March 30, 2010
Hat tip: The Onion, ISSUE 46•13
Nearly all of the U.S. senatorial positions were categorized as inefficient redundancies.
WASHINGTON—In an effort to reduce wasteful spending and eliminate non-vital federal services, the U.S. government announced plans this week to cut its long-standing senator program, a move it says will help save more than $300 billion each year.
According to officials, the decision to cut the national legislative body was reached during a budget review meeting on Tuesday. After hours of deliberation, it was agreed that the cost of financing U.S. senators far outweighed the benefits they provided.
“Now more than ever, we must eliminate needless spending wherever possible,” President Obama said at a press conference Wednesday. “When we sat down to go over our annual budget, we asked ourselves, where can we safely trim back? What programs can we do away with without negatively impacting the American people? Which bloated and ineffective institutions can we no longer justify having around?”
“The answer was obvious,” Obama added. “The U.S. Senate just needed to go.”
by Danny Schechtor
hat tip: News dissector
We wish a speedy recovery to our least favorite person. CNN had it first. Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger released from hospital in South Korea. [watch video for the “history” of Mr. Kissinger]
The IDES of March
Real Afghan Fight: How To Negotiate War’s End
Haitians Fear Future of independence
Just in case you were wondering what the IDES are, InfoPlease.com has the answer:
“The soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March,” has forever imbued that date with a sense of foreboding. But in Roman times the expression “Ides of March” did not necessarily evoke a dark mood—it was simply the standard way of saying “March 15.” Surely such a fanciful expression must signify something more than merely another day of the year? Not so. Even in Shakespeare’s time, sixteen centuries later, audiences attending his play Julius Caesar wouldn’t have blinked twice upon hearing the date called the Ides.”
March 15 is also the 42nd anniversary of the radio station that dubbed me its dissector. Happy Anniversary, WBCN, even as your spirit and substance is now only online. Visit WBCN.com and click on FreeFormBCN: 1968 – 1990 It’s all the music from back in the day, thanks to DJ extraordinaire, Sam Kopper.
Welcome to the Ides, anyway. Daylight savings is here but will we ever get a season of truth? As the seventh anniversary of the war on Iraq approaches—actually it started well before the 1991 campaign—Americans still don’t have much of a clue of why we went there, how we fight there, what the costs and casualties are, and what has really been accomplished.
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2009 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:
- Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 “Ten Most Corrupt” list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms. Judicial Watch’s complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms. However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.
- Senator John Ensign (R-NV): A number of scandals popped up in 2009 involving public officials who conducted illicit affairs, and then attempted to cover them up with hush payments and favors, an obvious abuse of power. The year’s worst offender might just be Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign. Ensign admitted in June to an extramarital affair with the wife of one of his staff members, who then allegedly obtained special favors from the Nevada Republican in exchange for his silence. According to The New York Times: “The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are expected to conduct preliminary inquiries into whether Senator John Ensign violated federal law or ethics rules as part of an effort to conceal an affair with the wife of an aide…” The former staffer, Douglas Hampton, began to lobby Mr. Ensign’s office immediately upon leaving his congressional job, despite the fact that he was subject to a one-year lobbying ban. Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. (These are potentially criminal offenses.) It looks as if Ensign misused his public office (and taxpayer resources) to cover up his sexual shenanigans.