Posts Tagged ‘wasteful spending
QUESTION: Is there ANYTHING that regular people can do to rein in reckless Democrat spending and Cocktail Party Republican establishment pork projects?
Is there anything at all that regular Americans can do to rein in the reckless spending of Democrats and the wasteful pork projects the Cocktail Party GOP establishment revels in?
The new spending bill has $575 million dollars spent per page.
Most Americans are what you could call “thousandaires”…not “millionaires” or “billionaires”.
So, putting this in perspective, can you imagine reading a household budget for you or your friends that summed to $575 per page? In the Obamaconomy, when everyone is just getting by on financial fumes…if they are lucky?
Would YOU create a budget that spends more than you take in, and spends that money on wasteful junk that benefits only the unions and your corrupt acquaintances?
Of course not.
One of the great, unsolved political mysteries is how to get normal, average, responsible Americans up in arms over the wasteful spending of BOTH parties…the Democrats and the Cocktail Party GOP establishment that aides and abets them.
The United States just does not have the money to pay for all the waste Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Obama have jammed into the massive spending omnibus these reckless fools are ramming through Congress before Christmas.
How do we get Republicans, in particular, to stick to their principles and cut this waste and pork?
Remember: Lisa Murkowski’s win in Alaska proves just how addicted to pork and welfare even “conservatives” are. Alaska is a “conservative” state, supposedly, and yet Murkowski promised to keep wasteful pork flowing while Joe Miller campaigned to end it once and for all. And the welfare queens of our northernmost state turned out in droves to write “Lisa Murkowski” on their ballots so that the government could keep writing checks to Alaska.
It means that in our most brutal and supposedly independent state, the pioneer, take care of yourself spirit has eroded to the point where Alaskans aren’t any better than the welfare queens in Chicago expecting payments from the government just for existing.
Is there any hope of ending this entitlement culture and reining spending in?
Be honest and creative because it’s going to take something way outside the box to ever get through to people on this one.
QUESTION: Is there a website collecting pictures of "Recovery" signs that are complete and utter jokes?
Has anyone ever seen an online collection of the Recovery.gov signs — particularly ones playing sentinel over half-baked, piss-poor, ridiculous messes that are clear wastes of taxpayer money?
Such as the stunning job Recovery.Gov has done here in Chicago, at intersections like this one at Oakdale and Halsted (near Boystown), where the Obama stimulus money was used to dig a shallow trench into the street, which was covered with some old rotting plywood, then forgotten about.
Erecting that sign, with a full union crew, probably cost $10,000.
Digging that trench required four supervisors, two workers, and a safety inspector, for an additional several thousand dollars, no doubt.
This eyesore actually made the street, and community it serves, WORSE OFF than if Recovery.org never existed.
Going into the fall elections, we think the public needs visceral material like this…tangible evidence of the waste Democrats have shoved through Congress by holding all the reins of government. The Left has no idea how to properly spend tax dollars. It’s time Americans see this with their own eyes, and rethink the prudence of having Leftists in office.
This construction project looks like what happens when children are given all the glue, scissors, paper, and crayons they could ask for, with zero supervision, and are left to their own devices to “create something” for the sake of “being busy”.
Bad children get spankings for making messes like this.
And spankings are what Democrats need at the ballot box in November.
Can you tell us if a Recovery.org photo album exists anywhere?
If not, we need to start one.
If it does exist, we need to find a way to get regular Americans — the kind who are disgusted by waste like this, or who have small children and know about inmates running asylums — to really take a close look at these boondoggles and make the connection that returning Democrats to Congress means years more of this corrupt, corrosive waste.
UPDATE: It looks like Darrell Issa is also looking for photos and descriptions of these signs. He wants them emailed to him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
But, what we are looking for is an actual site that is compiling these signs, in one place, so that Americans can see them all together, side by side.
This would actually make a wonderful Sears catalog of horrors that could be sent to voters, even if in just PDF form. Page after page of these signs, presiding over all manner of abandoned messes coast to coast.
It would be fun, actually, to collect 50 of these signs…one in every state…showing Obama’s stimulus ineptitude coast to coast.
If you email photos to us, we’ll make a new page here on HillBuzz to collect these if we don’t find an already existing site that’s doing this. Republicans need to wise up and see the political opportunity for November in showing Americans just how poorly their tax dollars were spent by this White House and Congress.
Email us: HillBuzz@gmail.com
My name is Patricia Melton, and I am President-for-Life of the Mineral City Coffee Club, one of the leading coffee clubs in the nation (as voted in such fine publications as The Mineral City Penny Saver, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Melton Family Christmas Newsletter, and Vanity Fair). I also run the most sophisticated and awe-inspiring aquaculture farm in central Ohio (as voted in Aquaculture Monthly, Tasty Fish Magazine, The Melton Family Christmas Newsletter, and the 1986 Red Lobster Placemat Menu). I am the beleagured wife of a jam and model train obsessed husband named Earl (who gets into everything, like an overalls-wearing-jam-stealing-raccoon), and the proud mother of a son named Robby (who hung the sun, moon, and stars, and lives in Chicago now) and all sorts of cat-babies (who are all very smart too, as voted in such fine publications as Cat Fancy Magazine, Pet Age, The Melton Family Christmas Newsletter, and Highlights For Children). I have a daughter as well named Ann-Louise, who is a constant source of disappointment and endless drain upon my soul (the less said about her, the better). She lives in New York, considers herself to be an actress, dates married men, pronounces certain words like mozzerella or Mexico in sentences with a manufactured foreign accent, and once rode the elevator with actor Seth Green from floor two to floor five at Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue (where she embarrassed herself). Ann-Louise is no longer allowed in Tiffany’s, but for reasons, surprisingly, unrelated to actor Seth Green.
Every morning, the Mineral City Coffee Club convenes in my well-appointed and beautifully-decorated kitchen (because I am the President, this is my prerogative, and it is one of the many presidential perks to limit my daily commute to the distance from my living room to my kitchen, which is approximately 40 feet, give or take detours required around any of Earl’s damn trains). We discuss the relevant current events of the day, solve mysteries, monitor local politics, judge people, and evaluate American foreign policy and diplomatic efforts.
The cat-babies watch and listen intently, perched all throughout the kitchen, some hiding in nooks and crannies, looking adorable as they try to blend in with the Hummel figurines and other bric-a-brac collected on many a Coffee Club adventure through the lower 48, as well as exotic foreign destinations such as Iceland or China (where we solved many an international mystery, thank you very much). The cat-babies aren’t technically members of the Coffee Club, because they are cats, and cats don’t have money for dues, or apposable thumbs to hold their mugs (a requirement of the Coffee Club, as it’s a bylaw in the national charter). Earl isn’t a member of the Coffee Club because he’d get jam all over everything. My son Robby and his friends in Chicago are honorary club members, because they are good boys who mostly agree with everything we say and do. They are Coffee Club: the Next Generation, but instead meet in Boystown over Pilsners and solve all sorts of mysteries of their own something tells me I don’t necessarily want to hear about.
My daughter Ann-Louise is President and Sole Member of the Disappointment Club, which meets 24/7 somewhere in Manhattan, rolling out of bed no earlier than 2:45 in the afternoon, before making the Bulgarian doormen in her building come upstairs to help find her shoes (which, typically, are found in the freezer, filed between the Stoli Raspberry, the Absolut Citron, and a voodoo doll of Sarah Michelle Geller, my daughter’s perceived arch-nemesis, and TV’s own Buffy the Vampire Slayer). How any grown woman can spend so much time in New York doing so little that matters, but expecting the world to cater to her is just beyond me.
“The role of Caroline Kennedy has already been filled,” I remind Ann-Louise, stating the painfully obvious, knowing the moment she hangs up on me she’ll be on the hunt for more Jimmy Choo this, or Catherine Malandrino that, before it’s time to meet another hedge fund manager at Le Cirque for drinks (since, now that they’ve moved the restaurant to their new location and have a new Maitre’d, she’s no longer banned for life anymore, for reasons completely related to actor Seth Green).
I don’t know how Jackie Kennedy put up with Caroline’s antics for as long as she did. That woman really was a long-suffering saint (and it takes one to know one, apparently). Thank goodness I’ve got Robby and a houseful of cat-babies, because between Ann-Louise and Earl, and all those aquaculture ponds and bridges on my property, sometimes I feel like I’m living at Hyannis Port.
Did you know cat-babies love the smell of, but not the taste of, various flavored coffees? If you regularly attended Coffee Club meetings of your own, you’d know this, because every morning, we serve a different flavored coffee, most of which are bizarre and unappealing and a real stretch on some imagined international relations theme. Don’t blame me, because I don’t brew the coffee. I have more than enough on my plate, between keeping Earl out of things, keeping the cat-babies focused and motivated, judging people, and preparing a daily list of discussion items for our Club meetings. My mortal nemesis Anne Millar brings the flavored coffees, in what I believe is secretly a decades-long methodical plot to slowly poison me by celebrating the flavors of my (after) life. Today’s coffee, for instance, was called Icelandic Meltdown, referring to the recent collapse of Iceland’s economy because of all the Hope! and Change! young Icelanders pumped into investment banking in a country almost wholly dependent on fisheries and cod prices, wholly unrelated to either investment banking or actor Seth Green.
And that’s what Anne’s coffee tasted like: a whole lot of lukewarm cod, a briny slurry of bitter regret, with a foamy, frothy nastiness that made me think of so many bubbles burst, and so many billions swirled down the toilet. Which, of course, perfectly captured many an Icelander’s broken dreams, while quickly turning my stomach (just like an afternoon on a jostling Icelandic fishing trolley, battered on the angry viking seas, barreling towards doom).
A few years ago, my son Robby did his study abroad in Iceland (mapping lava flows with GPS devices, because he is so smart and is very accurate with satellite technology and maps), and the whole Coffee Club went to visit him (myself, Club Vice President Grace, Secretary Helen (who used to work at the State Department, until the incident), Treasurer Barbra, Membership Director Annabelle, and Eeyore Anne). The people in Iceland were very pleasant and all looked like they are related to one another, just like brothers and sisters who creepily get married, or the weirdly viking-esque mannequins they used to have at Higbee’s department store in Cleveland before it closed and became an empty, rotting shell sitting on Public Square. Icelanders were also a strange mix of practical and gullible, as many of them believe soundly in the benefits of sensible renewable geothermal energy sources while also believing in elves and trolls hiding in rocks, sewers, and caves around Iceland, causing all of the island nation’s various and sundry problems. They build brightly painted miniature houses next to their real houses so the elves will live in those instead of the real house (something, rumor has it, Rahm Emanuel’s wife does as well, because he’s so little and creepy, and she doesn’t want to be disturbed late at night when he comes home with secret service agents, for whatever reason he’s going to movies with them). Robby even shadowed a crew of elf investigators as they worked on a construction site, trying to determine if elves were the cause of various machines breaking down (Robby was there to GPS map the precise spots where no elves were present, which was in fact, all of Iceland). The Mineral City Coffee Club investigated The Case of the Icelandic Elf Sabotage (as featured in The Mineral City Penny Saver and Melton Family Christmas Newsletter), and determined the cause of the breakdowns to be wholly elf, pixie, goblin, gremlin, or troll un-related (instead, it turned out, the machines in question were made by General Motors, and were just shoddily manufactured, unreliable, weakened by one-side UAW contracts, and poor performers in the international marketplace).
But, Icelanders still insisted the elves were behind all of their problems, and hoped that bumping billions into international banking would change everything. Because, we all know how great Hope! and Change! end up being when employed as financial or political strategy.
Hope sure doesn’t work for me when I forget to lock the cabinets or refrigerator and leave Earl home alone with raspberry preserves and the delusion I’ll come home to clean, sparklingly white, unblemished antique lace drapes in the living room. Change remains nonexistent whenever I delude myself into believing this, at last, will be the year my daughter stops using “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can buy at Armani” as her personal mantra in a determined quest to simultaneously follow in Caroline Kennedy’s footsteps, while ultimately challenging Sarah Michelle Geller to some sort of poorly thought out and overly elaborate late night Fast and the Furious style game of chicken on the alkaloid flats of Death Valley.
This morning, the Coffee Club ladies and I discussed Iceland’s meltdown, while sipping Anne’s vile Icelandic Meltdown international coffee (or, in my case, pouring that swill into the artificial ficus Earl’s mother gave me one Christmas, because the woman is THAT CHEAP). Grace, my best friend, in her role as Club Vice President, directed our attention to the various charts and graphs she brought, showing just how ridiculous it was for a small and independent fishing nation to splurge so much of its national treasure on grandiose projects with little chance of practical success. The pie charts were especially good, and edible, as Grace has, as of late, become quite the fan of Ace of Cakes on TV (and now uses her oven and various fondants the way most people use Kinko’s and Xerox). There was one chart, in particular, that I believe would have accurately described Iceland’s foreshadowing of America’s own coming financial disaster related to Obama’s recent Trillions-of-Dollars-Spending-Spree, but Grace, unfortunately, used blueberry as her medium, and while the rest of us were distracted by something adorable three of the cat-babies were doing (Mister Sniffles, Mister Giggles, and Mister Waffles, who, all in a row, each put either their paws on their eyes, their mouth, or their ears, like those hear no evil, see no evil, eat no evil monkeys, and Anne started a squabble because she said the cat-babies were all racists, because thinking about, talking about, or saying anything looks like a monkey is racist, even if the cat-babies doing whatever looks like monkeys are actually black cat-babies, or at least a mixed black and white cat-baby, like Mr. Waffles is), that particular pie chart just vanished into thin air. I, of course, knowing better, immediately went down into the basement where Earl keeps most of his trains (he calls the basement “Earlsylvania”, his own private domain where he claims I have no powers, and I remind him he has no sense or grasp of reality). There, I found an empty pie tin, and blueberry all over Earl’s face. “The elves did it. I don’t know anything about any pie. The elves ate the pie and then framed me for it,” he claimed, knowing full well I didn’t believe him, because if the elves of Mineral City ate as much pie as Earl insisted, there sure would be a whole lot of bloated, diabetic elves not existing at all in Mineral City because they are imaginary.
I don’t spend all that much time in Earlsylvania, visiting my husband’s miniature HO scale world in the basement typically only when I’m upset with him and need to hide some of his little people to feel better (“Why no, Earl, I didn’t kidnap your miniature Cub Scout Troop Jamborie and hide them under the magazine rack. It must have been those elves, all hopped up on pie again, looking for mischief”). So, I hadn’t been down there in months, and was shocked at all the changes to Earlsylvania in that time.
Apparently, Earlsylvania’s economy is tanking with the rest of the country, and Earl’s “stimulus package” isn’t working the wonders he’d hoped. ”I tried everything, but nothing’s working,” Earl sadly admitted, having dug up most of eastern Earlsylvania to build a whole new track setup, a futuristic magnet levitating monorail connecting Earsylvania to a giant poster of Los Angeles Earl won by throwing rings at a clown’s face at the last Mineral City Hobo Festival. Fake boulders, styrofoam mountains, and half completed miniature buildings and construction equipment were strewn about everywhere, while all the lights in Earlsylvania were dark, and none of the little trains were racing around making any of the racquet that normally drives me crazy and makes me hate life.
“I tried fixing it, and poured all this money into it, but I only messed it all up. Something’s wrong and I can’t fix it, no matter how much I spend on new things, and no matter if I build a monorail to take people to that poster of Los Angeles they don’t really want to go to”.
Earl’s got a wire crossed somewhere. And, also, in his model train set, something’s not quite right either.
When I came back up from the basement with the empty tin Grace had proceeded with her report, accurately guessing correctly she’d never see her pie chart again, not after the “elves” got hold of it. The ladies were now talking about all the wasteful spending projects Ohio was engaging in, now that Obama rammed trillions of spending through Congress, with absolutely no one in either the House or Senate reading the full 1,400 page bill before voting on it. I shuddered, thinking what would happen if I ever said yes to something Earl or Ann-Louise proposed without sitting down and reading every last word of it. We’d have a barn full of strawberry preserves or a mountain of department store credit card debt if I’d ever give carte blanche to those two (which, of course, Ann-Louise would dramatically pronounce, Cahhhhhhrt-uh Ba-llllllllll-aaaaaaaaanchhhhhhh, with relish, on top of her overabundance of snooty cheese. Oh, excuse me, fromage).
Now, I don’t know what things are like we’re your from, but Ohio is known for boondoggles. It’s not as bad as Robby tells me Illinois is, because at least we have a decent governor here, but we also have the Teamsters, and you all know how they can be in terms of ensuring an endless stream of pork into the state. On top of that, the Ohio Department of Transportation could only be more ineptly run if Earl and his model train engineers were put in charge of it. Most roads around here are built to last a year or two before needing to be torn up and replaced. Most of Obama’s trillions in spending heading towards Ohio will be spent on scams like that, or on things that are nice to have, but not necessary, such as hiking trails, refurbished state parks, or improvements to the Mineral City and Chagrin Falls Muppet Sanctuaries (including a new breeding program to bring the herds back up to pre-2005 levels, before infamous Muppet hunter and skinner Helen Jones-Kelley earned her reputation in these parts as “The Butcher of Fraggle Rock”. My cat-babies just hate her, and I tend to agree).
After all that money is spent, the Coffee Club ladies and I believe Ohio will be in no better shape and employing no more additional workers than Earlsylvania, after the Great Monorail Debacle of 2009 (which follows the Epic Seaport Fail of 2008, the Embarrassment of an Infrastructure Program of 2007, and the Mineral City Spire of 2006, which Earl built completely from toothpicks and elves mysterious toppled in the middle of the night, after covering the superstructure with quince jam).
Helen, our own Coffee Club Secretary of Great, who used to work at the State Department until the incident and is an expert on all things international, said most of Obama’s spending reminds her of the hundreds of thousands of dollars Icelanders waste on either elf insurance measures, or by rerouting expensive road construction around certain rocks or trees they believe may be haunted by elves. Helen said the Icelanders scamming the construction companies by staging “elf protests” or “goblin mischief” to delay, prolong, and force yearly reworking of major construction projects is no more ridiculous than what corrupt construction companies do with federal contracts in America. An “elf investigator” is no more absurd or useless on a construction project than many of the state and federal employees in the Department of Transportation. And Icelanders, Helen notes, speaking as an expert from her days at the State Department (cut short, as they were), aren’t committing graft for graft’s sake, but merely waste money playfully for the same reason Bijork wears a dress shaped like a swan to the Oscars (which, come to think of it, still doesn’t explain why Michelle Obama wore a Wilma Flinstone-inspired coffee filter frock to the Inaugural ball, designed by the same man who makes clothes for RuPaul and other drag queens or transvestites, and is now the single most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen a grown person (who is not Earl) ever wear in public).
Icelandic money has cute pictures of puffins and fish and all sorts of colorful characters on it, so it’s all a lot of fun to waste.
American money is drab, boring, and much, much more serious and less fun to throw down the toilet or stuff into caves with little plastic Cub Scouts for magical elves to find.
Spending projects that cost a lot of money and tear up our basement, wrecking everything around them, don’t work for Earlsylvania any better than they’ll work for Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Toledo, Cincinnati, Mineral City, or any of the other great American cities of Ohio.
This was the consensus of the Mineral City Coffee Club, at least. Now, maybe your own Coffee Club came to a different conclusion when discussing Iceland and model trains over pie graphs, or perhaps maybe you drink tea and never really think about any of this international stuff, as tea drinkers tend to be self-centered and myopic racists like that. Maybe you’re drinking other beverages like the kind my daughter Ann-Louise stores in her freezer or Caroline Kennedy keeps in her purse (with all the ums, ahs, and you knows that pour out of that one, I’m convinced there’s some extra strength Nyquil involved somewhere). I don’t really know what your problem is, and I am not here to fix it or teach you things, only to observe and judge.
Patricia Melton (but you can call me Pattymelt, because everyone else does)
Mineral City, Ohio
This week, the United States Senate will vote on a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 is a sprawling, $410 billion compilation of nine spending measures that lacks the slightest hint of austerity from the federal government or the recipients of its largess.
The Senate should reject this bill. If we do not, President Barack Obama should veto it.
The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year’s levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across a broad swath of issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations. Such increases might be appropriate for a nation flush with cash or unconcerned with fiscal prudence, but America is neither.
Drafted last year, the bill did not pass due to Congress’s long-standing budgetary dysfunction and the frustrating delays it yields in our appropriations work. Since then, economic and fiscal circumstances have changed dramatically, which is why the Senate should go back to the drawing board. The economic downturn requires new policies, not more of the same.
Our nation’s current fiscal imbalance is unprecedented, unsustainable and, if unaddressed, a major threat to our currency and our economic vitality. The national debt now exceeds $10 trillion. This is almost double what it was just eight years ago, and the debt is growing at a rate of about $1 million a minute.
Washington borrows from foreign creditors to fund its profligacy. The amount of U.S. debt held by countries such as China and Japan is at a historic high, with foreign investors holding half of America’s publicly held debt. This dependence raises the specter that other nations will be able to influence our policies in ways antithetical to American interests. The more of our debt that foreign governments control, the more leverage they have on issues like trade, currency and national security. Massive debts owed to foreign creditors weaken our global influence, and threaten high inflation and steep tax increases for our children and grandchildren.
The solution going forward is to stop wasteful spending before it starts. Families and businesses are tightening their belts to make ends meet — and Washington should too.
The omnibus debate is not merely a battle over last year’s unfinished business, but the first indication of how we will shape our fiscal future. Spending should be held in check before taxes are raised, even on the wealthy. Most people are willing to do their duty by paying taxes, but they want to know that their money is going toward important priorities and won’t be wasted.
Last week I was pleased to attend the president’s White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit. It’s about time we had a leader committed to addressing the deficit, and Mr. Obama deserves great credit for doing so. But what ultimately matters are not meetings or words, but actions. Those who vote for the omnibus this week — after standing with the president and pledging to slice our deficit in half last week — jeopardize their credibility.
As Indiana’s governor, I balanced eight budgets, never raised taxes, and left the largest surplus in state history. It wasn’t always easy. Cuts had to be made and some initiatives deferred. Occasionally I had to say “no.”
But the bloated omnibus requires sacrifice from no one, least of all the government. It only exacerbates the problem and hastens the day of reckoning. Voters rightly demanded change in November’s election, but this approach to spending represents business as usual in Washington, not the voters’ mandate.
Now is the time to win back the confidence and trust of the American people. Congress should vote “no” on this omnibus and show working families across the country that we are as committed to living within our means as they are.
Senator Evan Bayh
Here’s just some of Obama’s wasteful, reckless spending that McCain railed against on the Senate floor yesterday:
• $2.1 million for the Center for Grape Genetics in New York. “quick peel me a grape,” McCain twittered.
• $1.7 million for a honey bee factory in Weslaco, Tex.
• $1.7 million for pig odor research in Iowa.
• $1 million for Mormon cricket control in Utah. “Is that the species of cricket or a game played by the brits?” McCain tweeted.
• $819,000 for catfish genetics research in Alabama.
• $650,000 for beaver management in North Carolina and Mississippi.
• $951,500 for Sustainable Las Vegas. (McCain, a devotee of Vegas and gambling, must really be against earmarks if he doesn’t want to “sustain” Vegas.)
• $2 million “for the promotion of astronomy” in Hawaii, as McCain twittered, “because nothing says new jobs for average Americans like investing in astronomy.”
• $167,000 for the Autry National Center for the American West in Los Angeles. “Hopefully for a Back in the Saddle Again exhibit,” McCain tweeted sarcastically.
• $238,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii. “During these tough economic times with Americans out of work,” McCain twittered.
• $200,000 for a tattoo removal violence outreach program to help gang members or others shed visible signs of their past. “REALLY?” McCain twittered.
• $209,000 to improve blueberry production and efficiency in Georgia.
This is the reason we, as moderate Democrats who abhor pork barrel spending, backed John McCain and Sarah Palin instead of falling in line with the Democratic party.
Obama’s bankrupting this country, while Michelle leads conga lines at the White House and dances to Stevie Wonder in her sleeveless dresses.
And that’s not anywhere near as ridiculous as the pork that’s in Obama’s endless spending.
Obama lied to America.
He promised to change the way Washington works, and to eliminate earmarks and pork. We knew he was lying all along, which is why we didn’t support him. He’s lied his whole career. Anyone who bothered to look at his record, and his pronounced love of earmarks, could see that.
John McCain calls him out on his lies today.
We wish the media would do so as well, but we don’t believe wishes or hope ever get us very far.
NOTE: If anyone knows how to turn the RealClearPolitics video into a YouTube video so we can post that directly here, please let us know. WordPress does not allow embedding of the RealClear video, but would allow posting of a YouTube video.
Here’s a question we haven’t been able to find an answer to — but maybe those of you out there, especially on the Republican side, can answer: why does White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel receive what appears to be Secret Service protection?
This came to our attention yesterday, when POLITICO ran a blurb in Ben Smith’s column relating an anecdote about Rahm Emanuel seeing a movie (The Wrestler), with an unidentified Secret Service agent in Washington, DC on Saturday night.
Why was Rahm Emanuel at the movies with a Secret Service agent?
Is it legal for Rahm Emanuel to have a Secret Service protective detail, at taxpayer expense?
According to the Secret Service’s official site, here are some rules for protectees, as set by law, in terms of who does and does not receive Secret Service protective details:
- The president, the vice president, (or other individuals next in order of succession to the Office of the President), the president-elect and vice president-elect
- The immediate families of the above individuals
- Former presidents and their spouses for their lifetimes, except when the spouse remarries. In 1997, Congressional legislation became effective limiting Secret Service protection to former presidents for a period of not more than 10 years from the date the former president leaves office
- Children of former presidents until age 16
- Visiting heads of foreign states or governments and their spouses traveling with them, other distinguished foreign visitors to the United States, and official representatives of the United States performing special missions abroad
- Major presidential and vice presidential candidates, and their spouses within 120 days of a general presidential election
- Other individuals as designated per Executive Order of the President
- National Special Security Events, when designated as such by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
It seems Rahm might be using that “other individuals as designated per Executive Order of the President” to receive his own detail. But, if that’s true, then what Executive Order was it tha Obama issued to grant Rahm this expensive perk?
Because that’s what it is, really, in this case: a perk Rahm has that makes him look and feel important in his new position.
The average American does not know who Rahm Emanuel is. Though, the average American does not know who Joe Biden is, as evidenced by another anecdote POLITICO ran back in December, when Biden and his wife tried to see The Curious Case of Benjamen Button in Delaware, complete with Secret Service detail, and they couldn’t get in because the theater was sold out. And no one bothered Biden, or even asked for an autograph. Because regular people had no idea who he was, and were focused instead on seeing their movies.
So, why, again, does Rahm Emanuel take a Secret Service agent to the movies with him?
There’s just something really very strange about that.
Did Bush’s Chief of Staff take Secret Service agents to the movies too?
Did they go see wrestling movies too?
When the Secret Service takes Rahm to the movies, who springs for the popcorn and Sprite?
Or is that diet Sprite, ’cause, girl, a Chief of Staff’s gotta watch his waist?
With budgets tight everywhere, and seemingly no reason for Rahm Emanuel to have Secret Service protection at movies, why are we paying for his date nights?
Does anyone know?