Ten ‘Heistman Trophy’ Finalists Named

Today, one year after sharing a similar report in 2008, I share a new oversight report issued this week on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).  Inside, it contains candidates for what an annual award I’ve decided to call “The Heistman Trophy.” Among those, descriptions of the 10 finalists appear below:

The Heistman Trophy1. Broadband Map That May be Obsolete by the Time it’s Complete ($350 million): $350 million was awarded to states from the Department of Commerce to build a map of its broadband Internet infrastructure, though it duplicates existing maps. Rather than spend $350 million on the project, one firm said it could map the whole nation for $3.5 million – one percent of the cost. Or, anyone with a computer could Google it – for free.

2. Empty Mall Gets Energy Award ($5 million): $5 million was awarded to the Oak Ridge Mall in Tennessee to provide geothermal heat – only the mall has few stores and customers.

3. Fossil Research in Argentina ($1.57 million): Researchers from Penn State will travel to Argentina to dig up plant fossils.

4. Anti-Capitalist Puppet Shows ($50,000): Puppet theaters with socialist, anti-capitalist messages were paid $50,000 to put on puppet shows.

5. Free Rides on Baltimore Water Taxi ($1.6 million): A program to offer free rides on the water taxi as a means of relieving road congestion got money despite it doing little to stop people from traveling in cars.

6. Digital Television Ad Campaign ($6 million): An ad agency was hired for $6 million one month before the switch to digital television—and reported creating three jobs with the money.

7. California Computer System ($60 million): In 2002, California got $66 million to upgrade its computers for the unemployment insurance program. It spent the money on other things and just got another $60 million in stimulus for the same project.

8. Non-Competitive Contracts ($7.8 billion): Half of all stimulus contracts awarded as of the fall were not subject to full competition.

9. Mice, Alcohol and Drugs ($38,000): Studying the impact of alcohol and methamphetamines on mice and rats.

10. Tourist Railroad ($2 million): The Virginia & Truckee tourist railroad in Nevada will get more than $2 million for an extension.

Cast your vote in an unscientific way via the comments section below.

Van Jones Still Has Ear of Obama Administration

Van Jones

Van Jones

Van Jones, President Barack Obama’s controversial former “green jobs” czar, serves on the advisory board of an independent environmental organization actively working with the White House, reports Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily.com.

Jones resigned in September after it was exposed he founded a communist revolutionary organization and signed a statement that accused the Bush administration of possible involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

Jones is one of 20 advisers to the University of Colorado-based Presidential Climate Action Project, or PCAP, which draws up climate-policy recommendations for the White House and has been working with members of the Obama Administration.

The PCAP last September released a lengthy proposal to guide the environmental policies during the first 100 days of the 44th U.S. president regardless of whether Obama or Sen. John McCain won the election.

William S. Becker, the PCAP’s executive director, confirmed to WND his group is “about to propose a new and more assertive strategy for President Obama to raise the bar on the U.S. climate goal, with or without Congress.”

Becker told WND his group’s initial proposals have received a “very positive reception from the moment we delivered (the 100-day proposal) last November to John Podesta, co-chair of Obama’s transition team.”

“We continue to work with some colleagues inside the (Obama) administration, as well as continuing to push for bold action from the outside,” he said.

Becker said the White House “adopted quite a few of our recommendations or variations of them.”

He cited a few examples of the influence of the PCAP and other environmental groups on Obama’s policies

To read entire article go to: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=117548.

Question: ‘Why Didn’t Voters Pay Attention?’

“Why didn’t voters pay attention?” is a question I asked myself after taking a fresh look at “Foster Friess on Barack Obama: Rhetoric vs. Record”, a video which first appeared in a post on this blog Oct. 28, 2008.

Narrator Foster Friess, a successful businessman and Army veteran living in Jackson Hole, Wyo., begins by highlighting a statement that appears on page 11 of  Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope:

“I am new enough on the national political scene that I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”

Next, he takes a look at a few examples of Obama’s extreme views regarding public financing of campaigns, Iraq, Iran, North Korea and missile defense systems.

In addition, he includes video clips of Obama speaking about abortion (a subject he deemed “above my pay grade”), nuclear energy and the status of Jerusalem as the capitol city of Israel.

Friess concludes the pre-election day video by encouraging Americans to find out what they’re facing ahead.

Unfortunately, too many Americans ignored his advice and Obama won the White House.

Let’s not ignore it this time.

John McCain Must Be Feeling Re-Election Pressure

McCain for Senate Ad

Click to see screenshot of page on which ad appeared.

Challenged by Chris Simcox, co-founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps in Arizona and a man with more statewide name recognition than most of the senator’s previous primary opponents, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) must be feeling quite a bit of re-election pressure this time around.  As a result, he’s advertising already.

Today, I happened to stumble across a sign that Senator McCain is feeling quite a bit of pressure as he seeks to hold on to his seat following an abysmal performance as the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

As I arrived at the Alltop.com’s “military news” page, prepared to check out military-related blog listings, my train of thought was derailed at the site of the “Help Re-Elect JOHN McCAIN to the United States Senate” ad (right) that appeared on the web site.

Giving money to Senator McCain will do about as much for the conservative cause as giving it to Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.).  In other words, nothing at all.


Click to shop.

In her New York Times column yesterday, Maureen Dowd used Shakespearesque language to describe Sen. John McCain’s seemingly-hopeless efforts to rid a $410 billion spending bill of $7.7 billion in earmarks:

And he’s truly mad that trusts in the promise of a presidential candidate to quell earmarks.

A few paragraphs later, she quoted the Arizona senator himself:

“When do we turn off the spigots?” Senator McCain said in his cri de coeur on the Senate floor. “Haven’t we learned anything? Bills like this jeopardize our future.”

In the very next paragraph, she pinned the tail on the ass donkey-in-chief of the Democratic Party:

In one of his disturbing spells of passivity, President Obama decided not to fight Congress and live up to his own no-earmark pledge from the campaign.

In what is otherwise a very well-conceived and delivered piece, Dowd failed on one count.  She didn’t point out for her readers the elephants in the room:

Click to shop.

Click to shop.

If OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST and OBAMA LOVES EARMARKS, it makes sense to conclude that OBAMA LOVES EARMARX; hence, the reason for the launch of the new merchandise line shown at right.  Click here or click on the t-shirt image shown to shop for your favorite OBAMA LOVES EARMARX item.

Right-Wing Pickup Spotted In St. Louis Area

I spotted this message-laden Ford F-350 pickup this morning on the way home from my church in suburban St. Louis.  I’m in complete agreement with the politics behind each of the messages shown — except, that is, for the two McCain stickers:

  • Vote Democrat, It’s Easier Than WorkingCheck!
  • Anti-ACLU SignCheck!
  • Footprint of the American ChickenCheck!

I must admit, however, that I still haven’t removed the McCain-Palin sticker from the rear window of my vehicle either.

Oklahoma Election Returns Map Shows Wisdom

As a native Oklahoma now living in the Show-Me State, I often find myself visiting NewsOk.com, the web site of the state’s largest daily newspaper, for a more balanced view than one can find in the left-leaning St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  The summary below, which I wish applied to results in other states, describes what is clearly visible in the Oklahoma State Election Board map above:

By all measures, Sen. John McCain won handily in Oklahoma, taking every county and giving the Republican candidate his largest percentage total among U.S. states. In Oklahoma, McCain won 2,005 precincts. President-elect Barack Obama won 198 precincts statewide. The candidates tied in five precincts.

If you’re curious as to why Oklahoma, a state with a high percentage of registered Democrats who, voted for McCain, read my Nov. 11 post, Did Loose Election Process Produce Obama Win?