Archive for August, 2011

August 30, 2011

Up to $60B In Military Contract Waste and Fraud – Another Failure of Privatization

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON (AP) — As much as $60 billion in U.S. funds has been lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade through lax oversight of contractors, poor planning and corruption, an independent panel investigating U.S. wartime spending estimates.
In its final report to Congress, the Commission on Wartime Contracting said the figure could grow as U.S. support for reconstruction projects and programs wanes, leaving both countries to bear the long-term costs of sustaining the schools, medical clinics, barracks, roads and power plants already built with American tax dollars.
Much of the waste and fraud could have been avoided with better planning and more aggressive oversight, the commission said. To avoid repeating the mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan, government agencies should overhaul the way they award and manage contracts in war zones, the commission recommended.

Read more…

We’re coming up on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 — the day Bush and Cheney allowed Osama Bin Laden to defeat our country. Our federal debt was right around $6 trillion on September 11, 2001. Thanks in part to the two wars, our debt is now at about $14.5 trillion.

Both Bush Sr. and Jr. have strong business ties to the Bin Laden family and in fact, George H.W. Bush had breakfast with Osama’s brother on the morning of the attack. Could you imagine if Obama had a connection to Bin Laden? There’d be a lynch mob after him! But Bush is given a free pass. Bush and Cheney refused to answer questions under oath about the attack. Gee… I wonder why.

August 29, 2011

Our Tax Dollars Paying For The Religious Indoctrination of Children

by Ben Hoffman

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Weeks after Indiana began the nation’s broadest school voucher program, thousands of students have transferred from public to private schools, causing a spike in enrollment at some Catholic institutions that were only recently on the brink of closing for lack of pupils.

It’s a scenario public school advocates have long feared: Students fleeing local districts in large numbers, taking with them vital tax dollars that often end up at parochial schools. Opponents say the practice violates the separation of church and state.

“The bottom line from our perspective is, when you cut through all the chaff, nobody can deny that public money is going to be taken from public schools, and they’re going to end up in private, mostly religious schools,’’ said Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association.

Under a law signed in May by Governor Mitch Daniels, more than 3,200 Indiana students are receiving vouchers to attend private schools. That number is expected to climb significantly in the next two years as awareness of the program increases and limits on the number of applicants are lifted.

Nearly 70 percent of the vouchers approved statewide are for students opting to attend Catholic schools, according to figures provided to the Associated Press by the five dioceses in Indiana. The majority are in the urban areas of Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Gary, where many public schools have long struggled.
Read more…

An ignorant populace is exactly what the right-wing fascists want in our country. Education is a Republican’s worst enemy.

August 23, 2011

God Sends Message: “Get Your Sh*t Together!”

by Ben Hoffman

God generated an earthquake today and damaged part of the National Cathedral to serve as a warning for religious nuts to “get your sh*t together and stop destroying America in the name of religion.”

A spokesman for Washington National Cathedral says at least three of the four pinnacles on the central tower have fallen off and the central tower appears to be leaning.

God said he disproves of all the nut-jobs who are running in the Republican primaries. “That Rick Perry is going straight to hell. I haven’t made my mind up about that Bachmann character and need to consider her sanity before making a final decision, but it’s not looking good for her,” God said in an interview early this afternoon. “I can’t believe I created people so stupid they would vote for these crazy f*cks. Maybe it’s time for another flood.”

August 22, 2011

Washington’s $120 Million Martin Luther King Memorial Unveiled Today – MADE IN CHINA!!!

by Ben Hoffman

More than 25 years in the making, the granite memorial features a 30-foot-tall statue of King on a landscaped parcel on the northwest shore of the Tidal Basin, just southwest of the World War II Memorial.

Sculptor Lei Yixin, who attended the opening with his son, who acted as his translator, declared himself satisfied.

“This is my most important project. Not hardest, most important,” he said in Mandarin. He added that he hopes visitors notice first the expression on Dr. King’s face, “looking forward,” and then his hands.

Congress approved the project 14 years ago. In 2007, the foundation was criticized for choosing the Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin instead of an American artist. The next year, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, which reviews plans for monuments and memorials, complained that the “colossal scale and Social Realist style” of the King sculpture “recalls a genre of political sculpture that has recently been pulled down in other countries.”

The Chinese crew who installed the monument work for a sculpting company in Hunan province and have no idea what they will be paid for their work on the King memorial. They expect to be paid when they get home.

The translator asked: Why did the workers agree to not being paid until they return to China?

Because they are working for “national honor,” the man said. “To bring glory to the Chinese people.” He said the workers felt patriotic pride in having been chosen to work on the King project. He said they knew that there were Americans who wanted their jobs, didn’t get them and were mad that the Chinese did.

Read more…

August 19, 2011

Republicans Killed American Exceptionalism

by Ben Hoffman

Because of Republicans, we’re laggards in high-speed rail and renewable energy technology. Bush killed the space shuttle replacement as one of his first acts as president. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Republicans are trying to kill the James Webb Space Telescope – the replacement for the Hubble. Most Republicans don’t value science. They’re told to believe that global warming is a hoax, so that’s what they believe. Many don’t even believe in evolution. They believe the explanations concocted by people two thousand years ago about how we got here.

Remember American exceptionalism? We were the first to go faster than the speed of sound. We’re the only nation that has gone to the moon. From technology developed as part of the space program came PCs and other electronics. We have great national parks and wilderness areas. We created the Internet. We built the Panama canal. Those are all government funded projects that right-wingers refer to as “socialism.” Now all that matters is profits and low taxes.

And worst of all, we’re in the midst of the greatest economic slump since the Great Depression, and rather than do things to stimulate the economy and bring jobs back to America, Republicans are gutting government projects that are — without a doubt — increasing unemployment. Republicans have also blocked bills that would have brought manufacturing jobs back to America.

Republicans killed American exceptionalism.

August 18, 2011

Bachmann Staffer Arrested for Terrorism in Uganda in 2006 – Talk About “Palling Around With Terrorists!”

by Ben Hoffman

The evangelical organizer who helped Michele Bachmann win the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa Saturday was previously charged with terrorism in Uganda after being arrested for possession of assault rifles and ammunition in February 2006, just days before Uganda’s first multi-party elections in 20 years.

Peter E. Waldron spent 37 days in the Luriza Prison outside Kampala, where he says he was tortured, after being arrested along with six Congolese and Ugandan nationals for the weapons, which were described variously in news reports as having been found in his bedroom or a closet in his home. The charges, which could have led to life in prison, were dropped in March 2006 after a pressure campaign by Waldron’s friends and colleagues and what Waldron says was the intervention of the Bush administration. He was released and deported from the east African nation, along with the Congolese. On Saturday, Waldron told The Atlantic in Ames that he was a staffer for Bachmann and responsible for her faith-based organizing both in Iowa and South Carolina. But he also declined repeatedly to give his name.

Asked about Waldron’s role and background, Alice Stewart, the press secretary for the Bachmann for President campaign, replied in an email: “Michele’s faith is an important part of her life and Peter did a tremendous job with our faith outreach in Iowa. We are fortunate to have him on our team and look forward to having him expanding his efforts in several states.”

Read more…

This is just another example of Christian terrorism.

August 15, 2011

Michelle Bachmann Demonstrates One Of Her “Special” Talents

by Ben Hoffman

She’s going to need to be doing a lot of that if she wants any sane people to vote for her. (I wonder if Marcus taught her how to do that. 🙂 )

August 15, 2011

This Is The Kind Of Leader We Need In The White House

by Ben Hoffman

Circulate this video. Maybe we can start a movement.

August 15, 2011

Christian Priests: Professional Perverts

by Ben Hoffman

A Catholic priest in Kansas City, Mo has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of taking indecent photographs of young girls, most recently during an Easter egg hunt just four months ago.

Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has acknowledged that he knew of the existence of photographs last December but did not turn them over to the police until May.

A civil lawsuit filed last week claims that during those five months, the priest, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, attended children’s birthday parties, spent weekends in the homes of parish families, hosted the Easter egg hunt and presided, with the bishop’s permission, at a girl’s First Communion.

“All these parishioners just feel so betrayed, because we knew nothing,” said Thu Meng, whose daughter attended the preschool in Father Ratigan’s last parish. “And we were welcoming this guy into our homes, asking him to come bless this or that. They saw all these signs, and they didn’t do anything.”

Well, what do you expect when you have grown men who prohibited from having sex and who promote bizarre beliefs such as the “afterlife” and “immaculate conception” and all sorts of other crazy stuff. Nobody is surprised any more when these nuts act like the perverts they are.

August 12, 2011

If liberals really hated America, we’d vote Republican.

by Ben Hoffman
  • Annoy a Conservative: Live Like Jesus
  • Democrats: Cleaning up Republican Messes since 1933.
  • Environmentalism: the crazy idea that we ought to clean up after ourselves.
  • Like Jesus would own a gun and vote Republican!
  • Tea: It’s the new Kool-Aid
  • Feminism: The radical notion that women are people
August 12, 2011

Just Your Everyday, Run-of-the-Mill, Republican Pervert

by Ben Hoffman

Emails shared with The Indianapolis Star suggest that state Rep. Phillip Hinkle — responding to a local posting on Craigslist — offered a young man $80 plus tip to spend time with him Saturday night at the JW Marriott hotel.

The emails, sent from Hinkle’s publicly listed personal address, ask the young man for “a couple hours of your time tonight” and offer him cash up front, with a tip of up to $50 or $60 “for a really good time.”

The email exchange is in response to the Craigslist posting in which the young man — who lists his age as 20 in the ad but says he is 18 years old — says, “I need a sugga daddy.”

The young man told The Star that they met, but that he tried to leave after the man told him he was a state lawmaker. He said the lawmaker at first told him he could not leave, grabbed him in the rear, exposed himself to the young man and then later gave him an iPad, BlackBerry cellphone and $100 cash to keep quiet.

Read more…

… and as usual, he’s a Congressman who has tried to legislate Christian morality. He co-sponsored a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Like the saying goes: “Righteousness is always accompanied by hypocrisy.”

August 8, 2011

Teabaggers Cheer the U.S. Credit Downgrade

by Ben Hoffman

Those people are crazy.

August 7, 2011

S&P Explicitly Blames Republicans For Credit Downgrade

by Ben Hoffman

Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.


Obama should have let the Bush tax cuts expire last year, which would have dramatically reduced our deficit. The Republicans held the unemployed hostage and Obama negotiated a bad deal with the domestic terrorists.

August 5, 2011

Morality in America: Jesus vs. the Devil

by Ben Hoffman
August 3, 2011

Massive Spending Increases Under Obama? Not So Much.

by Ben Hoffman

Here are the numbers for U.S. discretionary spending (in trillions):
2008: $1.179
2009: $1.492
2010(est.): $1.247
2011(est.): $1.264

Non-discretionary spending has increased dramatically due to massive increases in unemployment benefits payouts, thanks to the Republican Great Recession.

Right-wingers like to use spending as a percentage of GDP because it fits their agenda. If spending remains unchanged but GDP decreases, spending as a percentage of GDP increases, so it’s not an honest argument.