Yep, I’m working on a “loaner.” I appreciate the fix it shop letting me use an old iMac until mine is fixed, but gosh do I miss my machine! This one’s got a quarter the RAM and, well, it’s slow. A lot of my software won’t work because this is a PowerPC iMac and my software needs the newer Pentium models… But at least I’m working!
Now if I just had a little more to work on…
I saw on TV that a lot of Republicans are up in arms over the budget, claiming there are too many earmarks and “pork” projects. Turns out this portion of the budget is less than 2% of the total… They’re rejecting 98% good to kill 2% that they perceive as bad.
Well, I can still understand that — I mean, who wants wasteful spending?
Then I saw Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on TV bashing the budget, saying that President Obama should cut all earmarks from the bill. The TV host pointed out that Graham himself had inserted a measure in the budget that would send over $900,000 to South Carolina. “Yes,” said Graham. “And if the President cuts that I’ll put it into another bill.” In other words, he wants everyone else’s pet projects cut, just not HIS. A little more research shows that Graham’s state would receive over $75 million in earmarks. (Thankfully during this housing crisis $285,000 of it, or 0.0038%, will go towards improving low-income housing in the state.)
Then I read that in spite of all their complaints, Republicans themselves are responsible for nearly half the earmarks in the bill.
I hope President Obama does take measures to limit pork spending and earmarks. I realize it was too late for him to do so on this year’s budget as the budget is already six months behind (which means it should have passed under the Bush administration, who was a strong proponent of earmark spending), but I hope the Obama administration takes this issue to heart next year.
But it just doesn’t make sense to me that the Republicans are all hollering at President Obama for a budget THEY put together with THEIR earmarks.
Incidentally, one of the earmarks comes from my own Senator — Tom Harkin (D-IA). It would give several million dollars to find a way to make hog production less… odoriferous. This sounds funny — spending money to make pigs stink less — but if you’ve ever been within five miles of a hog confinement, you KNOW something needs to be done about this! If someone can come up with a bacteria or something that can help reduce the odor from the waste lagoons, that would make rural areas a much happier place! I mean, if you have 5,000 hogs living in a confined area, you’re gonna have waste management issues… It’s a real concern.
Same goes to having 435 United States Representatives in a confined area, actually.
The whole thing is ridiculous. Let’s just make it illegal to put this kind of stuff in a bill. If you want money to de-stinkify pigs or build a bridge or whatever, make it a stand-alone piece of legislation. These projects are actually all pretty important to the people living in those areas. They shouldn’t be dealt with in such a sneaky manner.
It’s been a long, cold winter. We’ve had a few days of warmth and sunshine, but overall it’s been a nasty season. The past few days we’ve had highs in the teens and 20’s and lows below zero. It’s not supposed to be like that in mid-March!
But thankfully the weather broke yesterday and we got up to about 28 degrees. Today it’s supposed to be in the 40’s, which is about normal for this time of year.
I WILL be getting the bike out of storage Sunday! It’s gotta happen — I’m getting just a wee bit stir-crazy…