I am from the “Show Me” state Missouri. We are known for needing to see the proof and as such we often say show me. A few years ago we elected a dead man to the Senate and I thought I had seen it all. Sure he was well love but when Mel Carnahan died in a plane crash Missourians voted emotionally to re-elect him. His wife was appointed in his stead and I thought I had seen it all. What I have seen on the American political scene in this past year makes electing Mel look sane.
If it were possible to summarize the past year it would take more time than either of us has but I can hit the highlights.
1. We elected a first-term Senator with no executive experience and a sketchy if not abominable past to the highest office in the land. He won’t allow any of his college transcripts be seen, albeit customary, and I know in my heart it is because his class schedule looked like a who’s who in statist philosophy and circumventing the Constitution.
2. We were promised a more transparent government and White House and if anything there is less transparency to everything Congress and the Administration does. Even when the White House release information it is done on their terms and to their drudges.
3. We were promised no more business as usual with pork-barrel projects and wasteful spending only to see:
• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.
• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.
• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.
• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).
• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.
• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.
• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.
• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD’s.
• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.
• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.
• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.
• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.
• $75 million for “smoking cessation activities.”
• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.
• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.
• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.
• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.
• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.
• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings.
• $500 million for state and local fire stations.
• $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.
• $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs.
• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.
• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.
• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.
• $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service.
• $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.
• $850 million for Amtrak.
• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.
• $75 million to construct a “security training” facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.
• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.
• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.
…and the list goes on and on and on. Of late the Administration has been buying votes in Congress with more Taxpayer dollars and coming up with even more pet projects.
4. We were warned that when the 3 a.m. phone call came in their would be no one in the White House to answer the phone. Ring – ring, ring – ring, ring – ring. Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, and others are all ringing the phone off the wall not to mention that the American people are suffering.
5. Obama and his administration have installed some of the most misfit, communistic, ultra left leaning liberals to key positions and act surprised that anyone would take offense to them.
6. The new “I will reach across the aisle president” has only done so to slap the other side with insults, innuendo, and partisan remarks.
7. Oh yes. And the president who was to be for all of us cannot hear any of us that disagree with him. Obama has shown himself to be fussy, persnickety, petulant, and of an otherwise thin-skinned nature. No one’s perfect.
8. In the last 10 months Obama has played more golf, campaigned for more Democrats, and visited more monuments than Arnold Palmer, Bill Clinton, and Rick Steves respectively. And, while I can’t be sure of the number I believe Obama has made more TV appearances than Lassie.
9. While promising and failing at that Promise to close Guantanamo Bay Cuba for the detainees, Obama has managed to get 5 of the worst terrorists transferred to America to be tried with all the rights and benefits of American citizens. And I thought the way he behaved in Saudi Arabia and Egypt was inexcusable.
10. Number ten. Every good list has ten items and so shall this one. Obama has recognized that 12 million Americans have lost their jobs so he has a plan. He is going to have a Summit on the subject which is a fancy way to say, “Obama is planning a MEETING to talk about why no one has a friggin’ job”.
Lest I leave you having sounded cynical I would like to leave you on a positive note. Soon our president will be addressing us all again and he wants Congress to make spending cuts a priority. That should leave you laughing until the next time.