Quick Hits…..More “Bright Ideas” and other government idiocracy

“If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
P. J. O’Rourke   

President Obama announces new light bulb standards…

“I know light bulbs may not seem sexy, but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and businesses,” the president said, standing alongside Energy Secretary Steven Chu at the White House. 

Obama said the new efficiency standards he was announcing for lamps would result in substantial savings between 2012 and 2042, saving consumers up to 4 billion annually, conserving enough energy to power every U.S. home for 10 months, reducing emissions equal to the amount produced by 166 cars a year, and eliminating the need for as many as 14 coal-fired power plants. 

The president also said he was speeding the delivery of $346 million in economic stimulus money to help improve energy efficiency in new and existing commercial buildings. 

The White House is working to keep energy in the spotlight even as Congress takes a break this week for the July 4 holiday. Obama has spent the past few days pressuring the Senate to follow the House while also seeking to show that the administration is making quick, clear progress on energy reform without legislation. 

Still, in an interview with a small group of reporters, Obama energy adviser Carol Browner said: “I am confident that comprehensive energy legislation will pass the Senate.” But she repeatedly refused to say exactly when the White House expected the Senate to pass the measure, and she wouldn’t speculate on whether Obama would have legislation sent to his desk by year’s end. 

The administration already had released new standards on commercial refrigeration. Lamps were next. (Source: Fox News)

Now that the President got the ball rolling, NJ has jumped on the band wagon with “Project Porch Light”. Free light bulbs for everyone….. Read more at:

http://www.projectporchlight.com/

This apparently is a “huge national issue” – light bulb efficiency, good thing we have that out of the way, now maybe we can focus on; job creation, fixing the economy, improving national defense, border security and reducing the national debt.

It is not an arrogant government that chooses priorities; it’s an irresponsible government that fails to choose.” – Tony Blair 

Barney Frank wants to spend the repaid TARP money again instead of returning the money to the Treasury to pay down public debt…

On June 27th, Rep. Barney Frank (D) MA, introduced new legislation to divert repaid TARP funds to new Democrat supported housing initiatives. His new bill is called TARP for Main Street Act of 2009.  According to the original bill recovered funds “shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury for reduction of the public debt.” However, Barney wants to spend it again right away and ignore the requirements of the bill. This is becoming typical behavior for the Democrats these days.

The proposed bill breaks down as follows; take $1 billion and use it to create a trust fund for low-income rental housing which Frank has wanted for a long time.  (This unfunded measure was part of last year’s bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.)  Another $1.5 billion would be used to set up a “neighborhood stabilization” fund.  Critics have charged that these measures might allow federal dollars to be distributed to activist groups such as ACORN. The thought of any more of our money ending up in the hand of those crooks is unthinkable!

The bill also includes $2 billion to subsidize individuals with delinquent mortgages and another $2 billion to “stabilize multifamily properties that are in default or foreclosure.”

“If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?” – Will Rogers

Even worse, despite the near economic meltdown that was triggered by the mortgage defaults last year, Rep. Frank and N.Y. Rep. Anthony Weiner have sent a letter to the heads of Fannie and Freddie recommending that they lower lending standards for condo buyers. Wasn’t that how we got into this mess in the first place?

After blaming the current crisis on a lack of appropriate regulation and lax lending standards which resulted in bad loans that should not have been approved, Rep. Frank wants Fannie and Freddie to provide more aggressive (lower) lending standards again. These lower standards would specifically apply to condo developments with a high percentage of unsold units or high delinquency rates.

These guys are unbelievable! If we don’t get them out of office, their policies will destroy our economy. Of course, since social reengineering and redistribution of wealth are on their agenda that might just be part of the plan. Do you really want to live in a socialist, possibly even a fascist country? Think about it!

To read more go to:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Barney-Frank–49649362.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124580784452945093.html 

Gov. Schwarzenegger considers temporarily closing state parks to save money during California budget crisis… Feds threaten to seize parks if the plan is approved 

“The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.”
P. J. O’Rourke  

Scrambling to find ways to reduce operating costs Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed closing 220 state parks to save $143 million. The California Legislature is considering the move to reduce the $26 billion budget deficit.

However, six parks on the list are on land that was formerly federal property and as a result the federal government could seize the land if the parks are closed. The Governor was recently warned that this was a possibility by National Park Service Regional Director Jonathan Jarvis. Schwarzenegger was also informed that the closures could result in the loss of other federal funding of the California Parks budget. 

While I have virtually no sympathy for California and the mess they find themselves in, I can’t help but be annoyed at the federal government’s position on this. It seems that no matter what Schwarzenegger tries to do to save money the Feds step in to tell him why he can’t do it. Remember when he tried to renegotiate state contracts with SEIU? That was  immediately shot down by the White House with funding cut threats. It makes you wonder if they really want California to solve their problems without Federal intervention. This type of interference is exactly the reason there needs to be separation between state and federal government. If state governments only took federal funding for things that are directly related to federal projects such as infrastructure and defense; they would be able to operate under the states’ rights provisions in the Constitution. Instead, the long strings attached to federal funds reduce the sovereignty states’ rights would otherwise provide. 

The six parks are; Angel Island, a former federal military and immigration facility; the top of Mount Diablo,  once a Navy microwave relay station; Point Sur State Park in coastal Big Sur; and three beaches Fort Ord Dunes near Monterey, Point Mugu State Park near Malibu, and Border Fields along the Mexican border. All prime California real estate; some is even beach front – Hmmm …. Maybe, this is just an opportunity for a federal land grab! 

After all, the way the administration is growing the size of the federal government; it might outgrow D.C. before we know it. Since so many of the crazies in charge are from the Golden State (Pelosi, Waxman, Feinstein and Boxer to name a few), maybe the real plan is to force the state into bankruptcy, buy it with taxpayer money, nationalize it and set up D.C. West. I mean think about it, the House and the Senate could just meet via video conference (D.C. East and West); each representative could travel to the closest site resulting in huge travel savings. How green would that be?  – (Plus Pelosi wouldn’t have to keep bugging the military for use of a jet) 

Best jobs ever… all play; no work, no worries 

(Karen Matthews, Associated Press, N.Y.) Hundreds of New York City public school teachers accused of offenses ranging from insubordination to sexual misconduct are being paid their full salaries to sit around all day playing Scrabble, surfing the Internet or just staring at the wall, if that’s what they want to do.

Because their union contract makes it extremely difficult to fire them, the teachers have been banished by the school system to its “rubber rooms” — off-campus office space where they wait months, even years, for their disciplinary hearings.

The 700 or so teachers can practice yoga, work on their novels, paint portraits of their colleagues — pretty much anything but school work. They have summer vacation just like their classroom colleagues and enjoy weekends and holidays through the school year.

Because the teachers collect their full salaries of $70,000 or more, the city Department of Education estimates the practice costs the taxpayers $65 million a year. The department blames union rules.

“It is extremely difficult to fire a tenured teacher because of the protections afforded to them in their contract,” spokeswoman Ann Forte said.

City officials said that they make teachers report to a rubber room instead of sending they home because the union contract requires that they be allowed to continue in their jobs in some fashion while their cases are being heard. The contract does not permit them to be given other work.

Of course, you probably won’t be surprised to find out that this practice also goes on in California…

The Los Angeles district, the nation’s second-largest school system with 620,000 students, behind New York’s 1.1 million, said it has 178 teachers and other staff members who are being “housed” while they wait for misconduct charges to be resolved. To read the full story, go to: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090622/ap_on_re_us/us_rubber_rooms

My guess is that L.A.’s 178 “special cases” are costing them about $25 million. You would think that if these people are going to get paid they should have to perform some productive work. Does anyone believe that there is nothing productive that they could be doing, if the contract was ammended? So why isn’t someone correcting this? I am sure if anyone tried to step in and fix the contract, the administration would step in to stop it. These days, the best jobs are union jobs. At least it seems, they are the only ones the government is interested in protecting. 

“Let’s reintroduce corporal punishment in the schools – and use it on the teachers.”


P. J. O’Rourke  

 

 

 

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