Day by Day

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Why the hell did this guy have all this information in his damn HOUSE?!?!

"Hmmmm, let's see here.... I have the Social Security Numbers, Names, and Birth Dates of over TWENTY-SIX MILLION VETERANS here in this e-file. What should I do with it? Let's see.... Keep it locked up at work? Nah. Put it in a safe place? Nah. Gosh, I think I'll take it home with me so a fucking BURGLAR CAN STEAL IT FROM MY HOME! Yeah, that's a GREAT idea!"

If the employee isn't fired yet, I want to know why. This isn't just negligence, this is CRIMINAL negligence, and if any veterans end up effected because of this asshole, the Dept. of Veteran's Affairs needs to make sure everything is put right.

Of course, I'm not holding my breath on any of this. Being a federal employee means never having to say you're sorry if you completely screw up other people's lives. Gah. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

Oh, and if your outrage quotient hasn't been filled up, check out this piece in the Examiner.

You would think members of Congress would learn from the onslaught of public outrage generated last year when the nation first heard about wasteful boondoggles like the "?Bridges to Nowhere"? earmark for Alaska. But just when they seemed to have taken a step forward last week, we find out they also took a giant leap backward.

First, the good news. The House of Representatives adopted on a voice vote an amendment offered by Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., that limits official attendance at the overseas conference junkets so popular with federal civil servants. The Garrett measure says no more than 50 employees of the U.S. Department of Interior or the Environmental Protection Agency can attend such conferences at one time. The Senate still must approve the measure and President Bush must sign it for it to become law.

Interior Department officials admitted in a letter last year to Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that they don'?t know how many employees actually attend such conferences, which are often conveniently held in attractive vacation spots around the world. Even so, the Interior officials estimated that their department spent $6.2 million on overseas conferences attended by 30 or more Interior staffers in 2004. At EPA, the estimate was $22.4 million to send staffers to 400 such conferences.

Stop. Think about those numbers - $6.2 million for the Interior Department. $22.4 Million for the EPA. $28.6 million for two departments alone, sending their employees to nice cushy "conferences".


And then there is this: Most cheered earlier this month when the House approved a lobbying reform bill that included provisions requiring greater public disclosure of earmarks and names of the members seeking them. But then people started looking at the fine print and discovered lots of earmark loopholes. That means lots of representatives were playing a legislative game of three-card Monte.

On the one hand, many of these representatives stood before America and crowed about the importance of lobbying reforms. On the other, they were busily inserting exceptions like the one that exempts from disclosure the identity of the author of an earmark that directs tax dollars to a federal agency. About half of the thousands of earmarks approved in recent years would thus be exempted from public knowledge!

That's a favorite tactic of Congress - make a law, then exempt themselves from that law. Just another reason why we should bulldoze the Capitol Building with all the congresscritters inside it, and start over.

There'?s another huge loophole that can exempt from disclosure the authors of earmarks directing tax dollars to state and local governments. Example? Funding for Alaska'?s infamous bridges goes to the state government, which means if the lobbying reform were in effect last year, we probably would never have heard about that boondoggle.

This sort of legislative sleight-of-hand was properly condemned by Republicans when they were the minority before 1994. Now it appears many of them have learned to love playing three-card Monte with our tax dollars.

I say it's time to start kicking the incumbants out of their seats during the primaries. Maybe if we flush the waste, we can get some decent people in Congress.

But considering how long Ted (hic) Kennedy has been in office, I don't see that happening any time soon.

The more I see my government in action, the more I want to seceed from the Union. The more I see of Congress, the more I see that the people in Congress are nothing but rancid turds dressed up in suits, voting to give them a bigger cesspool to swim in.

I really don't know what I'm going to do this November. I hear people shrieking "DON'T LET THE DEMOCRATS BACK IN POWER!" and they all bring up good points for why we should keep a republican majority. But looking at the Republicans in office, I don't know if I could vote for them without vomiting. But voting for a Democrat right now would make me puke so hard I'd probably snap my own spine with my convulsions. Democrats are the sarin gas of politics.

I'm hoping the Republicans give me a reason to vote for them before November.

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