US State Department spends $1 MILLION on a single granite sculpture to decorate new embassy in London
“The U.S. Department of State will spend $2.5 million next year on art to decorate its embassies, it was revealed Tuesday. The agency’s 2013 spending included $1 million for a single granite sculpture set to adorn the new American Embassy in London.
It’s part of the State Department’s ‘Art In Embassies’ program, which has 16 government employees curating art exhibits at diplomatic stations all over the world.
The State Department writes that the program ‘provides exhibitions to represent American art abroad.’ The $1 million art award will go to Sean Scully, an Irish-born artist who emigrated to the U.S. at age 30, and whose work resembles stacked piles of paving stones..”
Via The Daily Mail
“The government shutdown may be keeping furloughed federal workers at home, but on Monday the U.S. Army contracted to buy a mechanical bull.
The $47,174 contract was awarded on Oct. 7 to Mechanical Bull Sales Inc. of State College, Penn.
According to the General Services Administration (GSA) listing, the National Guard of Utah made the request for a “bull which needs to be durable and low maintenance.”
The bull that was sold to the Utah National Guard should meet any state safety requirements. The Mechanical Bull Sales website says, “Our mechanical bulls are approved for use in all 50 states and Canada. This includes: Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California which have stringent safety requirements for amusement rides.””
Via CNS News
$5.25 Million For Senate Hair Care And 21 Other Ways Politicians Are Living The High Life At Your Expense
“If you want to live the high life, you don’t have to become a rap star, a professional athlete or a Wall Street banker. All it really takes is winning an election. Right now, more than half of all the members of Congress are millionaires, and most of them leave “public service” far wealthier than when they entered it. Since most of them have so much money, you would think that they would be willing to do a little “belt-tightening” for the sake of the American people. After all, things are supposedly “extremely tight” in Washington D.C. right now. In fact, just the other day Nancy Pelosi insisted that there were “no more cuts to make” to the federal budget. But even as they claim that things are so tough right now, our politicians continue to live the high life at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. The statistics that I am about to share with you are very disturbing. Please share them with everyone that you know. The American people deserve the truth.”
“President Barack Obama told Americans Friday that federal aid is reserved for citizens, even though his deputies have drafted complex regulations to give taxpayer-funded Obamacare subsidies to foreign students and to millions of guest workers.
He made the misleading claim during a televised roundtable at the second stop of his two-day, two-state tour promoting more aid to students.
“Obviously, when it come to federal grants, loans, support, subsidies, that we provide, those are for our citizens,” Obama told a student questioner from the friendly audience of college professors, administrators and students at the Binghamton University in New York.
“You know, a lot of Americans are having a tough time affording college, as we talked about, so we can’t spread it too thin,” he told the Turkish student, who was asking for aid.
A 1996 law bars foreigners and recent immigrants for most means-tested products.”
Via The Daily Caller
“Labor activists using tactics adopted from the Occupy Wall Street movement are crashing restaurants across the nation in an effort to raise wages for workers – and they’re getting taxpayer money to fund the effort.
Using a combination of federal grants and grants from left-leaning organizations, the Restaurant Opportunity Center, or ROC, is technically a charitable nonprofit and not a union. But their pro-worker messages, anti-employer protests and self-proclaimed goal of organizing service sector employees for the purposes of negotiating higher wages make ROC look and sound much like a labor union.
Some see their tactics as a deliberate attempt to skirt the nation’s labor laws. Only unions elected by a majority of a workplace can negotiate with employers on workers’ behalf, though ROC seems to be doing so in the absence of any election.”
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture made farm subsidy payments to 28,613 dead farmers between 2011 and 2012, of which 1,799 were deemed “improper,” according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report issued in June.
The report, entitled “USDA Needs to Do More to Prevent Improper Payments to Deceased Individuals,” said USDA’s Farm Service Agency identified “thousands of deceased individuals who were paid $3.3 million in improper payments after their dates of death, of which FSA has recovered approximately $1 million.”
GAO determined that about 6 percent of the total subsidy payments should not have been sent due to clerical errors or outright fraud.”
Via CNS News
“Federal employees were paid more than $155 million of taxpayer dollars in 2011 for spending more than 3.4 million hours of “official time” on labor union activities that fell outside their assigned government duties, according to a survey by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
“Voluntary membership in Federal sector unions results in considerable reliance by unions on the volunteer work of bargaining unit employees, rather than paid union business agents, to represent the union in representational matters such as collective bargaining and grievances,” the OPM stated.
But these “volunteers” were doing their union work on government time.”
Via CNS News
Detroit Looks to Health Law to Ease Costs
“As Detroit enters the federal bankruptcy process, the city is proposing a controversial plan for paring some of the $5.7 billion it owes in retiree health costs: pushing many of those too young to qualify for Medicare out of city-run coverage and into the new insurance markets that will soon be operating under the Obama health care law.
Officials say the plan would be part of a broader effort to save Detroit tens of millions of dollars in health costs each year, a major element in a restructuring package that must be approved by a bankruptcy judge. It is being watched closely by municipal leaders around the nation, many of whom complain of mounting, unsustainable prices for the health care promised to retired city workers.
Similar proposals that could shift public sector retirees into the new insurance markets, called exchanges, are already being planned or contemplated in places like Chicago; Sheboygan County, Wis.; and Stockton, Calif. While large employers that eliminate health benefits for full-time workers can be penalized under the health care law, retirees are a different matter. “
Via NY Times
“In an age of “belt tightening” and “budget cuts”, you would think that government officials would be trying to spend our money wisely. Unfortunately, when it comes time to cut spending our politicians tend to do everything that they can to protect their own interests and their own pet projects, but they don’t seem to mind implementing cuts that deeply hurt military families, the poor and the elderly. The facts that you are about to read will likely upset you very much. The federal government and our state governments are wasting money in some of the most ridiculous ways imaginable. Meanwhile, we are being told that we don’t have any money for a lot of really important things. Our hard-earned tax dollars are being horribly mismanaged, and the American people deserve to hear the truth about this gross negligence.”
“Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) says, “we shouldn’t even be charging young people to go to school.”
Rangel made the comments while discussing the interest increase on certain federal student loans in a video on a political social media website.
“In the long run, it would seem to me, that we shouldn’t even be charging our young people to go to school because ultimately our country and our treasury is the beneficiary,” Rangel says.”
Via CNS News