Coburn’s ‘Waste Book’ Details $19 Billion In Eye-opening Government Expenses

Tom Coburn Official Coburns Waste Book details $19 billion in eye opening government expenses

What do robotic squirrels, menus for Martian meals and a musical about climate change have in common?

They’ve all been made possible with taxpayer assistance, according to the latest survey of government waste put out by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

Known simply as the Waste Book, the report is a watchlist of eye-opening expenditures, which Coburn blames on a “let them eat caviar” attitude in Washington — at a time when “23 million of our fellow Americans do not have good jobs,” Coburn notes.

Coburn, while chiding the agencies that spend this money for their “lack of judgment,” said Congress is also to blame for failing in its oversight duties.

“We’re running trillion-dollar deficits. The way you get rid of trillion-dollar deficits — a billion at a time,” Coburn told Fox News on Tuesday.

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Six GOP Senators to Obama: Follow the Law on Libya

President Obama informed Congress that he had sent U.S. forces into Libya on March 21. Under the War Powers Act, the president must ask Congressional authorization within 60 days. That deadline came Friday. On Thursday, six Republican senators sent the following letter to the president, asking whether he intended to obey the law. This is an all-too-rare instance of our elected officials having the courage to stand behind the Constitution (which restricts the warmaking power to Congress) and telling Obama to follow the rule of law. — Ed.

Dear Mr. President:

On March 19, 2011, you introduced the United States Armed Forces into hostilities in Libya. That action was taken without regard to or compliance with the requirement of section 2(c) of the War Powers Resolution that the United States Armed Forces only be introduced into hostilities or situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances “pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”

Since that time, numerous aircraft and ships have been deployed and engaged in hostilities and remain in situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reports that operations in Libya have cost the Pentagon at least $750 million.

Section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. § 1544(b)) mandates that:

Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 4(a)(1), whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress (1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces, (2) has extended by law such sixty-day period, or (3) is physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the United States. Such sixty-day period shall be extended for not more than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about a prompt removal of such forces.

Congress received your report pursuant to section 4(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution on March 21, 2011. Friday is the final day of the statutory sixty-day period for you to terminate the use of the United States Armed Forces in Libya under the War Powers Resolution. As recently as last week your Administration indicated use of the United States Armed Forces will continue indefinitely. Therefore, we are writing to ask whether you intend to comply with the requirements of the War Powers Resolution. We await your response.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-SC
Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-WI
Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX

Obama Asks Terrorism Help — from Muslim Brotherhood Spinoff

Ben Johnson,

As more sober minds consider ways to keep the Middle East from falling into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood, Barack Obama is “fighting terrorism” by reaching out to the leader of one of the Brotherhood’s American creations. In the process, a White House official revealed that radical Muslims frequently advise the White House office headed by the president’s top adviser and alter ego, Valerie Jarrett.

Preemptive Groveling

Flush with instances of American Muslims supporting Islamic jihad, Rep. Peter King is set to launch his investigation into the radicalization of U.S. mosques, imams, and the faithful they serve later this week. Barack Obama, ever keen to reach out to the Muslim community, decided to get ahead of this by sending a deputy to plead with the extremists for cooperation. On Sunday, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough spoke to a Sterling, Virginia, mosque some believe is a model of moderate Islam: the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), led by imam Mohamed Magid. Indeed, McDonough began by thanking Magid by name.

Although the Sudanese-born imam presents himself as an ecumenical, anti-terrorism leader active in “interfaith” outreach, his current associations — and those of others at his mosque — present a different picture.

A Dangerous Mosque

This author exposed ADAMS’s radical connections nearly seven years. At the time, ADAMS’s chairman was Ahmad Totonji, an Iraqi-born citizen of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia who was named as a defendant in a $1 trillion lawsuit filed by more than 600 relatives of people who died in the 9/11 attacks. He served as Vice President of the Safa Group and the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), which officials have linked to al-Qaeda, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Sami al-Arian. (Al-Arian served more than five years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to aid terrorism, and he is currently under house arrest awaiting his contempt trial, which has been mysteriously stalled.) ADAMS’s legal counsel, Muhammed Ashraf, was the attorney for Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is now serving 23 years in prison for laundering money for Muammar Qaddafi in a plot to kill a Saudi prince.

Magid was on the premises of ADAMS’s Herndon, Virginia, offices when federal agents stormed the facility in March 2002. The “Grove Street Addresses” provided the homes of more than 100 interlocking Muslim organizations that the government accused of providing material support for terrorism. After the raid, Magid assembled a “community building” meeting at ADAMS attended by a variety of extremists.

FBI Snitch, Reagan Euglogizer?

Somehow, this record got Magid invited to speak at Ronald Reagan’s funeral in 2004….

Read more.

Cloning Wasteful Bureaucracies

Michael Reagan,

Uncle Sam is spending a lot of your tax dollars on programs that do the exact same thing as other federal programs, and you are paying the tab, a shocking new report shows.

According to a report by the watchdog Government Accounting Office (GAO), Uncle Sam hosts 47 job-training programs, 44 of which do the same things. The federal government also runs 80 programs for what it calls the “transportation disadvantaged.” Count ‘em: 80 — paid for by your tax dollars.

The report cites a total of 82 other programs spread across 10 separate agencies that are supposed to improve what it calls “teacher quality” — something of concern to local school districts and not Uncle Sam. It’s a classic example of the left hand not being aware of what the right hand is doing, and it’s costing us, the taxpayers, untold billions of our tax dollars.

I agree with penny-wise Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, R-VA, who was outraged by the scandals uncovered in the report and has vowed “to get our fiscal house in order,” saying “Now again, we have said enough is enough.”

An equally outraged Oklahoma GOP senator, Tom Coburn, said the report “confirms what most Americans assume about their government. We are spending trillions of dollars every year and nobody knows what we are doing. The executive branch doesn’t know. The congressional branch doesn’t know. Nobody knows.”

The GAO report was mandated by Congress the last time it raised the debt limit in January 2010. Coburn said the report makes lawmakers look like “jackasses.”

“We don’t know what we’re doing,” Coburn said.

It’s about time they knew. This is the money we earned by the sweat of our brow and they’re squandering it as if it were their money, not yours and mine.

Think about it. How long would we survive if we spent our money over and over again on the same things at the same time? We’d be in the poor house — which is where Uncle Sam lives these days while acting as if he is living in a huge mansion and waited upon by his servants, the taxpayers.

This scandal is the result of an inexcusable inattention by the Congress, which in recent years has acted as if it had the power to spend money the U.S. doesn’t have, much of it on worthless programs, and passing the bill on to future generations.

Republicans won control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 Congressional elections by pledging to trim the government’s sails, seeking out wasteful programs and eliminating them. Republicans plan to cut a whopping $61 billion from the current fiscal year’s budget.

That should be just the beginning. The GAO report pinpoints the areas where some of the cutting can and should be done.

Read more.

Obama’s Stimulus Put Microchips in Your Trash

Ben Johnson, Floyd Reports

Obama: Big Brother is Watching You

A new Senate report reveals the Obama administration spent nearly half-a-million dollars in stimulus funds to purchase recycling bins implanted with microchips, designed to monitor private citizens’ recycling levels.

Republican Senators Tom Coburn, R-OK, and John McCain, R-AZ, tracked 100 misuses of stimulus funds in a publication entitled “Summertime Blues,” released just weeks ago. (It is far from a comprehensive list.)

They found the administration gave $500,000 to the city of Dayton, Ohio, to assist its recycling plan. Part of the federal funds went to purchase 8,000 bins equipped with microchips that track which residents are recycling.

City and county government officials decided the Big Brother program was so worthwhile they spent a combined $60,000 of their own money to buy an additional 1,300 bins.

In February, the Dayton Daily News described the new curbside equipment:

The microchips, which use radio frequency identification technology, are installed in the bin handles. Four city waste collection trucks will be equipped to read the microchips that will be associated with specific street addresses.

All the city’s 60,000 households will be added to the program “over several years at a total cost of $1.6 million.” The full cost will be borne by the U.S. taxpayer thanks to a $1.6 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant the federal government awarded Dayton from stimulus funds.

WHIO-TV asked city officials about the program’s inclusion in Coburn’s report. They “said only $9,000 went to the microchips and the program is actually helping to redirect bins to neighborhoods that use them the most.”

The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, began using microchip-implanted recycling bins last month. The city will store each family’s recycling history for three years. (Local talk show host Tara Servatius had the story first.)

Again, city bureaucrats dismissed privacy concerns to local media:

The city says it doesn’t plan to knock on people’s doors who aren’t recycling. Instead it says the chip will be used to monitor which neighborhoods are recycling less than others.

Neighborhoods that aren’t recycling much would then be given encouragement to recycle more. The city says this would be done either through mailings or appearances by the recycling department at community events. (Emphasis added.)

Americans are not the only ones concerned about government-tracked refuse — and what “encouragement to recycle” may entail.

At least 2.6 million homes in Great Britain — approximately 10 percent of all British households — have microchipped recycling bins. Members of the Conservative Party have protested that information obtained by the chips may be used to levy additional taxes based on the weight of weekly recycling, a plan they dubbed “Pay As You Throw.”

Gordon Brown’s Labour Party dismissed the charges as scare tactics. But many areas in England already demand trash be sorted into nine different color-coded classifications. Offenders face a maximum fine of more than $1,500 (U.S.).

Laying aside legitimate anxieties about government intrusion, Sen. Coburn found little “stimulus” from this expenditure.

The $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was supposed to stabilize the national unemployment, but unemployment remains mired at 9.5 percent, and this week first-time jobless claims reached their highest level in nine months.