Not that the receipients of easy federal money have an incentive to exaggerate or embellish how they spent the free money.
If "stimulus" money is used to fund a nice Tahiti vacation for the CEO and his family, you won't hear about it at all. And if a company uses the money to pay 10 workers who would have been doing other productive private sector work anyway before the free "stimulus" dollars came along -- why, that's ten jobs "saved" by the Great Obama!
You're welcome! Be sure to re-elect your Fearless Leaders in Congress and the White House in 2010 and 2012.
"Halfacarafe" had an excellent comment on my previous post, so I'm repeating it here:
Please don't take your eyes off of real news. Gina I respect your news.
Iran - keep them in you prayers, this is GWB's Reagan moment, every person has a God given right to liberty. Keep it in the news.
Cap and Trade: passing Friday, 535 people in DC don't care what you think. Call anyway.
N. Korea nuclear sites will have to be taken out about 3 minutes after the patriot defense system from Japan, take out the Taepodong-2.
Total takeover of the health system by August 1, by rationing health care he will solve both Medicare and Social Security's problem.
You're right, my friend. Those are four very important stories that will have repercussions for many decades to come.
I tend to stay away from the shallow stories like the death of Michael Jackson because I don't think they'll matter very much 10 or 20 years from now.
But a new nuclear nation that is violent and unstable and currently threatening to wipe out the United States, as North Korea is? -- that matters a lot.
Either cap and trade legislation or the takeover of the health care system alone has the potential to destroy what's left of the U.S. economy. Watching Democrats systematically overtax, overregulate, and overburden the free market economy now that they control both Congress and the White House is like watching a slow-motion train wreck.
And as for Iran. it is such an important story, and yet it is also painful to watch the people of Iran cry out for a measure of freedom and democracy only to be stricken down with bullets, axes, beatings, and other forms of vicious thuggery.
What do you think are the most important news stories today?
There are so many distractions. We must constantly separate the wheat from the chaff.
NEW YORK – 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.
"You just basically sit there for eight hours," said Orlando Ramos, who spent seven months in a rubber room, officially known as a temporary reassignment center, in 2004-05. "I saw several near-fights. ‘This is my seat.’ ‘I’ve been sitting here for six months.’ That sort of thing."
Ramos was an assistant principal in East Harlem when he was accused of lying at a hearing on whether to suspend a student. Ramos denied the allegation but quit before his case was resolved and took a job in California.
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 [sic] 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…
Some other school systems likewise pay teachers to do nothing.
The Los Angeles district, the nation’s second-largest school system with 620,000 students, behind New York’s 1.1 million, said ithas 178 teachers and other staff members who are being "housed" while they wait for misconduct charges to be resolved…
New York City’s reassignment centers have existed since the late 1990s, Forte said. But the number of employees assigned to them has ballooned since Bloomberg won more control over the schools in 2002. Most of those sent to rubber rooms are teachers; others are assistant principals, social workers, psychologists and secretaries.
Once their hearings are over, they are either sent back to the classroom or fired. But because their cases are heard by 23 arbitrators who work only five days a month, stints of two or three years in a rubber room are common, and some teachers have been there for five or six.
The nickname refers to the padded cells of old insane asylums. Some teachers say that is fitting, since some of the inhabitants are unstable and don’t belong in the classroom. They add that being in a rubber room itself is bad for your mental health. . . . .
The rubber rooms are monitored, some more strictly than others, teachers said.
"There was a bar across the street," Saunders said. "Teachers would sneak out and hang out there for hours."
But of course Democrats in Congress and Obama in the White Houseare working hard to bring the waste of unionization everywhere. Why, they've even gone so far as to exempt unions from Obama's proposed health care tax to fund his overpriced, overintrusive $1.6 trillion dollar health care plan.
Democrats in Congress are tinkering with many other statutes as well in order to entrench unions even further in the American economy. So bring on the waste! A gigantic drag on America's economy is just what we need.
A payroll audit this month at Detroit Public Schools turned up 257 names that will be subject to an investigation into illegal ghost employees, officials said Tuesday.
All of the district's estimated 13,880 workers had to pick up paychecks or direct-deposit slips in person by June 12 as a first step in determining if anyone who is not on the payroll is collecting pay.
There were 37 unclaimed paychecks and 220 unclaimed direct-deposit slips totaling about $208,000, said Odell Bailey, DPS's auditor general. He added that the recipients are not on approved leave.
Robert Bobb, DPS's state-appointed emergency financial manager, also said an audit has begun to determine if employees have unapproved health care dependents that are running up costs.
It's the sort of story that makes you begin to suspect that waste is endemic to government, and that people aren't nearly as careful with other people's money as they are with their own.
And when one considers the recent embarrassment of a 40-something pal of Obama videotaping hmself skateboarding down the halls of the White House, the term "adolescent" seems particularly fitting.
When it comes to Iran, Obama is still determined to try hot dog diplomacy. Inviting Iranian diplomats to share in U.S. 4th of July celebrations was bizarre when first announced, but in light of the recent regime brutality against protestors in Iran, it is downright ghoulish.
Today's massacre may finally be awakening someone in the Obama administration to the absurity and moral depravity of partying with Iranian leaders while people are being axed and shot in the streets. The latest updates are truly heart-wrenching. Here are the lastest Twitter updates at Persiankiwi (see preceding "massacre" link") in reverse chronological order:
thank you ppls 4 supporting Sea of Green - pls remember always our martyrs - Allah Akbar - Allah Akbar -
we must go - dont know when we can get internet - they take 1 of us, they will torture and get names - now we must move fast - #Iranelection
Everybody is under arrest & cant move - Mousavi - Karroubi even rumour Khatami is in house guard - #Iranelection
they pull away the dead into trucks - like factory - no human can do this - we beg Allah for save us - #Iranelectionabout 2 hours agofrom web
Lalezar Sq is same as Baharestan - unbelevable - ppls murdered everywhere - #Iranelectionabout 2 hours agofrom web
they catch ppl with mobile - so many killed today - so many injured - Allah Akbar - they take one of us - #Iranelectionabout 2 hours agofrom web
in Baharestan we saw militia with axe choping ppl like meat - blood everywhere - like butcher - Allah Akbar - #Iranelection RT RT RTabout 3 hours agofrom web
reports of street fighting in Vanak Sq, Tajrish sq, Azadi Sq - now - #Iranelection - Sea of Green - Allah Akbarabout 3 hours agofrom web
rumour they are tracking high use of phone lines to find internet users - must move from here now - #Iranelection
Reportedly, the Obama administration is "seriously considering" not inviting those Iranian officials to the 4th of July celebrations after all. Ya think?Just on aesthetic grounds alone, it's hard to picture enjoying a hot dog while considering how the Iranians are currently butchering their own people. That sort of thing will put a damper on the whole party.
Update: The hot dog party is off. The blood of protestors flowing freely in the streets of Iran apparently got to someone.
Obama's adolescent angst on missile defense is even more dangerous. His desire not to "weaponize" space has the potential to get a lot of innocent people killed. Thankfully, as one commentator has put it, Obama is under at least some "grown up supervision" and the Defense Secretary is moving missile defense assets (developed by Reagan and continued by the Bush administration) into place to attempt to protect Hawaii, a reported target for -- what else? -- 4th of July weekend.
But these sorts of last-minute, minimalist changes of position in response to clear outrages and mortal threats are not enough. In this age of growing nuclear proliferation involving several rogue and tyrannical regimes, there is no such thing as mutually assured destruction. Thugs can and will launch attacks without warning and will not be deterred by the possibility of retaliation. Nuclear missile defense is critical to America's survival. Funding for the program should be increased substantially, not slashed by billions as Obama has done.
For the sake of the U.S. and the world, Obama and his advisors need to grow up in a hurry.