BIG GOVERNMENT - Looking Out For You

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2001
BIG GOVERNMENT - Looking Out For You
102
Thu, 05-06-2010 - 11:48am

Looks like Big Government is batting a thousand on "taking care of us", , ,social security, medicare, medicaid,

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2010
Sat, 07-17-2010 - 11:53am


~OPAL~   onoz_omg2.gif OMG ONOZ image by KILLER_BOB11694

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2001
Thu, 07-22-2010 - 6:10pm
The Art of the Ann Arbor City Budget
By Tom Gantert | July 22, 2010



The debate in Ann Arbor, where firefighters are being laid off due to a multimillion dollar budget deficit, is over an $850,000 piece of art.


That's how much the city has agreed to pay German artist Herbert Dreiseitl for a three-piece water sculpture that would go in front of the new police and courts building right by the City Hall.


The city has the money to do it because in 2007, it agreed to set aside for public art 1 percent of money that went into capital improvement projects that were $100,000 or larger. Most capital projects involve streets, sewers and water.


Ann Arbor City Council member Stephen Kunselman, a Democrat, opposed the art deal.


"I think it is incredibly insensitive," Kunselman said. "It is insensitive to the staff and their morale. It is insensitive to the community. There are people out there struggling financially, and here we are spending a large amount of money on a piece of art."


Kunselman said the city is also eliminating the solid waste coordinator from the budget, which oversees trash pickup, and hiring an art coordinator.


City Administrator Roger Fraser wrote in an e-mail that the solid waste coordinator position was eliminated as a cost-cutting measure because the solid waste millage had decreased. Fraser wrote that the art coordinator position would be paid for by the public art fund.


Fraser noted that the public art dollars did not come from the city's general fund, which is used to pay salaries and benefits, and that less than $6,000 of the art money came from the general fund.


The art projects also must have a "thematic connection" to the source of funding, Fraser wrote. The $850,000 art project is water-themed, because the money came from storm water funds.


But some critics say that a city creative enough to fund art from storm water projects should be able to find money to cover essential city services.


"That's the classic argument," said Glenn Thompson, an Ann Arbor resident and longtime critic of city spending. "But the city has become very, very good at shuffling money in and out of the general fund when they want. These people are very good at putting it in and out of the general fund when they wish."


Michael LaFaive, the director of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative said nonessential services are being funded throughout the state.


"Administrators cry poverty while lavishing money on the beautiful people," LaFaive said. "The threat to dismiss firefighters often comes while officials protect golf courses, wave pools and art. No city can cry poverty while it defends recreation and aesthetics such as art."


LaFaive said administrators get creative with budgets to fund pet projects.


"It doesn't mean officials can't find ways to redirect the money," LaFaive said. "It appears on the surface that they are redefining what a capital improvement is, by designing a sculpture instead of true municipal infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges."


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2001
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 5:24pm
August 5, 2010 1:15 PM
Michelle Obama Criticized as "Modern-day Marie Antoinette" Over Spain Vacation









First Lady Michelle Obama smiles during a walk at Marbella's city center, southern Spain, on Aug. 4, 2010.

(Credit: Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated 1:49 p.m. Eastern Time


Andrea Tantaros has penned a scorching editorial for the New York Daily News deeming First Lady Michelle Obama a "modern-day Marie Antoinette" for her vacation in Spain with her daughter.



"The First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her 'closest friends,'" Tantaros writes, pointing to a CNN report that Michelle Obama and her group are expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms. "Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times."


Pictures: Michelle Obama in Spain


Tantaros goes on to criticize the first lady for traveling abroad instead of within the United States, something that would help the U.S. economy.



"Michelle Obama seems more like a modern-day Marie Antoinette - the French queen who spent extravagantly on clothes and jewels without a thought for her subjects' plight - than an average mother of two," she writes. "... I don't begrudge anyone rest and relaxation when they work hard. We all need downtime - the First Family included. It's the extravagance of Michelle Obama's trip and glitzy destination contrasted with President Obama's demonization of the rich that smacks of hypocrisy and perpetuates a disconnect between the country and its leaders."



According to the White House, Mrs. Obama is traveling with minimal staff and a small group of family friends for a mother daughter trip long in the works.



The FIrst Lady's press office referred to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' statement at the White House briefing yesterday that "the First Lady is on a private trip."





"She is a private citizen and is the mother of a daughter on a private trip," he said. "And I think I'd leave it at that."



CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller reports the C-32A (757) the First Lady used to fly to Spain - one of the planes that usually serves as Air Force Two, and sometimes Air Force One - operates at a Department of Defense reimbursement rate of $11,351 per hour.



So a 6.5 hour flight to Spain would run $73,781.50 - double for the round trip.





The White House says that as a policy, official trips by the first family are paid by the government but all personal elements paid are personally. Since this is a private trip, the White House seems to be suggesting that the Obamas are personally paying all costs associated with the vacation.



But there appears to be some wiggle room there, in part because the Secret Service must protect the First Family, and the cost to taxpayers would presumably go up during travel.





A few years ago, as Knoller notes, the Government Accountability Office did an analysis of presidential travel at the behest of Congress. The Secret Service refused to divulge how many personnel and costs are associated with safeguarding a protectee during a trip, citing its policy to not give up information that might be used to gauge a level of protection.








More from Political Hotsheet and Politics on CBSNews.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 8:52pm

Her and her husbands vacations wouldn't bother me so much if it wasn't for the Dem's blasting Bush for working from his ranch calling it 'vacations'.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2010
Fri, 08-06-2010 - 3:44pm

The problem is that the powers that be do not want to compensate medical and dental providers properly. An easy approach would be to give tax credits and reduction of school loans for Medicare patients that would allow treating them to be profitable. We forget that a dr's office is a small business and employs people. People on Medicare deserve 1st class treatment as does everyone else.




Edited 8/7/2010 12:37 am ET by xxxs
xvx Pictures, Images and Photos


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2001
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 10:38am
Aug 12, 6:20 AM (ET)

By MARCY GORDON





























iVillage Member
Registered: 12-15-2009
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 7:13pm
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2010
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 8:43pm
The mistake many Americans who dislike Obama do not comprehend how damaging that it to the defense against Islamization. The need to concentrate on the real threat. Communism was never as great a threat to freedom as Islam .
>>We must keep in mind that to be a loyal and faithful Muslim, a Muslim must adhere to and perform many obligatory acts, as specified in the Quran by Allah and the Hadith/Sunna, during his entire life.<<<
In Canada they did defeat Sharia Law but in the arrogant Euro they are finding out that they has been had. It is a theocracy and every muslim is obliges to follow it. Terror and intimidation are it's hallmarks. But since "they prey only on their own" many ignore the danger,.

xvx Pictures, Images and Photos


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-15-2009
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 10:09pm

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-15-2009
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 10:26pm

Obama says Islam has always been part of America.

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