"The air traffic controllers furloughs are the White House tours of the sky." Tweet by Charles Sykes
- Last March I wrote a piece about what the underlying goals of sequestration (budget cuts) really were. In short, the purpose was (is) to spread misery to a majority of Americans. The administration targeted cuts in White House tours as well as cutting educational benefits to our veterans. That was followed by cuts to Native American schools. And just last week, furloughs were imposed on air traffic controllers (one critic likened this to removing stop lights from our roads). So what do I read today? The Obama administration decided to limit pay cuts to our military. Our troops will be getting a "whopping" 1% pay raise. It's the lowest pay raise in 50 years. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration announced it's inspection staff will be cut by 18%.
- All of the cuts made were not only to spread misery. but they've been done purely for political reasons. The proof is clear: if cuts were made to redundant programs alone, their cost would cover the sequestration cuts and more. If the president just cut out some of his traveling for vacations and fund raising, the savings cost for those could easily fund those areas he's cut. Moreover, Pres. Obama has the discretion to cut from other areas that would not be as damaging as those cuts he's already made, e.g. cutting waste in Medicaid and Medicare alone.
- And if that does not make you angry already, you need to know the most recent news. Congressional leaders in BOTH parties are now in confidential negotiations regarding whether lawmakers and their aides should be exempt from ObamaCare. Specifically, whether they should be exempt from the insurance exchanges.
- I wonder how many people realize---after we've spend billions on domestic security in the last decade---it's been ordinary citizens who have helped capture terrorists or helped prevent terrorism. With the Boston bombings, it was a man who found Tsarnaev hiding in a boat on his property. With the Time Square "potential" bomb, it was a vendor who alerted authorities. I'm not writing this to mitigate the great work our security personnel have done in the last decade, but it shows clearly we have citizens who are alert. That's damn good news.
- By the way, it's now being reported (in USA TODAY) that not only was the FBI alerted about the Boston bombers earlier but so was the CIA.
- If we needed a reminder of how quickly our stock market can collapse, all you have to do is revisit the hacked and bogus AP Tweet earlier this week that reported there was an explosion in the White House.
- And if we need another reminder of our out-of-shape many Americans are in, check out this disturbing stat: In NYC alone, the percentage of those with diabetes has grown from 4.2% in the early '90's to almost 11% now. NY Post
- In many of my posts, I've taken shots at Hollywood celebrities over the years. Quite frankly, many deserve it. But check out this week's post. We honored those celebrities who served our country with honor. Go here: http://dedicatedtoheroes.blogspot.com/ Credit when credit is due.