biden favors illegal migrants more than Americans after two of doing nothing as the southern border wreaked havoc on the U.S.  In an annual report released by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Biden Administration spent hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure illegal immigrants were well taken care of.  The ICE Health Service Corps' budget was about $324 million, which was an $8 million increase from the year prior.  According to the report, the money was spent on providing "direct care — including medical and dental health services — to over 118,000 non-citizens housed at 19 IHSC-operated facilities throughout the United States, which exceeded 1.1 million visits over the course of the fiscal year."

Social Security Spent $250M on System It Doesn't Use.  When reviewing applications for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration consults an obsolete directory last updated in 1977, despite having spent $250 million on a newer, more relevant one.  The SSA relies on a 45-year-old job titles database, filled with jobs like "Document Preparer, Microfilming," "Telephone Quotation Clerk" and "Nut Sorter" to deny thousands of claims a year, The Washington Post reported.  When disabled Americans apply for SSA disability benefits, they can have their applications denied if the agency finds that they can still work in a job title listed in their directory.  But many of those jobs don't exist anymore or exist in far fewer numbers as work has become more automated, The Post reported.  Jobs like sorting nuts, inspecting dowels, and processing eggs are done by machines, yet those jobs are still listed in the old directory and used to reject claims.  And that's after the SSA spent $250 million since 2012 to build a new directory of 21st century jobs, with the cost expected to reach $300 million.

Has the American Experiment Failed?  The most important issue to Americans in general is the economy.  But Congress added $750,000 to the national debt to fund Gender Non-Conforming Housing in New York, $1 million for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Ohio, and $3.6 million for a Michelle Obama Trail in Georgia.  As part of his annual Festivus airing of grievances, Senator Rand Paul reported $482,276,543,907 of government waste including:
  •   Maintaining 77,000 empty Federal buildings ($1,700,000,000)
  •   Helping illegal immigrants avoid deportation ($168,000,000)
  •   Overpaying government contractors for a terminated contract ($69,000,000)
  •   Using COVID relief funds to construct an 11,000 square foot spa ($140,000,000)
  •   Watching hamsters fight on steroids ($3,000,000)
  •   Studying the romance between parrots ($689,222)
  •   A radio campaign telling drivers to stop at railroad crossings ($200,000)

NY State Lawmakers Nation's Best Paid After [Giving] Themselves 30% Pay Raise.  New York lawmakers are now officially the highest paid state legislators in the land after they awarded themselves a massive pay raise.  Members of both houses, 63 senators and 150 Assembly members, are getting a pay boost of $32,000 for a new base salary of $142,000, under a bill Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a day before her inauguration Sunday [1/1/2023].

TSA spends $18.6 million on security screening for gender-neutral passengers.  The Transportation Security Administration is spending $18.6 million to deploy "non-binary screening systems" for gender-neutral passengers traveling through U.S. airports.  The federal spending watchdog group OpenTheBooks.com reported on the new security screening that will be rolled out starting this month.  TSA is spending tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer funds to "advance civil rights" of these passengers, indicating it will improve the customer experience of nonbinary passengers by implementing the new technology.  The funding for the non-gender imaging technology will be appropriated from funds inside the omnibus spending legislation that President Joe Biden just signed.

Omnibus Bill [was] Flown 1,500 Miles to St. Croix so Biden Could Sign it.  The Omnibus spending bill flew over a thousand miles to St. Croix just so Biden can sign it.  As if the optics of Biden being in St. Croix as Americans are freezing to death weren't bad enough.  You have to wonder if the bill was flown first class.  [Tweet]

Biometric devices sold on eBay reportedly contained sensitive US military data.  German researchers who purchased biometric capture devices on eBay found sensitive US military data stored on their memory cards, The New York Times has reported.  That included fingerprints, iris scans, photographs, names and descriptions of the individuals, mostly from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Many worked with the US army and could be targeted if the devices fell into the wrong hands, according to the report.  A group of researchers called the Chaos Computer Club, led by Matthias Marx, bought six of the devices on eBay, most for under $200. They were spurred by a 2021 report from The Intercept that the Taliban had seized similar US military biometric devices.  As such, they wanted to see if they contained identifying data on people who assisted the US Military that could put them at risk.  They were "shocked" by the results, according to the report.

U.S. Military Equipment From Afghanistan [is] for Sale on eBay.  Our national security is in the best of hands.  Not Biden.  Maybe whoever in Afghanistan has an eBay account.  ["]German researchers who purchased biometric capture devices on eBay found sensitive US military data stored on their memory cards, The New York Times has reported.  That included fingerprints, iris scans, photographs, names and descriptions of the individuals, mostly from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Many worked with the US army and could be targeted if the devices fell into the wrong hands, according to the report.["]  They cost under $200.  Where did it come from before eBay?  That's a good question.  And officially there's no answer.  But one seems to have come most recently from Afghanistan.

Senator Rand Paul reveals how $482 billion of your money was wasted in 2022.  We begin [with] a reminder of how deep a ditch D.C. is digging for the nation:
  •   $475,000,000,000 was spent on interest payments on the national debt which is roughly $31.5 trillion.
The government spent money to assist individuals to commit crimes:
  •   $168,000,000 was dedicated to assisting illegal immigrants to avoid deportation.  This involves free legal assistance and general advice on how to skirt or break U.S. law.
The following was spent on rodents, puppies, parrots, and ants:
  •   $2.3 million for studying beagle puppies when injected with cocaine.
  •   $689,000 for studying romancing parrots.
  •   $3 million for watching hamsters fight on steroids.
  •   $519,000 used mice to study racial aggression.
  •   $675,000 for studying the social life and collective intelligence of ants.
The following was spent on foreign nations:
  •   $66 billion was for defending and supporting Ukraine while $45 billion more is on the way.
  •   $2.1 million was dedicated to encourage Ethiopians to wear shoes.
  •   $50,000,000 was dedicated to boosting the travel sector in Tunisia.
  •   $210,069,000 was dedicated to "basic education" projects in Jordan.
The following was how COVID-19 relief money was misused:
  •   $1.6 of COVID relief funds was used to upgrade turf fields.
  •   $13.5 of COVID relief funds was used to purchase luxury cars
  •   $140,000,000 of COVID relief funds was used to construct an 11,000-square-foot spa in Florida.
  •   $4,500,000,000 of COVID relief funds was wasted on ineligible citizens and fraudsters.
The following was merely wasted:
  •   $77 million was wasted on un-tracked fuel purchases.
  •   $69,000,000 was wasted in overpaying government contractors for a terminated contract.
  •   $17 million was wasted on unused hotel rooms for illegal immigrants.
  •   $1,700,000,000 was wasted on the maintenance of 77,000 empty federal buildings
  •   $175,000,000 was dedicated to expanding the seldom-used Washington, D.C. Streetcar.

Your Government Hates You.  [Scroll down] Lastly, we'd be remiss if we did not mention the federal government's bipartisan $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill that's making its way through Congress at the time of this writing.  This 4,155-page whopper is a Christmas tree bill in the truest sense.  Special gifts to various interest groups are hung on every branch.  But what's actually in it?  The headline accounts are vague.  There's the amorphous $858 billion for defense.  There's also the nebulous $772.5 billion for domestic priorities.  [Details omitted here for brevity, but they are listed in the article below.]  This, my friends, is your tax dollars at work.  This is also an ear-piercing siren signaling the end is nigh.  The fact of the matter is that if you work hard, pay your own way, believe in free speech and traditional values, and fear God, your government — the dirty cadre of elites and insiders — hates you.  There's no other way to explain it.

Omnibus Deal a "Complete Betrayal of the American People".  This proposal is not only a betrayal of American voters' wishes as expressed at the ballot box, however.  It also contains billions in wasteful spending on ridiculous political pet projects, including the following:
  •   $1.2 million for "LGBTQIA+ Pride Centers" and another $1.2 million for "support services for DACA recipients" (aka helping illegal aliens with taxpayer funds) at San Diego Community College.
  •   $477,000 for the Equity Institute in Rhode Island to indoctrinate teachers with "antiracism virtual labs."
  •   $1 million for Zora's House in Ohio, a "coworking and community space" for "women and gender-expansive people of color."
  •   $3 million for the American LGBTQ+ Museum in New York City.
  •   $3.6 million for a Michelle Obama Trail in Georgia.
  •   $750,000 for "LGBT and Gender Non-Conforming housing" in Albany, N.Y.
  •   $2 million for the "Great Blacks in Wax" museum in Baltimore.
  •   $856,000 for an "LGBT Center" in New York.
  •   $750,000 for the "TransLatin@ Coalition" to provide "workforce development programs and supportive services for Transgender and Gender nonconforming and Intersex (TGI) immigrant women in Los Angeles."

Marvel at this spending.  COVID relief topped the list of wasteful government spending, and in my experience [Senator Rand] Paul underestimates the amount of "emergency relief" funds that went to waste.  Here in Minnesota half a billion was stolen from funds that were supposed to go to feeding children during the school lockdowns, and over the next few years billions of dollars in fraud will be uncovered (and probably glossed over).  One of the frustrating things about these lists is that the it is the smallest incidents of waste that are easiest to grasp and get angry over. [...] Hundreds of billions of dollars are poured into programs that accomplish little to nothing other than funding bureaucracies and spreading money around.  There is no one ridiculous expenditure to point at and make fun of, but the taxpayer is bled dry to do little but maintain the lifestyle of useless bureaucrats and nonprofit executives.

New York Democrats give themselves a 29% pay raise days before Christmas.  New York Democrats voted to give themselves a 29 percent salary increase just days before Christmas, potentially making Albany the highest-paid state legislature in the nation.  Members of the state Assembly and Senate would make a base salary of $142,000 under a bill they passed during a special session, a $32,000 raise from their current $110,000. Their new salary is three times the average New Yorkers' salary of $43,208.  Their last pay raise was in 2018, when they went from $79,500 to $110,000.  It was the first time in 20 years New York Legislators received an increase.  Their pay in 1998 was $57,500.

$70 million for salmon, $3 million for bee-friendly highways and $3.6 million for the Michelle Obama trail.  Congress is trying to cram through a mammoth $1.7 trillion government funding bill ahead of a nor'easter that could otherwise leave lawmakers snowed-in in Washington, D.C. over Christmas.  The 4,500 page bill is full of classic priorities:  $858 billion for defense, $45 billion for Ukraine, $38 billion for emergency disasters and billions more for other social programs — but also includes some odd riders.  It's loaded with thousands of earmarks — funding for the pet projects of individual lawmakers sometimes in exchange for their vote.  Earmarks were banned until Democrats brought them back last year.  Republicans followed suit in their own conference.

18 Absurdities of the McConnell-Schumer Omnibus Spending Bill.  [#11]  Providing Self-Defeating Environmental Credits:  One part of the omnibus spending bill, Section 201 of Title I, illustrates yet again the incoherence of a too-big government.  The bill would create a verification and registration framework managed by the Agriculture Department for voluntary environmental credit markets.  Farmers, ranchers, and owners of private forestland would be able to generate credits to be sold for projects that "prevent, reduce, or mitigate greenhouse gas emissions."  Whether such programs remain voluntary depends on how cynical one is about the nature of government programs related to an issue (global warming) that Biden campaigned on as an existential crisis requiring an "all of government" response.

North Carolina House Rep. tweets out 'egregious' provisions in omnibus spending bill.  Several GOP lawmakers blasted the monstrous $1.7 trillion spending bill released Tuesday morning out of the gate, with complaints that they were only given days to read the 4,155-page deal reached by some Senate Republicans and congressional Democrats in an effort to avert a government shutdown.  Now, details are trickling out about what is actually contained in the last-minute omnibus, and North Carolina GOP Rep. Dan Bishop took to Twitter to flag what he called "some of the most egregious provisions in the bill."  Bishop revealed in a tweet thread that the package "expressly prohibits [Customs and Border Protection] funding from being used to improve border security," while "at the same time, allocates $410 million towards border security for" other nations, namely Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman.

Former Trump Economist Larry Kudlow — Ominbus Bill — Created in the Dark — Will Sky-Rocket Inflation.  Larry Kudlow, the former economist for President Trump, is seeing what the rest of the country is seeing and is lighting the warning fires.  The US Senate is preparing to pass the omnibus bill this week.  It's full of spending that America doesn't need.  Kudlow points out that the GOP is as guilty as the corrupt Dems.

Black actor blasts $223,000 reparations payments suggested by California commission.  Actor Faizon Love has lashed out at the notion that black people in California will be given $223,000 in reparations, saying that the money will only be used to purchase luxury cars.  Love, 54, made the eye-opening response in an interview with YouTube channel Vlad TV as the debate over reparations for slavery in the Golden State continues.  The Meteor Man star said: '[...] That's another trick man, because that money's gonna go right back to Cadillac and right back to [Mercedes] Benz.'

The Editor says...
How true.  If you give someone $223,000 of someone else's money, they're likely to spend it foolishly.  Not just on a Cadillac, but on cigarettes, beer, tattoos, and lottery tickets.  The money will be all gone in a few months, and the cars will be junk in 15 years.

Senate Passes $858 Billion Military Spending Bill.  The U.S. Senate on Dec. 15 passed a military spending bill with a top-line price to taxpayers of $858 billion.  The defense package, dubbed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed the upper chamber by an 83 [to] 11 vote.  The NDAA was passed by the House of Representatives on Dec. 8 in a 350 [to] 80 vote.  A total of 176 Republicans in the lower chamber voted for the bill, 35 voted against it, and two didn't vote.  A total of 174 Democrats voted for the bill, while 45 voted against it.  One of the most noteworthy aspects of the package, and an early victory for Republicans as they prepare to take the House next year, was a repeal of President Joe Biden's controversial COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military service members.  Despite historically supporting Biden's COVID-19 policies, Democrats yielded on the issue.

Democrats quietly send $35.8 billion bailout to cover their policy mistakes.  Democrats have essentially had complete control of Illinois, with super majorities in the House and Senate, for years.  As an Illinois resident, I have the wonderful fortune of listening to Democrats brag about the financial "health" of the Illinois budget.  They claim they balanced the budget and now have over $1 billion in a rainy-day fund.  Meanwhile, Illinois pension funds declined by nearly ten billion dollars in FY 2022.  If Illinois were a private business, that $9.8 billion would show up as a loss; there is nothing remotely balanced about the Illinois budget. [...] The president and his fellow Democrats love rewarding their political supporters with kickbacks, so they bailed out the Teamsters Union, to buy votes, with $35.8 billion because of mismanagement and over-promising for decades.  (The money came from the $1.9 trillion slush fund that was sold to the public as COVID relief.)

Biden plays Santa Claus in Africa.  Are you prepared to send South Africa $8 billion to close down their coal-fired power plants?  Don't worry.  Your level of preparation is irrelevant.  President Biden is prepared to do so, and that is all that matters.  Your opinion counts [for nothing] in such matters.  Biden held a U.S./Africa summit, and he decided that this was a fine time to shower the continent with some good ol' American dollars.  Because the history of foreign aid investments in Africa has been one of unlimited success, it apparently it's time to pour more good money after bad. [...] Africa is a mess, and everybody knows it.  There are things that the US and other countries can do to help the citizens in all these countries, such as the AIDS relief that was among George W Bush's few achievements.  But sending foreign aid to these countries is a giant waste of money.  Worse, it only helps prop up some seriously corrupt governments.

Biden Administration Announces $55 Billion Gift for Africa.  The White House on Monday announced $55 billion in economic aid, health care, and security support for Africa.  President Joe Biden hosted a meeting for African leaders that began on Tuesday, during which the White House promised more details of the massive benefits package would be divulged. [...] The White House said its further plans for bolstering African development include pushing for an African country to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and inviting the African Union to join the Group of 20 (G20) association of top world economies.  South Africa is currently the only African nation in the G20.

Biden apologizes to delegation of African leaders for the 'unimaginable cruelty' of slavery and offers them $55 billion.  Joe Biden on Wednesday apologized for the 'unimaginable cruelty' of slavery, which he referred to as America's 'original sin', and pledged $55 billion in investment to the continent.  Speaking during a gathering of almost all African leaders in Washington DC — the first since Barack Obama convened a summit in 2014 — Biden expressed regret for the past, but insisted:  'The United States is all in on Africa's future.'  During a White House dinner honoring African leaders and their spouses, Biden addressed what he called America's 'original sin' — the enslavement of millions of people — and honored their descendants and the broader African diaspora community in the United States.

The Editor says...
Does this mean we're paid up now, and we can stop hearing about reparations?

Analysis of RNC Spending Since 2017 Shows Millions Were Spent on Private Jets, Limousines, Luxury Retreats, Broadway Shows, and More.  Back in 2010, RNC Chair Michael Steele was heavily criticized and eventually lost his position because donors were angry about what they believed was luxurious spending on private jets, floral arrangements, chauffeur services, and member meetings in expensive tropical locales.  Donors were used to frugality from the RNC under the George W. Bush administration, when "Karl Rove would [complain] if there were flowers on the tables" and staff holiday parties were catered by Chick-fil-A.  Despite Joe Biden's economy and three straight cycles of election losses, the RNC's big-spending days are back with a vengeance.  Perhaps because of these losses both RNC donors and committee members are intensely interested in the committee's finances, particularly the spending.  Late last week, RedState was provided a report dated October 7, 2022 that examined RNC's 2021-22 spending.  It calculated more than $500,000 in private jet expenses, $64,000 at clothing retailers, and $321,000 in floral arrangements.

What did schools do with their emergency "pandemic" money?  Literally nobody should be surprised by what public schools did with all that pandemic aid they got during the COVID emergency.  Very little of it actually was spent on making schools more resilient to COVID or COVID-like diseases.  If you thought the money would be going primarily to health-related investments you would be disappointed.  It isn't going so much to buying new air filtration or similar expenses.  Why would they spend the money on COVID-related things, since they worked to keep kids out of school in the first place.  So how are schools, which are rushing to spend the money as fast as they can, using the extra dough.  As you expect: expanding the money being spent on school personnel.  Increases staff, salaries, and bonuses.  Some of that money is going to remedial education, as you would expect.  The teacher unions were bound and determined to keep schools closed or reduce in person time with students.

More tales of legalized corruption from Washington, DC.  A few days back, Newsweek carried a report about U.S. senators Chuck Schumer, Mike Rounds, and Kirsten Gillibrand spending most of the $1 million that lawmakers set aside for charter flights for themselves during the period of October 2021 through September 2022.  New York Democrat Sen. Gillibrand spent $235,915, while Schumer spent $153,979 flying across the state to hold press conferences, meet with constituents, and make other public appearances.  They often traveled via private plane to places within driving distance.  The senators didn't seem too concerned about their carbon footprint, despite claiming to be advocates of climate change.  GOP senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota spent over $384,029 in airfare, commuting multiple times a month to Washington, D.C., from his home state.  Despite these luxuries, Rounds was absent for 20 Senate roll call votes this year as of early November, a record much worse than that of his colleagues.

DHS Partnered Social Media Surveillance Systems Delivering Mutual Benefits.  Pelosi and Reid intentionally did not advance a budget in 2008 (for fiscal year 2009) because their plan included installing Barack Obama (and all that came with him) with an open checkbook made even more lucrative by a worsening financial crisis and a process called baseline budgeting.  Baseline budgeting means the prior fiscal year budget is accepted as the starting point for the next year budget.  All previous expenditures are baked into the cake within baseline budgeting.  Massive bailouts preceded Obama's installation due to U.S. economic collapse, and massive bailouts continued after his installation.  This is the 'never let a crisis go to waste' aspect.  TARP (Troubled Asset Recovery Program), auto bailouts (GM), and the massive stimulus spending bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, ie. those shovel ready jobs) were all part of the non-budget spending.  The federal reserve assisted with Quantitative Easing (QE1 and QE2) as congress passed various Porkulous spending bills further spending and replacing the formal budget process.  Note: There has never been a budget passed in the normal/traditional process since September of 2007.

Spending More Government Money on Healthcare Does Not Improve Health Outcomes.  In 2008, the State of Oregon inadvertently ran a randomized health insurance experiment.  They decided they had just enough money in their annual budget to give Medicaid coverage to an additional ten thousand citizens randomly chosen via a lottery.  While there was no improvement in health outcomes, hospital admissions increased by 30 percent, outpatient visits by 35 percent, and ER visits by 40 percent.  The experiment cost a lot of money — 36 percent more — with no tangible benefit.  Amazingly, there is not a strong relationship between healthcare spending and health outcomes.  America spends almost $4 trillion a year on healthcare, around twice what most other developed nations spend per head, and approximately half of it is taxpayer funded.  With only 4 percent of the world's population, the US accounts for half of the pharmaceuticals consumed worldwide.  If more healthcare were the answer, the US would be the healthiest country on the planet.  Yet while Japan's and Singapore's healthcare expenditures per head are only a fraction of those of the US, Japanese and Singaporeans live over five years longer than Americans.

California Awards $192M No-Bid Contract for Covid Graphics.  The California Public Health Department inked a $192 million no-bid contract with a marketing and communications firm to make Covid-19 graphics — two years after the pandemic began.  The details of the contract, posted on the Health Dept's website, and shared on Twitter, show that the contract was acquired by Sacramento-based ad agency Runyon Saltzman without being competitively bid.  The contract began in January 2022 and runs through June 2023, and dubbed "Covid-19 public education," will provide graphic design for the state to put out Covid information to the public.

Department of Defense Spends Nearly $100K on Diversity Seminars for Air Force Band.  The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) under Joe Biden has spent at least $91,000 on mandatory "diversity and inclusion" seminars for the Air Force Band, awarding a contract to a group that focuses on pushing diversity in music.  According to Fox News, the DOD contract was given to a group called the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, based out of Philadelphia, on May 6th, thus putting Black Pearl in charge of arranging and providing the seminars to the 184-member Air Force Band.  Black Pearl describes its mission on its website, saying that it seeks "to take the audience beyond spectatorship to participation in the musical experience by combining artistic excellence with cultural diversity and innovative community engagement."

"This Changes Everything".  The unveiling of the new Northrup Grumman B-21 "Raider" long-range bomber, with its stealthy design, app-style updates, and $2 Billion price tag, was pure Hollywood.  If you want to watch it, the CEO begins her spiel at minute 39.  B-21 technology is capped at 2010 standards; it flies with F-35 engines.  The planes (two have been built) will fly for the first time this spring — 18 months behind schedule.  These real secrets were not unveiled yesterday, nor was how much the US taxpayer has paid and will pay for these bombers.  No doubt, this would have spoiled the fun.  The mantra "This Changes Everything" was repeated several times by several speakers, indicating the opposite must be true  — it changes nothing.

Joe Biden Succeeded Where Benedict Arnold Failed, and Our Deep State Was In on It.  I just read Jason Jones' account — based on leaks from high-level intelligence sources — of the sheer extent of the high-tech, strategic loot Joe Biden handed the Taliban and al Qaeda, closely allied to China.  The facts beggar belief.  By intentionally abandoning billions of dollars of military equipment and facilities, Biden has transformed a backward country into a major military power, aligned with Communist China and radical, terrorist Islam.  Here are a few choice quotes:
  •   "This is the greatest loss of military equipment in the history of warfare by one power.  What America has just given to the Taliban is equivalent to 85% of all the military aid Washington has given to Israel since 1948."
  •   The U.S. Government "is so used to burning and wasting American taxpayers' hard-earned money that no one from our government can be even bothered to address the fact that 85-90 billion [dollars] in military equipment has been left to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda."
  •   "This is larger than the annual military budget for every nation around the world except the U.S. and China.  So the Taliban, thanks to the U.S. Government, this year has a larger military budget than Russia, the U.K., India and France."

The European Union spent $400,000 on a metaverse party which attracted a total of six people.  Is it just me or is this whole metaverse thing kinda lame?

U.S. to pay $75M to relocate three tribes impacted by climate change.  The Biden administration announced it will pay $75 million to relocate three Native American tribes whose communities are being impacted by climate change.  The Interior Department's relocation grants, announced at the White House Tribal Nations Summit on Wednesday, will provide $25 million each to Washington State's Quinault Indian Nation, Alaska's Newtok Village and Alaska's Native Village of Napakiak.

San Francisco's sustainable, self-cleaning toilet of the future breaks down after 3 days.  San Francisco city officials recently unveiled a new, self-cleaning toilet designed to reflect San Francisco values.  The city's Department of Public Works stated via press release that the "next-generation restrooms are environmentally sustainable, brighter and easier to keep clean."  Unfortunately, like many of the city's residents, the magical toilet quit working within a few days of its debut.  The so-called "Amenipod," touted by the San Francisco Chronicle as the "future of public toilets," had been installed on the outskirts of Embarcadero Plaza and was opened to the public on November 23.  It broke down three days later.  I was under the impression that San Francisco itself was "the future of public toilets," based on the staggering amount of human excrement on several of the city's streets and walkways.

Contractor: Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Net Will Cost $400 Million.  A suicide prevention net on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge that is already years behind schedule will cost about $400 million, more than double its original price, because of problems sparked by the government agency that manages the span, the lead contractors allege.  The allegations filed Nov. 28 in state court by Shimmick Construction Co. and Danny's Construction Co. say that changes to and flaws in the government's net design and the lack of transparency about the deterioration of the bridge's maintenance platforms have raised the construction price from $142 million to at least $398 million.  "We were alarmed to discover the District concealed significant information during the proposal phase of the Project, including extensive deterioration in certain areas of the bridge," Shimmick said in a statement.

The Editor says...
Tell me about the people who are pushing for this net.  Are they the same people who promote assisted suicide?

San Francisco Hotels Demand City Compensate for Damage by Homeless.  San Francisco hotels are demanding millions of dollars from the city to compensate them for damage incurred while housing the homeless under a municipal government program launched during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Under the program, known as "Shelter-in-Place" (SIP), hotels were used to move homeless people off the streets for fear of spreading the coronavirus in tent cities.  Ironically, as COVID became better understood, officials began recommending against clearing homeless encampments, because the virus spread less easily outdoors.  However, the practice of housing the homeless in hotels was embraced by Democratic officials in state and local government, though it was expensive, as a temporary way of tackling an ongoing homeless crisis.

And the Golden Turkey Goes To....  Remember the good old days, when the most obvious difference between conservatives and liberals was that conservatives objected to wasteful government spending?  Now we live in a world where wastefulness is one of liberals' better qualities.  Still, it should make us angry.  More than ever, government at all levels is cavalier with taxpayers' money, viewing it not only as their own, but primarily as a means of buying votes. [...] One more thing:  we presented the award at 3:30 in the afternoon.  It says on the front of the building that it is open until 4:30 every weekday afternoon, but when we were there, the place was deserted.  The Department of Education building was dark, and there was not a single car in the vast parking lot, other than ours.  Is no one working at the Department of Education?  Frankly, that might be an improvement.  But at the very least, it suggests another area where the State of Minnesota could save money: the Department of Education's budget.

Biden Administration Slammed for Signing Away $1 Billion in Climate Reparations.  When I wrote about the climate "loss and damage pact" yesterday, I noted that Climate Czar John Kerry distanced himself from the term "reparations."  ["]The US and other developed nations have long sought to avoid such provisions that could open them up to legal liability and lawsuits from other countries.  And in previous public remarks, US Climate Envoy John Kerry had said loss and damage was not the same thing as climate reparations.["] [...] It turns out I wasn't the only one who concluded that the fund is, indeed, reparations.  The Wall Street Editorial Board slammed the Biden administration for agreeing to this inanity.  ["]In return for climate reparations, Mr. Kerry tried to force an agreement to phase down "unabated" fossil fuels.  Low-income countries understandably refused since doing so would consign their citizens to poverty.  The Biden climate agenda has increased energy prices in the U.S., and the climate lobby doesn't mind if this misery spreads around the world.["] [...] The New York Post Editorial Board was just as disparaging.  It noted that the funds would likely end up going to the politically connected and encouraged the new Republican majority in Congress to nix the funding before a penny is sent.

Joe Biden's Delaware Vacations Have Cost Taxpayers at Least $11 Million.  Joe Biden is the ultimate government parasite.  Biden has been in government for nearly 50 years and he's still leeching off the American taxpayer.  According to analysis by Fox News, Biden's frequent Delaware vacations have cost taxpayers at least $11 million.  Marine One costs approximately $20,000 per hour and Air Force One costs $177,843 per hour, according to Department of Defense documents.  Fox News reported that Joe Biden has taken 101 flights between Delaware and DC since he was installed in January 2021. [...] According to the New York Post, since being installed in January 2021, Joe Biden has spent more than 40% of his presidency on vacation.  There are no visitor logs at Biden's Delaware compound so the American people have no idea who Biden is meeting with off-the-record.  We have no idea who is visiting Joe Biden every weekend in Delaware.

The Climate Cons.  The world's climate criminals aren't the energy companies selling the fossil fuels needed to power a modern economy, nor those that make the products that burn those fuels.  The real offenders are the global warming alarmists who have once again revealed what the game is, and it has nothing to do with protecting the environment.  This year's United Nations climate hootenanny, the 27th Congress of Parties, produced an agreement in which rich nations will pay reparations to poorer ones for the damage that their energy consumption has supposedly caused.  Our own country, at the insistence of its increasingly impaired, ever-pandering-to-eco-cranks president, will even participate in the scam.  The amount is not much relative to our economy — $1 billion — but it sets a precedent and tells the world that we're willing dupes.  After all, 81 million Americans voted to put a mentally infirm man in the White House.  So we must be in favor of atoning for our environmental sins by taking part in a U.N.-controlled slush fund.

U.S. Reverses Course, Now Says It Will Pay Climate Extortion Money to Poorer Nations.  It had been an article of faith since the 1990s when the idea of "climate reparations" was first proposed that the United States would never participate in such an extortion scheme.  Then Joe Biden got elected.  At the COP27 climate conference in Egypt, wealthy nations agreed for the first time to a framework that would pay poorer countries for "damages" that are caused by climate change.  Droughts, storms, heat waves, excessive cold — all can now be itemized as part of the cost poor countries pay because rich countries are responsible for the changing climate.  Of course, storms and droughts have been occurring for millions of years in these regions, but that doesn't matter.

The Editor says...
[#1] If there are any actual damages, do they not affect all countries?  [#2] If there is any actual change in the world-wide climate, is none of it caused by smaller, undeveloped beggar countries?  [#3] Was Joe Biden really elected, or was he installed as the result of a fraudulent election?

US will pay up to $1BN to compensate developing countries for global warming - but China Won't have to pay.  The United States will take part in the creation of and contribute to a fund that will pay developing nations to tackle climate change.  The fund, negotiated at the United Nations' COP27 Summit, was originally known as a 'loss and damage' fund and had been blocked by previous American administrations.  With a final climate accord already more than a day overdue, representatives of nearly 200 nations were anxious for an agreement they could bill as a step forward in the fight against climate change.

The Editor says...
[#1] Any "fight against climate change" is futile and unnecessary.  Yet the news media seems to think it's a fact of life.  Personally, I adapt to the weather when it changes and don't try to fight it.  Nobody can stop the climate from changing, and the climate changes so little, from one year to the next that it is imperceptible and nearly impossible to measure.  [#2] This is obviously just a shakedown and wealth redistribution scheme.  [#3] Why are "developing nations" uniquely able to keep the climate from changing?  [#4] Here's an idea:  Let's pay the "developing nations" after they prove their ability to stop climate change.

Iowa Using $23.5M in Covid Aid for 'Field of Dreams' Stadium.  Capitalizing on the feel-good nostalgia of the "Field of Dreams" film, and the success of Major League Baseball games played on a temporary field built near the film's site, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is using $12.5 million from the state's Covid-19 relief funds to help build a permanent Field of Dreams Ballpark in the city of Dyersville, according to the Des Moines Register.  That comes after she already committed another $11 million from Covid-19 funds to build water and sewer lines to the Field of Dreams stadium site.  Along with city and county funds, and $1.5 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the federal funds go toward the $50 million project.

Gov Cuomo's New York Fraudulently Lost $11 Billion In Taxpayer Cash During Pandemic.  An audit found that "at least $11 billion in taxpayer cash" was handed out fraudulently during the Covid-19 pandemic, in New York alone.  Jobless claims soared then-Governor Andrew Cuomo's shutdowns and regulations handicapped the state.  According to Tom DiNapoli's audit of the mess the $11 billion loss was aided by "an already crumbling state unemployment system" and "loosened eligibility rules."  Perhaps even more shocking is that DiNapoli suggests there will likely be even more fraud uncovered.  "There was a good intent to get as much money out the door — but the problem was that it made the system even more susceptible to fraud, particularly with regard to identity theft," the comptroller said.

Nancy Pelosi's legacy — spending a colossal amount of money.  Nancy Pelosi, who announced she would not continue as the Democratic Party's leader in the House of Representatives, has been a great legislator.  You'd have to be to last for 19 years at the top of the Democratic legislative greasy pole.  That doesn't mean she has been a great font of ideas, a great visionary, or a great leader of the American people.  She has been none of those things.  Her own contributions to this country on matters of policy, rather than shepherding or opposing bills in the House, have been negligible.  She was impotent when it came to dealing with an anti-Semitic outbreak in her caucus in 2019, for example.  And she descended into childishness to match her target's behavior when she ripped up Donald Trump's State of the Union speech as she sat behind him in 2020. But fair is fair.  She has proved herself a political technician of immense skill.  And if you like the game of politics, you have to enjoy someone who plays it masterfully even if she's on a team you dislike.

NYC migrant crisis will cost city $600M every year, watchdog says.  New York City's migrant crisis will cost "at least" $596 million in public funds each year, according to a Monday report from the city's Independent Budget Office.  City Hall will rack up the costs thanks to offering shelter, healthcare, education and legal aid to thousands of migrants who have been bussed to the city by Republican state governments in Florida and Texas, according to the New York Post.  The arrival of an additional 10,000 asylum seekers — assuming the current mix of households remains consistent — would increase costs by around $246 million," IBO Acting Director George Sweeting wrote in the report.  "The total cost of providing the identified city services cannot be estimated with certainty as the number of people arriving continues to evolve," he added.

White House Won't Say How It Spent $1 Billion in Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan.  The State Department says it will not comply with a government watchdog's investigation into how more than $1 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds was spent in Afghanistan since the Taliban terror group retook control of the country.  The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a government watchdog established in 2008 to perform oversight on America's $146 billion reconstruction project in the war-torn country, announced that for the first time in its history, the State and Treasury Departments will not comply with its investigations.  "SIGAR, for the first time in its history, is unable this quarter to provide Congress and the American people with a full accounting of this U.S. government spending due to the non-cooperation of U.S. agencies," the watchdog disclosed in its latest report to Congress.

Gravy: 73% of Joe Biden's student loan amnesty recipients plan to spend their windfall on travel, dining out, new tech -poll.  After jeremiad after jeremiad about student loan debt crushing the younger generation, with the media touting drama and womyn's studies majors being unable to get highly paid jobs, it turns out the situation doesn't seem to have been so bad after all: [...] As for whether this is the best use of federal money — or another inflation additive, most people know the answer to that.  The problem with Biden's debt amnesty is that it's a one-size fits all solution.  There are some borrowers who got in over their heads and took on college majors that don't pay enough to recover them — the $300 a month forgivenesss for them actually isn't going to help much.  Others, who scrimped and saved to pay off their debt, get nothing, too.  Then there are the vast majority, the 73%, the coming Apple Watch buyers and airline ticket purchasers, who didn't need the help, the debt amnesty was just an express ticket to live it up earlier, a great government freebie.  For them, it's gravy.

Florida Man Stole $2.6M Covid-19 Relief Funds.  (Headline USA) A Florida man allegedly filed fake payroll, tax documents, and a commercial lease to scam his way into getting $2.6 million in Covid-19 relief from the federal government, using it to buy two houses in Naples, Florida, stocks and investment securities, a 2019 Tiara 34LS boat, a 4.02 carat engagement ring, and ammunition.  Daniel Joseph Tisone, 35, is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing ammunition, the Department of Justice said, but FBI agents and agents of Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery found 800 rounds of assorted ammunition in his house.  Between March 2020 and April 2021, Tisone submitted fake forms to the Small Business Administration for Economic Injury Disaster, Main Street Lending Program, and Paycheck Protection Program loan applications, prosecutors said.

Biden Administration is hiding $1 billion in payments to the Taliban.  Philip Bump of The Washington Post — the reporter who argues that information should be hidden from the public — would be proud of the Biden Administration.  They are actively hiding evidence of what they are doing with the $1.1 billion they have been sending to the Taliban.  Wait, what?  We are sending money to the Taliban?  You know, those folks kicking girls out of school, executing our allies, killing people for being gay, and having just killed a bunch of our troops?  Those Taliban?  Yes, those Taliban.  [Tweet]

Green Boondoggle: Connecticut's Electric Bus Fleet Still Out of Service After Summer Battery Inferno.  A fleet of 11 electric buses belonging to CT Transit in Connecticut is still out of service following a massive battery fire that occurred in July, the state's Department of Transportation says.  In July, a battery fire caused an electric bus to burst into flames in Hamden, Connecticut.  Luckily, no one died in the inferno, although two transit workers and two firefighters were hospitalized as a result of the blaze, and a federal investigation was triggered.  In September, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a preliminary report detailing how the electric bus operated by CT Transit became engulfed in flames while parked at a maintenance facility, according to a report by NHPR.  "The battery electric buses remain out of service while the investigations are ongoing," DOT spokesperson Josh Morgan said.

'Moderate' Democrat Tim Ryan Backs Free Sex Changes for Illegal Migrants.  The Democrat party's candidate in the Ohio Senate race promised to provide taxpayer-funded sex-change surgeries and hormones to illegal migrants who say they are transgender.  Tim Ryan, who portrays himself as a moderate, made the wildly unpopular pledge in 2019 to one of the party's most radical constituency groups, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  Ryan made the pledge while he was running for president in 2019.

Biden Spending $3 Million Per Day to Not Build the Border Wall.  On President Biden's first day in office, he issued a memorandum blocking new border wall construction, including money appropriated by Congress for that purpose as well as Department of Defense (DOD) funds the Trump administration reprogrammed (reallocated) for border wall construction.  Biden's January 20 memorandum ordered a 60-day review of the border wall construction contracts and recommendations, but over 180 days later the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has failed to satisfy that directive.  Almost immediately, the Biden administration's inability or unwillingness to secure the border and enforce U.S immigration law led to a historic, and worsening, crisis at the southern border.  But, with Democrats in charge of both chambers of Congress, there has been no oversight of the Biden administration's mishandling of the situation.  Unable to haul DHS administration officials before a hearing to hold them accountable, the Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, took it upon themselves to investigate the effect of President Biden's policy halting border wall construction.

What has all that investment in renewables actually bought us?  For decades now we have been inundated with propaganda that insists we move away from fossil fuels to renewable alternatives.  The hysteria has been escalating ever since Al Gore rebranded himself the Global Warming Ambassador at Large with the release of An Inconvenient Truth.  What had been a constant but relatively muted refrain from the Left became a unstoppable roar that has only increased in volume.  We have been treated to lectures about biofuels from switchgrass (remember that — never happened), the new hydrogen future (never happened), solar, wind, and unicorn farts all powering the future.  We are called to save the sinking islands (they are fine), save the polar bears (they are plentiful), and stop the hurricanes from killing us all (deaths from weather events have been declining for decades).  We are warned of the apocalypse, inconvenienced and enraged by activists who pour out milk, throw soup at art, glue themselves to every available surface, and scream constantly about "science" as if having tantrums is how science is done.

Biden Begins Offering Free Flu Vaccines to Border Crossers, Illegal Aliens.  Border crossers and illegal aliens arriving at the southern border will now be offered a free flu vaccine thanks to an initiative by President Joe Biden's Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  For the first time in American history, border crossers and illegal aliens will be offered free flu vaccines when they arrive at the United States-Mexico border.  The Biden administration started the initiative about a month ago and has already given the vaccine to thousands of border crossers and illegal aliens, many of whom will be released into American communities as part of an expansive Catch and Release network.

[The] DHS [is] building [a] $500,000 taxpayer-funded wall at Biden's Delaware beach house.  President Biden may oppose building a wall along the U.S.'s southern border, but he's currently spending nearly $500,000 of taxpayers' money to construct a barrier around his vacation property at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  In September 2021, the Department of Homeland Security doled out a $455,000 contract to a Sussex County, Delaware, construction company to build a fence around the president's "Summer White House," according to USAspending.gov, an online database that tracks government spending.  Construction began last September and was expected to be completed by the end of 2021.  However, unknown delays have pushed the expected completion date to June 6, 2023, and ballooned costs to $490,324.

San Francisco Flushing $1.7M to Construct One Public Toilet.  The City by the Bay is not known for being well-run or fiscally responsible.  Homelessness, a drug overdose crisis, spiking crime, and ample sidewalk fecal matter have made it a punchline of what leftist "utopias" actually end up becoming in practice when radical Democrat policies are implemented.  Now, San Francisco is working on trying to address one issue by constructing a public toilet — that will apparently cost $1.7 million and won't be finished until 2025.  Even more comically, California state Assemblyman Matt Haney was set to celebrate the boondoggle with a press conference, but he was forced to cancel his potty party after public backlash.  The million-plus dollar price tag is being covered by state funds secured by Haney collected from Golden State taxpayers in order to build, unbelievably, "just one toilet in 150 square feet of space," according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

U.S. State Department Gives $20,600 to Fund "Drag Theater Performances" — in Ecuador.  The United States government, which is currently about $30.9 trillion in debt, has just given over $20,000 of taxpayer money to a cultural center in Ecuador so it can host "drag theater performances."  The U.S. Department of State gave this grant to the non-profit organization Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano (CEN) on September 23, apparently in the name of "diversity and inclusion."  The State Department's public diplomacy program awarded CEN with this grant.  According to its website, the program's mission is to "support the achievement of U.S. foreign policy goals and objectives, advance national interests, and enhance national security by informing and influencing foreign publics and by expanding and strengthening the relationship between the people and government of the United States and citizens of the rest of the world."

NYC Tent City for Migrants Includes Free WiFi, Video Games, Popcorn Maker, Foosball Tables.  New York City officials have set up a tent city solely for migrants arriving on buses from Texas sent by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) that includes televisions, video games, laundry service, a popcorn maker, and more amenities.  Since Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) started sending border crossers and illegal aliens to New York City, a sanctuary city, more than 19,400 have arrived on buses — 73 percent of which remain in the city's overcrowded homeless shelter system.  To relieve homeless shelters, Mayor Eric Adams (D) has set up a tent city solely for newly arrived migrants on Randall's Island, which sits between Manhattan and Queens.  New photos inside the tent city show a host of amenities for migrants, including recreation rooms, laundry services, and a stocked cafeteria, all paid for by New York taxpayers.

Christopher Wray certainly seems to be enjoying the FBI's private jet.  FBI Director Christopher Wray certainly gets around. [...] But then again, he's in charge of the nation's largest federal law enforcement agency, so I'm sure he's got a lot on his plate.  The question surrounding his activities this week, however, has less to do with how often he travels than it does with how he travels.  It seems that Wray has been making very liberal use of the FBI's private jet when he needs to get away from the Beltway.  On at least one occasion he used it to head to his family's vacation home in the Adirondack Mountains.  And another series of trips to the Atlanta area is also under scrutiny.  The problem is that Congress never authorized that jet for personal use.  It's only supposed to be used for counterterrorism purposes.

Cost of open borders: Yuma hospital forked over around $20M in 'uncompensated' care for illegals.  The cost of the Biden administration's open border policy has to be incalculable, not that they even bother to acknowledge the fact, let alone address it.  Incredibly, though, the situation has escalated to the point that even NBC News is now covering it.  "There have been more than 300,000 illegal border crossings in the area around Yuma.  That's three times the city's entire population of nearly 100,000.  It's an all-time record," national correspondent Gabe Gutierrez reported.  "The only hospital here estimates that, over six months, it's doled out $20 million in uncompensated medical care to migrants," he added.

As migrant surge sweeps NYC, here's where they're being housed.  Queens is taking the largest share of migrants into emergency shelters set up by the city — fueling what the borough's president on Thursday called a "powder keg" of crises and creating a "recipe for a social and economic disaster."  Queens was housing 4,782 migrants, or 32% of the total 14,777 placed in emergency shelters as of Wednesday, according to data compiled by the Department of Homeless Services and obtained by The Post on Thursday.  That share is more than one-sixth greater than the 27.3% that Queens residents contribute to the city's total population, according to 2020 census data.  "It's a powder keg in Queens at this point," said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.

Adams using luxe $400-a-night Times Square hotel rooms as migrant shelter.  A swank midtown Manhattan hotel will be home to hundreds of migrant families, Mayor Eric Adams said Wednesday, announcing that the Row NYC is being turned into the latest "humanitarian relief center" to grapple with an influx of asylum seekers in the city.  The four-star Row NYC hotel — located in pricey Times Square and formerly the iconic Milford Plaza — will initially house 200 migrant families and will have the ability to take on even more in the coming weeks, Adams said.  The $400-a-night hotel — once billed as being "in the center of it all" — has more than 1,000 rooms and is located in the same district as PS 33, the public school in Chelsea that parents told The [New York] Post is already overburdened by the sudden influx of migrant students who can't speak English.  The city's latest bid to cope with the spiraling crisis that has seen 18,600 migrants flood the city since May, means the school, which currently has just one certified bilingual teacher, could potentially end up with even more asylum-seeking kids as the hotel fills up.

Chicago-area's guaranteed income program [is] open to illegal immigrants.  Illegal immigrants can apply for a guaranteed basic income pilot program in Illinois that will provide participants with monthly cash payments for two years.  The Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot will send 3,250 residents $500 each month in cash assistance.  Eligible participants must meet certain thresholds in order to be eligible.  They must be adult residents of the county and make a household income of or below 250% of the federal poverty level or make less than $69,375 for a house of four.  Applicants will not be asked about their citizenship status, according to the program website.

Biden's education secretary [is] spending hundreds of millions on [an] 'equity' agenda as reading scores tank.  Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is fixated on equity-based education and seems to be ignoring academic priorities as students nationwide are experiencing a "catastrophic" decline in literacy which will have severe consequences down the line.  Learning advocates and parents are slamming President Biden's education secretary for not even bothering to mention academics in a statement of priorities in connection with the Department of Education's annual report card, according to Fox News.  It shockingly shows the largest score drop in reading among 9-year-old students since 1990.  The DOE has been dumping hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into woke, equity-focused programs and grants that have next to nothing to do with actual learning. [...] Equity and race are being pushed as opposed to children learning how to read and the blowback for doing so will reportedly spike crime and severely hamper an entire generation of students when it comes to surviving out in the real world.

Biden burns 3,866 pounds of jet fuel flying 72 miles to deliver speech.  President Joe Biden on Friday burned 3,866 lbs of jet fuel to fly 72 miles aboard Air Force One to deliver a speech in Hagerstown, Maryland.  Biden's 40-minute flight to Hagerstown burned about 3,886 lbs of jet fuel as he traveled in a Boeing 757 aircraft, which burns roughly 5,800 lbs of fuel per hour if the aircraft is traveling at the average speed of 598 miles per hour at 35,000 ft, according to Aviation Insider.  Biden's trip to Maryland produced over 12,000 lbs of carbon dioxide (CO2), according to a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis.  Biden produced CO2 emissions equivalent to driving 13,678 miles in an average gasoline-powered passenger vehicle, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's emissions calculator.  A 72-mile journey in the average passenger road vehicle would emit only 58 lbs of carbon emissions as the average car has a fuel efficiency of 24.2 miles per gallon, according to a DCNF analysis.  Biden declared on Thursday that radical changes were needed in order to "literally save the planet" from climate change during a speech in New York.

Biden Burns 3,866 Pounds Of Jet Fuel Flying 72 Miles To Deliver Speech.  President Joe Biden on Friday burned 3,866 lbs of jet fuel to fly 72 miles aboard Air Force One to deliver a speech in Hagerstown, Maryland.  Biden's 40-minute flight to Hagerstown burned about 3,886 lbs of jet fuel as he traveled in a Boeing 757 aircraft, which burns roughly 5,800 lbs of fuel per hour if the aircraft is traveling at the average speed of 598 miles per hour at 35,000 ft, according to Aviation Insider.  Biden's trip to Maryland produced over 12,000 lbs of carbon dioxide (CO2), according to a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis.

The Editor says...
[#1] How did Mr. Biden fly in a Boeing 757 for 40 minutes in exclusive straight-line air space and only cover 72 miles?  That's an average of 108 mph.  The plane has to go faster than that to get off the ground.  [#2] Did they really climb to 35,000 feet on such a short trip?  [#3] Why not fly a smaller plane for those short trips?  Why not take The Beast out on the freeway and see if it'll go 108 mph?  (Paint it gray and call it the Silver Bullet.)  Why not make a statement by riding in an electric car?

Take a look at the size of Joe Biden's carbon footprint.  Back in April 2021, three months after being sworn in, Joe Biden promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50%, compared to 2005 levels, by the end of 2030. [...] So do his actions match his words?  Obviously not.  He is a Democrat.  The Daily Caller reported that on Friday, a day after his alarmist speech, Biden burned 3,866 lbs of jet fuel to fly 72 miles aboard Air Force One to deliver a speech in Maryland.  According to Aviation Inside, Air Force One burns roughly 5,800 lbs of fuel per hour if the aircraft is traveling at the average speed of 598 miles per hour at 35,000 feet.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency's emissions calculator, Air Force One produced CO2 emissions equivalent to driving 13,678 miles in an average gasoline-powered passenger vehicle.  Fox News reported in September that Biden flew Air Force One to Delaware solely to vote in a Democratic primary, emitting roughly 16,641 lbs of CO2 emissions.  The average cost of travel for Biden is roughly $2,614 per minute.

Audit of fired DC police officers shows dozens [were] reinstated [and] $14 million in back pay [was] awarded.  An audit reveals that dozens of fired Metropolitan Police Department officers in Washington, D.C., have been reinstated and received $14 million in back pay.  According to the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor, two of every three officers terminated returned to the force "primarily because independent arbitrators believed firing was too severe a punishment or that the department had missed deadlines, overstepped its authority or provided insufficient evidence."  The review found 36 of the 37 officers fired for various offenses were paid millions in back pay after complicated and costly reinstatement cases.

Pentagon spends $21M on renaming Confederate bases.  The Defense Department is shelling out $21 million on what critics argue seems to be the BIden military's most pressing issue — renaming bases that offend the left.  In 90 days, nine Army bases long named for Confederate generals will "immediately" begin swapping to more palatable-to-the-woke-crowd labels such as "Fort Liberty" — in a move that will cost more than $21 million.  Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday ordered the Army to begin renaming nine bases selected for the change by an independent commission after a congressionally mandated 90-day wait period expires.

Biden Admin Issues Over 300,000 Smartphones With Tracking Devices To Illegal Immigrants.  More than 300,000 smartphones used to monitor illegal immigrants were given to noncitizens by the Biden administration last month, according to data collected by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.  Issuing such cellular devices to illegal immigrants is part of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement program called the Alternatives to Detention, which essentially gives the individuals access to U.S. soil before their court dates.  The smartphones, which cost taxpayers $361,218.08 per day, use facial recognition, GPS monitoring, and voice identification, according to ICE.  Jon Feere, former DHS senior adviser and director of investigations at the Center for Immigration Studies, told the Free Beacon last month that the ATD program has already proven to be a "costly failure," noting that thousands of illegal immigrants have disappeared annually.

The Editor says...
Only the most gullible dupe would accept such a gift.  It'll be the first thing that accidentally falls into the river, unless there's some monthly monetary incentive for carrying it around.  Nobody needs a phone that badly.

Amtrak's 10 highest earners raked in six-figure bonuses.  The 10 highest paid Amtrak executives raked in six-figure bonuses in 2021 — in one instance nearly doubling a senior-level executive's salary — despite the rail network struggling with low ridership and plummeting revenues, The [New York] Post has learned.  The top-earning employees received "earned incentive" bonuses of more than $200,000 each — more than 50% of their base salaries — according to figures obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and a statement from an Amtrak spokesperson.  The bonuses enraged the Transportation Workers Union that represents more than 1,000 Amtrak employees, which noted in a statement that the American taxpayer is, in part, footing the bill for the six-figure rewards.

Here are just a few of the terrible, radical, tyrannical policies Swamp Dems are trying to fund with your money.  [Thread reader]  [Scroll down]
  •   $45 billion for the @NIH that FUNDED dangerous research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology — and across the world — and has REFUSED to accept any responsibility or open inquiries into its potential role in the COVID-19 pandemic
  •   $6.3 billion for [NIAID], which is run by COVID-tyrant-in-chief Anthony Fauci - enough said
$8.5 billion for [CDC], which:
  •   Colluded with teachers' unions to impose school lockdowns and mask mandates
  •   Censored health data they feared would be "misinterpreted"
  •   Shuttered information on natural immunity
  •   Used taxpayer dollars to buy citizens' location data
  •   $3.3 billion for [FDA] that LIED to the American public about the efficacy of COVID vaccines, enriching Big Pharma in the process.
  •   $612 million for [OSHA] that Biden tried — but thankfully failed — to weaponize to force millions of Americans to take a COVID-19 vaccine against their will.

Hundreds of DHS employees took pandemic unemployment aid even though they were working: Audit.  Hundreds of Homeland Security employees were paid unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic despite staying on the job, the department's inspector general revealed Thursday.  Even worse, the Department of fHomeland Security paid some of the money itself under an emergency unemployment program that the Trump administration "hastily" created in 2020, investigators said.  That meant the department was making bogus payments to its employees.  The audit is the latest to ding the federal government over its reckless pace of pandemic spending.  Uncle Sam spat out $3 trillion in just four months as the spread of COVID-19 sent the country into shutdown mode.

IRS Sent Out Over $1 Billion In Child Tax Credit Payments To The Wrong People.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent over $1.1 billion in child tax credit payments to incorrect recipients during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an audit by the Department of the Treasury's Inspector General (IG) for Tax Administration on Tuesday.  The IRS sent the payments to 1.5 million people between July and November of 2021 during the pandemic, according to the audit's report.  Additionally, the IG noted that 4.1 million taxpayers did not receive payments they should have, amounting to $3.7 billion withheld.  The incorrect payments were made to recipients whose dependent children, required to claim the credit, did not meet the age requirements (i.e., under 18 years old), were deceased, or had been claimed on another filer's return.  These were a small proportion of the 178.9 million child tax credit payments made during the period, totaling $76.7 billion.

Will Biden Cancel Medical Debt Next?  Nobody has yet come up with a definitive estimate of the full taxpayer cost of President Joe Biden's student loan bailout, but the numbers are already staggering.  And as budget-busting as this one is, it's only whetted the Left's appetite for more loan bailouts.  When the White House announced Biden's plan, they said the cost of the loan cancelations would cost $240 billion over 10 years.  The Congressional Budget Office just released its estimate and pegged the cost at $400 billion, plus another $20 billion in costs by the extension of Biden's "emergency" payment suspension through the end of this year — a suspension allegedly in response to COVID, which Biden himself says is no longer a pandemic.  That is close to the estimate from the Wharton school which put the 10-year cancellation cost between $469 billion and $519 billion.  But that's only a small part of the taxpayers' largesse Biden wants to shower on college students.

Biden's student debt forgiveness will cost taxpayers $400 billion over 10 years, non-partisan Congress office says.  Joe Biden's student loan relief plan could cost the country $400 billion over the next decade as the administration prepares to unveil next steps for borrowers to apply for forgiveness as early as next month.  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office noted in a letter to the Senate and House Labor committees noting the high cost of the president's relief plan, as well as reporting the plan would cause outstanding student loans to increase by $20 billion.  In August, Biden announced his plan to cancel $10,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 individually and $250,000 jointly.  That forgiveness would rise to $20,000 for those with Pell Grants.

DOJ: 47 in Minnesota's Somali Community Charged with Stealing $250M in COVID-19 Funds from Child Nutrition Program.  Forty-seven individuals, primarily in Minneapolis, Minnesota's large Somali community, have been charged for their roles in allegedly stealing $250 million in COVID-19 federal funds meant for a child nutrition program.  According to federal prosecutors, the 47 individuals charged across six indictments and three criminal informations committed conspiracy, wire fraud, bribery, and money laundering when they defrauded millions from the Federal Child Nutrition Program during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.  Specifically, the 47 individuals allegedly used COVID-19 changes to the Federal Child Nutrition Program to oversee the massive fraud scheme via the Minneapolis-based Feeding Our Future and the for-profit restaurants as well as the food distribution services sponsored by the nonprofit.

US watchdog admits $46 billion in pandemic unemployment benefits was stolen by fraudsters.  Fraudsters stole nearly $46 billion in unlawful unemployment claims during the pandemic, the Labor Department concluded on Thursday — while warning that the actual figure may be even higher.  Criminals used inventive measures to access the COVID benefits, with more than 205,000 Social Security numbers that belonged to dead people being used to claim the cash.  Some schemes saw the Social Security numbers of prisoners being used, despite them being ineligible for the unemployment benefits.

Biden administration struggles to recover billions in stolen pandemic aid.  Billions of dollars meant to help people cope with the pain of the pandemic disappeared in fraud schemes big and small, and the government is only now taking stock of how extensive the abuse became.  The Justice Department charged 48 people this week with operating a massive fraud ring in Minnesota that drained $240 million from a pandemic hunger program intended to feed children.  Dozens of people allegedly made up names and ages for children they claimed to have fed, then pocketed the money for those fake meals.  While the scale of the scheme was unusual, the approach was not.  So much money flowed to programs with so little oversight that people all over the world managed to siphon off piles of cash that the government is unlikely ever to recover.

As Biden Closes in on 100 Executive Orders, He's Costing Taxpayers an Astronomical Amount of Money.  Biden is a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat who's lived in the pretend world of D.C. politics for nearly 50 years, has no concept of life in the real world, has never seen a wealth redistribution scam he didn't wholeheartedly embrace, and has become a multimillionaire in the process.  It doesn't take a proverbial rocket scientist to figure out that disastrous combination.

47 charged in alleged $250 million Feeding Our Future fraud scheme.  The U.S. Attorney's Office announced charges against 47 Minnesotans Tuesday for allegedly defrauding the federal government's child nutrition programs of $250 million in a little over 20 months.  "These 47 defendants engaged in a brazen scheme of staggering proportions," U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said during a press conference, describing the $250 million total as just the "floor" because the federal investigation continues.  At the center of the charges is Aimee Bock, the founder and executive director of Feeding Our Future, a nonprofit whose offices were raided in January.  Tuesday's press conference marked a dramatic escalation in the case as the federal government spent the eight months since the raids preparing six indictments against 47 individuals for charges ranging from conspiracy and wire fraud to money laundering and bribery.

$240 million food aid stolen, 44 indicted in Minnesota.  We Minnesotans pride ourselves for having good intentions and good government.  It is an unearned conceit.  The reality is that we are chumps, and despite this being proven again and again, we keep never learn.  The New York Times tells the story of the latest example of how Minnesotans get taken for a ride: [...] The fraudsters involved in this one case have deep ties to Democrat politicians here in Minnesota, most notably Ilhan Omar, the radical "squad" member Congresswoman representing Minneapolis (and unfortunately my representative).  And because the accused were politically connected they could be as brazen as they wanted without fear that anyone in power in Minnesota would go after them.

The plague of green elephants.  Legend says that if you displeased the king of Siam, he would give you a white elephant.  These rare and protected elephants were incredibly expensive to keep.  So a "white elephant" came to mean a possession that is useless, troublesome, expensive to maintain, and difficult to dispose of — like a sacred cow, but much bigger.  Today, the deluded rulers of the Western world are gifting us and future generations with plagues of green elephants — useless, expensive, protected green rubbish.  The biggest green elephants in Australia are the five desalination plants built hurriedly when climate catastrophist Tim Flannery forecast that burning hydrocarbons would create perpetual drought.  He forgot La Niña with its cycles of rain and floods for Australia.  Flannery's complex, expensive desal plants have largely sat idle.  The sun powers the greatest desalination plant on Earth, all for free.

Official says Biden made hasty, expensive trip to vote in Delaware because 'it was important'.  The White House on Wednesday said President Biden's abrupt trip to Delaware to vote in person, which cost taxpayers thousands of dollars, was justified by his busy schedule.  Critics said Mr. Biden could have used an absentee ballot or participated in early in-person voting when he was in Delaware over the weekend.  Taxpayers had to pick up the tab for the extra Air Force One trip, plus the presidential motorcade and police escort to the polls.  "The president has a very heavy schedule.  He's the president of the United States.  It worked out best for him to vote yesterday, to vote on Tuesday," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One.  "He thought it was important to exercise his constitutional right to vote, as I just mentioned, and set an example by showing the importance of voting."

Foreign fraudsters broke feds' firewall to steal billions in pandemic loans: Audit.  Foreign criminal syndicates are estimated to have stolen tens of billions of dollars in pandemic relief money, and an inspector general's report is shedding light on how some of that happened.  The Small Business Administration's watchdog says the agency tried to block foreign applications to its Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), one of two major programs activated to prop up businesses during the early COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.  Still, thousands of applications filed from foreign Internet Protocol addresses got through the SBA's firewall.  As a result, the agency doled out about $1.3 billion in payments that the inspector general deemed at severe risk of being fraudulent.

Report: Las Vegas Democrat Accused of Killing Journalist Will Keep $130K Salary in Jail.  The Democrat official accused of murdering a journalist will reportedly continue drawing paychecks while behind bars in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Last week, Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles was charged in the stabbing death of the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Jeff German, according to the New York Post.

Major U.S. city plans to build a homeless megaplex, now residents fight back.  Residents of Seattle's Chinatown are fighting back against city officials over their plan to build a homeless megaplex in the center of their neighborhood.  The King County Department of Community and Human Services is planning to spend $66.5 million to construct a 24/7 homeless shelter that will house more than 500 people, according to the King County press release.  Thousands of Chinatown residents attended a rally Thursday to protest the construction of the homeless shelter.

Joe Biden Asks Congress for $ Billions More to Fund His Catch-and-Release Network.  The White House is asking Congress for another $5 billion to bus, fly, and house the southern flood of economic migrants into Americans' workplaces and housing.  Any additional funding will accelerate the federal "cheap labor distribution [network] that too many politicians in Washington are willing to participate in," said John Feere, a former homeland security official.  He now works for the Center for Immigration Studies.  The inflow of workers, renters, and consumers "benefits groups on both sides of the border — governments, human smuggling operations, and businesses," he told Breitbart News.

Infrastructure bill nets $110M for Hunts Point Market in Bronx.  The bipartisan infrastructure package signed by President Biden in November will secure $110 million for the redevelopment of a sprawling produce market in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's office said Friday [9/9/2022].  The funding for the Hunts Point Produce Market will help make the facility more eco-friendly, adding electric vehicle charging stations and about 800,000 square feet of refrigerated warehouse space topped by solar panels or a green roof, according to Schumer's office.  The 112-acre, half-century-old produce market is a key cog in New York's food supply chain that offers work for thousands of employees.  It provides about an estimated 25% of New York City's produce, according to Schumer's office.

The Editor says...
Is food distribution really the proper role of government?  Isn't that what Kroger is for?

What Drives Government Action?  It is understandable that folks are baffled and dismayed by the news that confronts us each day.  The Babylon Bee can barely keep a step ahead of the nitwittery we see playing out in real time.  For example, California politicians decided to take money from taxpayers in order to buy medical insurance for illegal aliens.  The federal government tossed bundles of COVID relief cash every which way, with over a billion dollars of it raining down on incarcerated convicts, including Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  And we witnessed government spend billions to fight the prospect of climate change, only to create the reality of crushing inflation.  Why are these things happening?  Who benefits?  Which politicians ran on a platform of doing any of this?  And, if we claim to be a government by consent, who is it that consented?

Ever wonder how big Joe Biden's Social Security check is?  According to President Biden's tax return for last year, the first couple received a whopping $4,555 a month in Social Security benefits alone which put them well above what the average retired American brings home each month.  And that doesn't include all of their other streams of income.  Social Security just celebrated its 87th birthday.  It was signed into law in August 1935 and payouts began on Jan. 1, 1940.  It has become the safety net for more than 48 million retired Americans and many depend on a monthly check from the agency to survive.  The average Social Security check is $1,670.95, according to The Motley Fool.  A Gallup poll reports that 89 percent of surveyed retirees count on Social Security as a "major" or "minor" source of income.  That means only one in 10 Americans aren't reliant on Social Security income to get by during retirement.  The Bidens are in that group.

IRS Sent Over $1 Billion in Stimulus Checks to Incarcerated Criminals.  In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, at least 1.1 million incarcerated criminals were given checks for COVID stimulus money as a result of Joe Biden's stimulus bill, with the final total amounting to about $1.3 billion.  According to the Washington Free Beacon, this failure was revealed in new internal data provided by the IRS.  Of the 1.1 million criminals who were given money under the provisions of the "American Rescue Plan," about 163,000 who received stimulus checks are currently serving life sentences without the possibility of parole, meaning they will never even get to retrieve and use such funds in the first place.  Life sentences without parole are most often given to those who are convicted of either murder or rape.  Responding to criticism regarding this particular fact, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said that the agency does not yet know how many of these lifelong prisoners are also on Death Row.

Biden Brings in Professional Bagman John Podesta to Divvy Up the $316 Billion in Climate Change Money to DNC Donors Ahead of Midterm Election.  Joe Biden has hired John Podesta to be the new Clean Energy Czar citing his experience in progressive causes. [...] If Podesta is the new Clean Energy Czar, it begs the question of what the heck John Kerry is doing now?  I digress.  You might remember that Steven Chu was the Obama Climate Change Czar for the first clean energy boondoggle that came as an outcome of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), those shovel ready jobs that didn't materialize and carried the Solyndra spending nonsense.  John Podesta had nothing to do with the Obama-era clean energy initiatives or energy spending programs.  Podesta was inserted into Obama's orbit in the second term (2013) specifically to watch out for Hillary Clinton's interests when she left to run for President.  Podesta later joined her in 2015 and took over the strategy team.  Bottom line, John Podesta is being now being hired to divvy up the $316 billion in Green New Deal money recently authorized by congress.  That is what Podesta specializes in, the distribution of taxpayer money to DNC allied groups and networks in advance of the 2022 midterms.

Why not ten percent?  Why not twenty?
Biden wants a 4.6% pay raise for federal employees in 2023.  President Biden has formally announced plans to give civilian federal employees a pay raise next year, an election-year promise bound to please government workers struggling with high inflation like the rest of the voters.  In a letter to congressional leadership, Mr. Biden said civilian federal employees will see an average 4.6% boost in pay beginning Jan. 1, consistent with his 2023 budget proposal in the spring.  The raise includes an across-the-board 4.1% increase and locality pay that will increase by an average of 0.5%.

Joe Biden's $1.9-trillion COVID relief spend-a-thon of 2021 goes to wokester pet projects.  Americans are paying [...] a lot for Joe Biden's spend-a-thon, in the form of inflation, which, at last glance, was costing American workers upwards of $5,000 in extra cash a year.  Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon, as Milton Friedman used to say, and sure enough, inflation started getting bad when a Democrat Congress passed and Joe Biden signed off on, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was passed to supposedly help America recover from COVID. [...] We got canoe-building.  We got vape detection.  We got SWAT tanks, which should come in handy when Joe comes after the Republicans.  We got racial healing pop-ups.  What we don't have is any obvious COVID relief, unless Joe Biden considers making bureaucrats rich the same as COVID relief.  It certainly is relief to them and to the profligate wokester blue cities that are still trying to think up things to spend that COVID relief cash on.  The only thing the American people are getting for this $1.9-trillion spend-a-thon is inflation.  We pay for it not only through the national debt, but through inflation, which is a double-pay hit on taxpayers.

Democrats Are Demanding An Extra $50,000,000 For Food For Illegal Immigrants.  Amidst ongoing food supply chain issues and shortages in the U.S., House Democrats introduced a bill that would designate an extra $50,000,000 for food programs for migrants in addition to a baseline of $150,000,000.  The bill, H.R. 8725, was sponsored by Representative Eleanor Norton, a Democrat representing the District of Columbia, on August 16th and has since been referred to the Committee on Appropriations. [...] The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) has already received $280 million in funding for its operations throughout 2022.  The sum was broken down into $130,000,000 for U.S. citizens and $150,000,000 for migrant families and individuals encountered by DHS.  Rep. Norton's bill appears to apply specifically to migrants who come into contact with DHS as opposed to including American citizens.

Biden's Education Secretary dodges questions on how student loan relief will be paid for.  Education Sec.  Miguel Cardona on Thursday refused to say how much the White House had projected President Biden's student debt cancellation would cost — despite repeated asks.  'The projections are still coming out depending on how many people take advantage of it,' Cardona said when asked by CNN's John Berman for a number.  'Mr. Secretary what's the range?' Berman pressed.  'Well, like I said, those projections are still coming out,' Cardona said again.  'What we're finding is when the loan payments restart $4 billion is going to go back into it because people are going to start paying.  Anyone making over $125,000 will resume payment into their loans.'  'It won't offset the total cost of this over time, how will this be paid for?' Berman asked.  'The president has been very clear about reducing the deficit, ' Cardona said.  'Whatever funds go to this loan forgiveness will be offset by the increase in loan payment restart for those making over $125,000.'

Biden's Student Loan Giveaway Is 'Unconstitutional Flimflammery'.  The White House "Fact Sheet" speaks of the horror and hardship students are experiencing.  It talks of the "significant burden" of student loan debt, how some borrowers are in default, and that the share of debt falls disproportionally on black students.  But this debt burden was not mandatory.  It was optional.  And racking up $100,000 in student debt was an option these former students willingly accepted.  So now, the biggest beneficiaries of the loan forgiveness program are going to be those who don't need it.

Covid-19 fraud is one big reason why the public doesn't trust their government.  Recently, a government report revealed that COVID-19 relief efforts led to possibly the largest fraud in the history of America.  The Washington Post reported that unemployment benefits of an estimated $163 billion were paid to undeserving individuals due to either error or fraud.  In the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, around $58 billion was paid to companies that shared the same addresses, phone numbers, bank accounts, or other data as other applicants — a clear indication of fraud.  Why did this happen?  The first reason is antiquated computer systems[.]  The federal and state governments have separate databases to store the same information and isolated systems to perform the same function.  At times departments within both state and federal governments have separate databases for the same data.  The systems do not always share information with each other.  The outcome is data redundancy, data inconsistency and no proper tracking.

Education Department underestimated net cost of direct student loans by more than $300B: GAO.  This week's Golden Horseshoe is awarded to the Department of Education for underestimating by more than $300 billion the net cost to taxpayers of the federal student loan program.  "Although the Department of Education originally estimated federal direct loans made in the last 25 years would generate billions in income for the federal government, its current estimates show these loans will cost the government billions," according to a July GAO report.  The Department of Education "originally estimated these loans to generate $114 billion in income for the government," the GAO reported.  "Although actual costs cannot be known until the end of the loan terms, as of fiscal year 2021 these loans are estimated to cost the federal government $197 billion.  This swing of $311 billion was driven both by programmatic changes and by re-estimates using revised assumptions (e.g., economic factors and loan performance) as additional data became available."

NYC could spend $300M annually to house migrants in hotels: analysis.  The Big Apple could be on the hook for more than $300 million per year to provide shelter space in hotels for newly arrived migrants, a [New York] Post analysis shows.  City officials have either rented or announced plans to secure roughly 5,800 hotel rooms over the last month in response to the influx from the southern border, which quickly overwhelmed the already-strained homeless shelter system.  One of the largest operations is planned for the ROW NYC hotel on 8th Avenue in Midtown, where officials are looking to rent as many as 600 rooms and provide intake and other services for the recent arrivals.

The Editor says...
It sounds like the New York City government is doing everything it can to attract more immigrants.  Or do they think nobody outside of the U.S. will find out about the luxury hotels?

Renewable Energy Is the Corporatist Rat Hole Where Your Taxes Go!  The Federal government has already spent well over $100 billion on renewable credits for electricity production since their enactment three decades ago, and the "Inflation Reduction Act" will cost taxpayers another $98 billion.  The proposed bill is full of incentives for renewable energy technologies, chief among an extension of wind and solar tax credits significantly increasing subsidies for them, provided additional criteria are met during construction.  It also offers new tax credits for domestic manufacturing of solar panels and wind turbine parts as well as energy storage projects sited separately from renewable generation facilities.  Wind and solar projects would effectively get an extension on tax credits for production and investment, as would stand-alone energy storage projects.  If Senator Joe Manchin wanted to handicap natural gas and coal generators and force more retirements, this is certainly a way to do it.  The United States would be forcing renewable energy in the same fashion as Europe has been doing.

Biden Puts IRS Funding Ahead of Military and Border Security.  Is this about the most warped set of national priorities you've ever heard?  If this $80 billion were rerouted to the Army and the Border Patrol, we could easily stop much of the tide of illegal immigration and staff up our military so we have the soldiers we need to defend our country.  According to official budget numbers, the overall cost of border security at the Department of Homeland Security is roughly $55 billion a year.  That is less than just the increase in IRS funding to harass the public.  Or consider this:  The epidemic of opioid and other drug overdoses is killing close to 100,000 a year.  We spend about $11 billion a year to prevent these tragic deaths.  But the ironically named Inflation Reduction Act calls for 30 times more than this, or more than $300 billion, to try to combat climate change, while the number of those who die from CO2 emissions each year is close to zero.

What takes years to make and costs $20K? A San Francisco trash can.  That costly, boxy bin is among six trash cans hitting San Francisco's streets this summer in the city's long saga in search of the perfect can.  Overflowing trash cans are a common sight in the Northern California city, along with piles of used clothes, shoes, furniture and other items strewn about on sometimes-impassable sidewalks.  City officials hired a Bay Area industrial firm to custom-design the pricey trash can along with two other prototypes that cost taxpayers $19,000 and $11,000 each.  This summer, residents have the opportunity to evaluate them along with three off-the-shelf options added to the pilot program after officials faced criticism.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 OpenTheBooks.com.  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.

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.

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."

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 DailyMail.com 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, COVIDtests.gov 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 USASPENDING.gov 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 OpenTheBooks.com 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, USAspending.gov.  "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], OpenTheBooks.com 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 ID.me, 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 ID.me, 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 OpenTheBooks.com 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 OpenTheBooks.com 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 ID.me, 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 ID.me, 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 ID.me 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 LifeNews.com 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 OpenTheBooks.com 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.

Update:
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.

$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 NJ.com, 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 OpenTheBooks.com 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," OpenTheBooks.com 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 NJ.com 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 fu