Another day, another government program mired in the traditional triumvirate of waste, fraud, and abuse. Today's example: the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program, funded with $5 billion in money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (a.k.a. the stimulus law).
In an election year when it appears no incumbent is safe, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) is on cruise control. He even pooh-poohs the latest poll showing him 4 points behind his newcomer challenger, Rob Steele. Dingell is the longest serving member of the House and, at age 84, sports a Freedom Index rating of just 5 out of 100.
On Tuesday, October 19, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips of California, who overturned the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, rejected the government’s request to halt her order enforcing her decision. For the first time in U.S. history, the military is accepting openly gay recruits.
The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are planning to release a report this week entitled, “Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope, and Focus of its National Factions.”
Four San Diego firefighters won a court battle in the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District when the court upheld a jury verdict at the trial court level against the city compelling the firefighters to participate in San Diego’s 2007 Gay Pride Parade.
When the Social Security Administration announced that there would be no cost-of-living-adjustment for 2011, Betty Dizik, Claire E., John Walker, Nancy Pelosi, and the AARP all agreed it would be difficult for the 58 million beneficiaries currently receiving checks. Betty’s only source of income is her $1,200 monthly payment from Social Security. At age 83, she exclaimed, “I’m like a lot of other people in my predicament who live on Social Security. It’s hard. We cannot make ends meet.”
Despite the avalanche of criticism targeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco liberal remains in good spirits. In an interview with CBS’s Rita Braver, Pelosi proudly reflected on her accomplishments as the first female speaker of the House of Representatives.
With Delaware’s Democratic Senatorial candidate Chris Coons maintaining a commanding lead over his Republican counterpart Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party favorite cannot help but turn to the National Republican Senatorial Committee for more help. What’s ironic, according to ABC News, however, is that O’Donnell’s message to the national GOP is “strangely mixed,” as she is both fighting them and asking for their help.
Time is running out on the Obama administration to pass a value-added tax: The mid-term elections are two weeks away with Democrats anticipating heavy losses, the lame-duck session is due to start on November 15, President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform publishes its report on December 1, and Congress already faces a long list of “must-pass” legislation. A just-released study about the negative impacts of a VAT isn’t going to help.