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What Would You Do With More Than $2 Million for Staffing? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Todd McGreevy   
Thursday, 26 April 2012 06:00

What would you be able to accomplish with a staffing budget of more than $2 million? That is the first thing I asked myself when I researched the U.S. Senate staffing budgets at Legistorm.com. Senator Dick Durbin is spending nearly $3 million per year in staff salaries. Senator Chuck Grassley has more than $2.6 million and is employing more than 50 people. Members of Congress, especially new ones, must have to pay their dues in D.C., as Representative Bobby Schilling only had $695,000 to work with in Fiscal Year 2011 while Representative Bruce Braley had more than $1 million to employ his 20 staffers.

The standard operating procedure seems to be to pay chiefs of staff between $160,000 and $170,000 annually. These figures are not bandied about when the incumbents or challengers are vying for your votes every two and six years. Consider that in 2002, members of Congress were paid $150,000, and that today they are paid $174,000 (RCReader.com/y/congress). That’s a 16-percent raise over 10 years. Has your job enjoyed such raises over that same time period? And when the top staffer is paid nearly as much as the elected “official,” one begins to understand that a person vying for these elected positions is vying for an institution, an enterprise, a heavily funded platform from which to dole out privileges and influence. No wonder so much money is spent on campaign races for a job that pays less than $200,000. When one has a budget of nearly $3 million at one’s disposal for staffing alone, one can accomplish quite a bit.

 
Scott County GOP Corruption Exposed: The Jewel Is Tarnished PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Todd McGreevy   
Wednesday, 28 March 2012 06:15

Scott County Republicans have every reason to hang their heads in shame after the sham of a county convention that broke its own rules to deliberately exclude at least 30 percent of the duly elected precinct delegates from being nominated as delegates to the district, state, and national conventions. At a minimum, members should be demanding that Scott County GOP Central Committee Chair Judy Davidson resign. Davidson was not elected convention chair at the March 10 meeting, yet she disallowed nominations for district and state delegates, then railroaded through her own predetermined slate of names to be delegates – without a motion from the delegation – and then conducted a secret ballot to conclude the charade. There were dozens of delegates present who were elected in their precincts and, by the party’s own rules, should have been included first on any list or slate of delegates moving forward.

 
“We The People” Solutions: Peaceful Participation to Save the Bill of Rights PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 06:10

Do any of us really believe it is a coincidence that Congress and the president are fast-tracking specific legislation and executive orders that, when viewed in their entirety, destroy the Bill of Rights? Three months ago, Congress passed the alarming National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), allowing indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without due process – meaning without probable cause, criminal charge, benefit of counsel, or a trial. This treatment of U.S. citizens was outlawed after the Civil War, only to resurface now in an even more egregious manner, especially since back then, citizens had to at least be charged with a crime.

In the shadow of this shocking legislation, last week Congress almost unanimously passed another horrifying law that criminalizes protesting on or near any federal property, or merely being in the vicinity of either (a) an event of national significance, or (b) a person under the protection of the Secret Service. The Federal Restricted Buildings & Grounds Improvement Act repeals our right to peacefully assemble and petition the government with our grievances. In fact, it is now illegal to assemble in front of Congress if even one member might be inside.

 
Who is the “1 Percent”? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 06:21

The new meme cheerfully propagated by the mainstream media (MSM) is the 1-percent-versus-the-99-percent conflict, which fits perfectly into its strategy for maintaining strict political divisions of Left versus Right. This bipartisan strategy is absolutely critical for advancing the agenda of the “1 percent,” which, simply stated, is to own and/or control the world’s natural and economic resources, including land and mineral rights, water sources, food and energy production, transportation, money supply, and most important of all labor.

Glaringly absent from this current meme is a proper definition by the MSM of exactly who composes the 1 percent. This, too, is absolutely essential, because if the 1 percent is actually identified, broad-based consensus is achievable and solutions can begin. Instead, the 1 percent is left to the imaginations of the 99 percent, allowing for a wide variety of culprits responsible for society’s woes, and no possible consensus – hence no solutions, either.

If you pay attention, you’ll find that solutions are never proffered in any of the MSM’s endless dialogue permeating the broadcasts, and rarely in print. The very last thing the 1 percent wants are viable solutions emerging to upset the status quo.

So who is the 1 percent?

 
Defending Defense – or Not: Let’s Have The Debate PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 06:03

For decades, the political machine has perpetuated a deliberate void in the average American’s knowledge and understanding of our foreign policies, militarism versus defense, and the relative budgets for all three. The mainstream media gives these subjects a wide berth as far as meaningful coverage goes. Even the federal budget for defense breaks out military spending from other significant defense expenditures.

Let’s review how U.S. defense spending compares to the rest of the developed world. Military spending in 2010 for Germany was $46.8 billion, United Kingdom $57.4 billion, France $61.8 billion, Japan $51.4 billion, Russia $52.5 billion, and China $114.3 billion. The U.S. was $687 billion! That is nearly twice as much as all these other countries combined, adding up to $384.2 billion by comparison, according to 2010 World Military Budgets, issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Military Expenditure Database.

 
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