The Struggle Is Real: Federal government studying “cancer inequality”

December 24, 2014

mitchells-first-theorem-of-government

We obviously need government rules regulating the presence of 7-11s near same sex couples, or something:

The federal government is spending over $33,000 to figure out whether same-sex couples live closer to tobacco retailers, theoretically making them more likely to smoke.

A National Institutes of Health (NIH) project, entitled, “Relationship Between Tobacco Retailer Density and Sexual Minority Couples,” reasons that since many gay and lesbian couples live in cities, they may be close to stores that sell cigarettes, such as 7 Elevens.

“Tobacco use is substantially higher among sexual minorities than among heterosexuals,” the grant states. “The reasons for this persistent disparity remain unclear, but the high toll of death and disability from tobacco use creates substantial health inequalities in cancer.”

In other words, because same-sex couples tend to congregate in urban areas, and because urban areas have higher concentrations of shops that sell cigarettes, and because homosexuals apparently smoke more than heterosexuals, there may be a relationship to higher rates of cancer among gays and lesbians.

Let me save the government thirty-three thousand taxpayer dollars: it’s called “temptation.” The density of tobacco vendors in an urban environment is the same for everyone dwelling in it; if gays and lesbians are suffering higher rates of cancer, it’s because they’re giving in to it and haven’t quit smoking at the same rate as straights. Hence the higher rates of cancer. Solution: stop smoking. Like any addiction, it’s tough, but it can be done.

But that requires individual initiative, personal responsibility, and doesn’t require government.

Can’t have that.

Instead we needed a government study into the dilemma of “cancer inequality.” Next should come the declaration of a victim group whose rights are being violated, followed by new FDA regulations.

And more taxpayer-funded welfare for researchers and bureaucrats.

(Graphic courtesy of Dan Mitchell)

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California school district buys $14,000 espresso maker to save jobs. Or something.

September 15, 2014
"For the children?"

“For the children?”

No, really.

The break room coffee machine is a staple of many a workplace. Usually though, it tends to fall on the “economical” or “value” side of the java spectrum.

But not in Castro Valley, California, where officials with the Castro Valley Unified School District are taking fire for the purchase of a $14,000 espresso maker.

The outrage was immediate. According to KPIX News in San Francisco, the school board’s facebook page was flooded with angry comments when word of the pricey espresso maker – paid for with taxpayer money – got out.

According to a school board official, buying the espresso machine was “an opportunity” to keep a part-time child nutritionist on staff. If you can’t see that, you must hate the children.

Though how a $14,000 espresso maker for the staff and child nutrition go together is a bit baffling. When I was in fourth grade, we were served chocolate milk, not a double shot.

And for an additional fourteen grand per year, maybe they could have made that nutritionist full-time? Or used it to… Oh, I don’t know. Buy new textbooks and school supplies for the kids?

Silly me. I guess a Mr. Coffee is just too déclassé for the Castro Valley school board.

Can’t wait to see the board members justify this to the voters.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Rewarding failure: GSA awards big contract to designer of #Obamacare web site

July 8, 2014
Obama foreign policy advisers

GSA contracts oversight team

Because they did such a great job with the federal Obamacare web site, why shouldn’t they be given the chance to compete for billions more of our tax dollars?

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, Jul 08, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — CGI Federal Inc. (CGI) GIB -1.59% CA:GIB.A -1.49% announced today that the General Services Administration (GSA) has chosen the company as a prime contractor under a new contract vehicle known as One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS). The multi-award contract has an unlimited ceiling, allowing CGI to compete for billions of dollars in complex professional services task orders across all agencies in the U.S. federal government.

GSA oversees the business of the federal government, among other things supplying federal purchasers with cost-effective, high-quality products and services from commercial vendors. CGI is one of 74 awardees under OASIS, an “indefinite delivery indefinite quantity” (IDIQ) contract that will allow awardees to compete on a range of program management, management consulting, logistics, engineering, scientific and financial management services. Awardees will also be able to offer technology solutions as an ancillary service. For the first time, agencies will be able to purchase high-value professional services along with supporting IT solutions through a single contract, saving customers time and money.

The Obamacare site rollout was such a fiasco that the Federal government refused to renew its contract with CGI when it expired last February. And this isn’t the only time they’ve been told to go away: the government of the Canadian province of Ontario fired CGI for missed deadlines and a failure to deliver a functional product, an online medical registry.

So, naturally the GSA decides that CGI warrants even more chances to deliver “quality IT solutions.” This being the same GSA that’s managed our dollars so well in the past.

What could go wrong?

via Iowahawk

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


EPA to blow $1.6 million on fancy hotel for “environmental justice” conference?

June 28, 2014
x

EPA conference planner

Well, if you’re going to host a conference for nearly a month, you can’t expect people to stay at a Super 8. That would be cruel. A Holiday Inn? No, one can only eat so many free continental breakfasts. Nope, the only thing that will do for people fighting for “environmental justice” (and getting a taxpayer funded month-long vacation) is one of the best hotels in D.C.:

The agency posted its intention to contract with the Renaissance Arlington Local Capital View Hotel for its upcoming public meeting, for which it will need to book 195 rooms for 24 days.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), Office of Enforcement and Compliance, Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) intends to award a fixed-price Purchase Order … to the Renaissance Arlington Local Capital View Hotel,” the solicitation said. “The purpose of this acquisition is to cover the cost of 195 sleeping room nights from Sept. 9 [to] Oct 2, 2014, at government rate for the 50th public meeting of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), a federal advisory committee of the EPA.”

Rooms at the Renaissance Arlington run for roughly $349 a night. At 24 nights, the cost of 195 rooms will reach $1,633,320, or $8,376 per room.

The government per diem rate for lodging is $219 for September. If the EPA receives the per diem rate, the cost will come to $1,024,920 for the duration of their stay.

What’s a million-and-a-half among friends, eh? Maybe they’ll make Star Trek videos, too!

PS: As one wit on Twitter said, referring back to this story:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Happy birthday, Stimulus!

February 17, 2012

Today is the third anniversary of the passage of President Obama’s Stimulus Pokulus bill, which was supposed to have us at below 6% unemployment by now. How’s that working out?

Whatever. Let’s not quibble over small details, such as being utterly, humiliatingly wrong. Instead, this is a time to celebrate Porkulus’ many accomplishments — the jobs and wealth created. How our (borrowed from China) money was wisely spent. Stories such as this one:

In an effort to stabilize the city’s real estate market, a federal stimulus program has spent nearly $1.5 million on eight Modesto homes that ended up being worth less than $1 million.

Example: Taxpayers paid $223,641 to buy and fix up a foreclosed south Modesto house that was built in 1992. But when the city’s 16-month renovation project was done, the home appraised and sold for only $114,000.

The government lost $109,641 on that just completed deal.

Taxpayers also have spent $109,494 to buy and renovate a 1948-vintage two-bedroom home in Modesto’s airport neighborhood. That house has appraised for only $55,000, and a buyer has yet to be found.

The federally funded Neighborhood Stabilization Program is being managed by the city of Modesto, which plans to resell an additional 18 or more rehabilitated homes this year.

The eight refurbished Modesto homes have cost taxpayers, on average, 34 percent more than appraisers determined they were worth after repairs were complete. That’s an average of $61,487 each.

In investing, that’s called “value destroyed.” And, as of the article’s writing, they weren’t finished!

Happy birthday, Porkulus! Just think of what President Obama can do with four more years!

via Elizabeth Emken for Senate

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Want to make a lot of money? Get a job in D.C.!

October 19, 2011

It’s the top-income city in the nation!

Federal employees whose compensation averages more than $126,000 and the nation’s greatest concentration of lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area, government data show.

The U.S. capital has swapped top spots with Silicon Valley, according to recent Census Bureau figures, with the typical household in the Washington metro area earning $84,523 last year. The national median income for 2010 was $50,046.

The figures demonstrate how the nation’s political and financial classes are prospering as the economy struggles with unemployment above 9 percent and thousands of Americans protest in the streets against income disparity, said Kevin Zeese, director of Prosperity Agenda, a Baltimore-based advocacy group trying to narrow the divide between rich and poor.

There’s a gap that’s isolating Washington from the reality of the rest of the country,” Zeese said. “They just get more and more out of touch.”

But, according to Harry Reid’s version reality, it’s the public sector that’s suffering the most in this lousy economy.

Silicon Valley at least makes valuable things to justify those high salaries. DC creates $787 billion failed “stimulus” packages, bloated payrolls, and regulations that make it harder for the private sector to hire anyone.

What’s wrong with this picture?

via Iowahawk


Wisconsin recalls: that was money well-spent

August 10, 2011

That is, it’s good news that union bosses, progressives,  and Democratic Party honchos (splitting hairs, I know) sank about $30,000,000 into a losing effort in last night’s state senate recall elections, money that they will desperately need elsewhere in 2012. It’s not so good if you’re a Labor boss, progressive, or Democrat (but I repeat myself) and have just seen that the old cheap tricks aren’t working like they used to. And it really stinks if you’re a union member who saw part of his or her mandatory, no-choice-in-the-matter dues flushed down a toilet.

Let’s recap:

In 2010, the people of Wisconsin elected a Republican legislature and a Republican governor who all campaign openly on the need for fiscal reform in the state, including the reform of public sector labor unions. They made no secret of this, and the people chose them. Then, in 2011, the duly-elected and democratically elected legislature and governor shocked everyone (who wasn’t paying attention) by actually trying to carry out their promises by introducing the necessary legislation.

The Left (let’s just use the collective term, for brevity’s sake) then did what any adult, mature, responsible faction that had lost a fair election would do: they threw a tantrum.

Eight Fourteen Democratic state senators tried to throw a monkey wrench into democracy by fleeing the state for Illinois (1), denying the senate a quorum and in clear dereliction of their duty. Meanwhile, their progressive allies unleashed their arsenal of reasoned discourse: they occupied the legislature (trashing it and the grounds), they held drum circles, they called their democratically-elected opponents Nazis, and they physically threatened Republican legislators, the governor, and their supporters.

And yet still those nasty Republicans wouldn’t listen to sweet reason; they passed the bill, anyway.

So the Left, being good democrats and respectful of the will of the People, did the next logical thing: they tried to overturn the results of the recent election by forcing recall elections for six Republican state senators. (Republicans retaliated by forcing recall elections for two Democrats next week.) They needed to win three to take control of the State Senate and hamstring Governor Walker’s agenda for at least the next several months.

And they lost:

Democrats won two state Senate seats in Tuesday’s historic recall elections, but failed to capture a third seat that would have given them control of the chamber.

By keeping a majority in the Senate, Republicans retained their monopoly on state government because they also hold the Assembly and governor’s office. Tuesday’s elections narrowed their majority – at least for now – from 19-14 to a razor-thin 17-16.

Republicans may be able to gain back some of the losses next week, when two Democrats face recall elections.

Democrats had hoped to block the Republican agenda by taking control of the Senate in the recall elections, but the GOP should be able to continue to advance its agenda.

“I think it’s a huge victory for us,” said John Hogan, director of the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate. “Voters gave us a mandate last fall. . . . They backed us up again (Tuesday). Voters told us loud and clear, ‘Stay the course. Things are working.'”

But Democrats claimed victory for the two seats they captured from Republicans.

“We went on their turf and we won on Republican turf,” said Mike Tate, chairman of the state Democratic Party. “We will not stop, we will not rest . . . until we recall (Gov.) Scott Walker.”

Yeah, good luck with that, Mike. Of the two seats you won, one is a heavily Democratic district and, in the other, the Republican was tainted by scandal. In the others you were beaten handily, even in one that was expected to be close.  Your plot to seize control of the state senate is dead, and there’s a reasonable chance you could lose next week the two seats you gained this week.

In other words, Democrats, union bosses, and progressives, for your $30,000,000 and all your bussed in, slogan-chanting help, and even if you save those two seats next week, you’ll have won nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. Bupkis.

So go ahead, try to recall Walker next year. Take your campaign to save your corrupt, self-serving arrangements to other states. Spend all the money you can. It looks like a great idea.

To conservatives.

via Memeorandum

EDIT: There were 14 state senators who went over the wire, not eight. Thanks to Steve in the ST comments.

LINKS: More at Hot Air. David Freddoso: “Unions lose big.”

Footnotes:
(1) The Best Western in Rockford, to be exact, where they continued to collect their salaries and life was a hardship.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)