Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The President Signed What Today?

Well if you rely on CNN for your news the headline reads Obama signs hate crimes bill into law

What he really signed was the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill. While making his speech prior to signing he dwelled on how he and members of congress had worked hard to reduce waste out of the defense budget and talked about how much waste was experienced last year. I guess that is in opposition to how much has been wasted out of the various spending bills congress has passed this year like the stimulus bill, the TARP program, the tax break for new home buyers and their regular annual budget.

What is out of the budget? The F-22 fighter jet, an airborne laser system that was being developed as a missile defense as well to used against ground targets, and something that should be real good news to all the pilots and future victims of hurricanes like Katrina, search and rescue helicopters.

Let's look at what managed to stay in.
The bill, however, would add $1.7 billion for an extra destroyer the Defense Department did not request and $2.5 billion for 10 C-17 cargo planes it did not want, at the behest of lawmakers representing the states where those items would be built. Although the White House said the administration "strongly objects" to the extra C-17s and to the Senate's proposed shift of more than $3 billion from operations and maintenance accounts to projects the Pentagon did not request, no veto was threatened over those provisions.

In total there was almost 800 earmarks in the bill.
Those members include Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., who won 45 earmarks totaling $133,566,000. Moran received the biggest return on his efforts, with $201,100 in contributions from earmark beneficiaries.
Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., another top earmarker, brought home $281,955,000 for pet projects and received from those beneficiaries $67,600 in campaign contributions.
Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., the subcommittee chair, inserted 20 earmarks totaling $77,500,000 and he received $199,050 in campaign contributions. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., the former Appropriations Committee chair, got 35 earmarks worth $115,700,000. Campaign contributions from those earmark beneficiaries totaled $123,800.

So while Barack Obama goes on and on about cutting defense spending I have to wonder if 10 years from now we will have distinguished members of his party once again taking to the floor of the congress to once again excoriate the Pentagon for not having the right equipment to fight whatever conflict we happen to find ourselves in like they did with the war in Iraq.

Oh yeah and tacked onto this appropriations bill was the legislation making crimes against gay folks a hate crime, thereby creating yet another protected class in America. For some reason CNN thought that was the lead.

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