I am awarding the sometimes annual, seldom coveted, but rarely imitated, Dale Noble Piece Prize to The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs. While the number of those in need of medical attention is increasing, treatment delays are commonplace, and the VA continually begs Congress for more money, that Department has more than tripled its expenditures for conferences over six years.
Ignoring my advice, none of the big Federal agencies schedule meetings in Bismarck, N.D. That would cut the number attending by about 90%. We need a President tougher than Bush or Obama to rein in such wasteful federal spending.
The department's spending on these events jumped from $24 million in 2005 to $78 million in 2011, even as lawmakers warned the agency to ensure VA funding increases were used to support veterans.
The agency has spent $27 million on conferences in Las Vegas since 2005. This scandal follows the backlash over a General Services Administration conference in Las Vegas that cost more than $826,000 and led to the resignation of GSA Administrator Martha Johnson.
Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., who heads the House veterans affairs committee, said "It is clear that VA has been on a conference spending spree the last few years, with little oversight or accountability. Why VA felt it had to host multiple million dollar destination conferences during an ongoing fiscal crisis defies reason."
An inspector general's report found VA employees accepted gifts such as massages, Rockettes tickets, helicopter rides and limousine services. They also incurred $762,000 in unauthorized or wasteful expenses tied to the two gatherings, according to the document.
A Bloomberg News analysis showed federal agencies weren't complying with the 20-day deadline the law sets for agencies to release requested information. Nineteen of 20 cabinet-level agencies disobeyed the law requiring the disclosure of public information in that time period.
The better to reach (annoy) you with, big bucks continue to roll in for President Obama and Governor Romney. Among metropolitan areas, New York is the top Obama supporter, donating $19.2 million, followed by Washington, D.C. ($16.6 million), and Los Angeles ($12.8 million). That is $386M from just three cities, so far.
Romney garnered 'only' $288M from his biggest cities, NYC, ($12.4 million), Washington, DC ($9.1 million) and Boston ($7.3 million).
The decision makers of the American Medical Association supported Obamacare, but in a recent poll of doctors, 55 percent said they would vote for Romney compared to 36 percent for Obama. The poll was released by Jackson & Coker, a division of Jackson Healthcare, a large healthcare staffing firm.
The survey also found that 15 percent of respondents said they were switching their vote from Obama in 2008 to Romney this year. The main reason cited for the change was Obamacare, according to the Daily Caller.
Allowing voting several weeks before an election is wrong, and just another effort to stack the deck in the favor of the Democrat Party. Who benefits from same day registration? Procrastinators? I suppose, and those who can't tolerate political phone calls (they won't all stop). How would you feel if one of the people you voted for weeks ago is arrested for child molestation a couple days before the election? Or, the man-handling of the President by Romney in closing weeks?
But, those who really like early voting are the 'organizers.' That gives them much more time to canvass the nursing homes, homeless shelters, college campuses, etc., to help people register and fill out their ballot.
Allowing felons to vote, pandering to minorities, youths, college students, and not requiring an ID falls into the same category. While I'm on a roll, most 18 year olds should never have been given the vote. Because so many are too immature to yet have a handle on life, and know little about the candidates, none should have the privilege. How many students know which County Recorder, for instance, candidate in their college town is best qualified?
Twenty one is soon enough, but not for Obama, for he would not have been elected without their shoe leather and votes. OK, I will allow shoe leather and phone calls.
I know the question -- is there a way to keep students from voting in their home town and at college?
Don Paulin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236