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Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Jun 22, 2011 Medicare: Facts and Convictions (The Stone)
QUOTE: The moral of my story is that understanding and effectively taking part in a debate requires awareness of the level at which we and our opponents are operating at any given point...Once we’ve pushed the debate on Medicare or any other policy matter to the point where convictions become the sole basis of disagreement, it is time to vote.
New York Times Jun 22, 2011 Some Greeks Fear Government Is Selling Nation
QUOTE: “But at these extremely low levels, especially for those companies quoted on the stock exchange, we have to be very wary,” he added. “If we go by today’s values, as a result of the recession and the crisis the country finds itself in, it will be really selling the crown jewels at a pittance of their cost.” Mr. Papandreou’s government has not managed to make a convincing case for the sell-off to many Greeks, where the idea of a fire sale has taken hold, setting off a wave of national indignation.
New York Times Mar 09, 2011 Wisconsin Senate Limits Bargaining by Public Workers
QUOTE: Democrats, meanwhile, condemned the move as an attack on working families, a violation of open meetings requirements (most of them did not know there was to be a vote until not long before), and a virtual firebomb in state that already found itself politically polarized and consumed with recall efforts, large scale protests and fury from public workers.
New York Times Oct 05, 2009 Report on Bailouts Says Treasury Misled Public
QUOTE: The inspector general who oversees the government’s bailout of the banking system is criticizing the Treasury Department for some misleading public statements last fall and raising the possibility that it had unfairly disbursed money to the biggest banks.
New York Times Sep 21, 2009 Debate Flaring Over Grants for Research
QUOTE: Managers at the National Institutes of Health are increasingly ignoring the advice of scientific review panels and giving hundreds of millions of dollars a year to scientists whose projects are deemed less scientifically worthy than those denied money.
New York Times Sep 19, 2009 Planes to nowhere? Congress plans to increase small-town airline subsidies
QUOTE: opponents call the program [Essential Air Service] wasteful spending, noting that much of the money provides service to areas with fewer than 30 passengers a day.
Los Angeles Times Sep 13, 2009 U.S. Cost-Saving Policy Forces New Kidney Transplant
QUOTE: Although the government regularly pays $100,000 or more for kidney transplants, it stops paying for anti-rejection drugs after only 36 months.
New York Times Sep 07, 2009 Mortgage Market Bound by Major U.S. Role: Classes of Borrowers Cannot Find Loans as Publicly Backed Debt Mounts (Consequences of the Crisis Part 2)
QUOTE: the government's newly dominant role... has far-reaching consequences for prospective home buyers and taxpayers. The government has the power to decide who is qualified for a loan and who is not. As a result, many borrowers among both poor and rich are frozen out of the market.
Washington Post Aug 27, 2009 A national shame: Malnutrition in Guatemala
QUOTE: according to Unicef almost half of Guatemala’s children are chronically malnourished—the sixth-worst performance in the world.
Economist Aug 27, 2009 After Iowa Flood, Feeling Just a Bit Ignored
QUOTE: The outpouring of attention toward New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, ratcheting up again now as the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, has not been seen here [Cedar Rapids, Iowa]. In fact, the people of Cedar Rapids are feeling neglected.
New York Times Aug 26, 2009 Subprime Lenders Getting U.S. Subsidies, Report Says
QUOTE: Many of the lenders eligible to receive billions of dollars from the government's massive foreclosure prevention program helped fuel the housing crisis by issuing risky subprime loans...
Washington Post Aug 25, 2009 Old American Dams Quietly Become a Multibillion-Dollar Threat
QUOTE: More than 2,000 dams near population centers are in need of repair, according to statistics released this month by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials.
Wired Aug 25, 2009 Probe: New Orleans flood control pumps not reliable
QUOTE: Huge flood-control pumps installed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina don't protect the city adequately and the Army Corps of Engineers could have saved $430 million in replacement costs by buying proven equipment, a federal investigation finds.
USA TODAY Aug 20, 2009 Debate still rages over new N.J. national park
QUOTE: The battle over the park [Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in New Jersey], authorized by legislation signed by President Obama this spring, reflects two competing views of how to run national parks...
USA TODAY Aug 20, 2009 FCC asks us all: what, exactly, is broadband? The FCC wants you to tell the agency what you mean by "broadband," and how the Commission should redefine the term as technology changes.
QUOTE: The FCC has put out a Public Notice asking the wise to help them define "broadband [Internet]."
Ars Technica Aug 17, 2009 One Person’s Boondoggle, Another’s Necessity
QUOTE: Those [certain] proposals for spending federal stimulus money were all criticized... But they have something else in common, too. They are popular locally. And they underscore a truth that has been evident since the New Deal: sometimes the boondoggle is in the eye of the beholder
New York Times Aug 12, 2009 DynCorp Billed U.S. $50 Million Beyond Costs in Defense Contract
QUOTE: A Defense Department auditor testified Tuesday that DynCorp International billed the government $50 million more than the amount specified in a contract to provide dining facilities and living quarters for military personnel in Kuwait.
Washington Post Aug 11, 2009 The Sheik Down: How the Pentagon bought stability in Iraq by funneling billions of taxpayer dollars to the country's next generation of strongmen.
QUOTE: Eifan is a beneficiary of what some American personnel call the "make-a-sheikh" program, a semiofficial, little discussed policy that since late 2006 has bankrolled Sunni sheikhs who are, in theory, committed to defending American interests in Iraq... It was also a reinstitution of a strategy started by Saddam Hussein, who picked out tribal leaders he could manipulate through patronage schemes.
Mother Jones Aug 11, 2009 How America Is Funding Corruption in Pakistan: Graft is on the rise in Islamabad, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.
QUOTE: For the last eight years, U.S. taxpayers' money has funded hardly any bona fide counterterrorism successes, but quite a bit of corruption in the Pakistani Army and intelligence services.
Aug 10, 2009 Alaskans question cost of supporting rural outposts: With federal stimulus money going to build infrastructure in tiny, remote communities, many in the state wonder if it's worthwhile.
QUOTE: The cost of keeping rural Alaska afloat has been one of the state's most enduring challenges. Now a place that sees itself as the nation's last frontier, where countless communities depend on bush planes and boats for their food and fuel deliveries, is having to support its outposts in an age of cable television, cellphone networks and the Internet.
Los Angeles Times Jul 31, 2009 Doctors Reap Benefits By Doing Own Tests
QUOTE: A host of studies and reports by academics and the federal government shows that physicians who own scanners order many more scans than those who do not. As a result, Americans pay billions of dollars in extra taxes and insurance premiums.
Washington Post Jul 31, 2009 Ethics and Appropriations Make Strange Bedfellows
QUOTE: Members of the House ethics committee, who are investigating a pattern of lawmakers steering federal funds to generous defense contractors, have just had their own pet military projects approved by the same committee whose activities they are probing.
Washington Post Jul 31, 2009 Federal Agencies Diverted Earmark Money
QUOTE: Thirteen federal agencies took nearly half a billion dollars off the top of Congressional earmarks for administrative expenses in 2008, nearly 3 percent of the total amount that members of Congress had directed to pet projects in federal spending bills.
New York Times Jul 29, 2009 City libraries shut out of broadband stimulus money?:
QUOTE: as library development directors look for funds to beef up their networks, they're not finding the support they expected from the White House's $7.2 billion broadband stimulus package.
Ars Technica Jul 28, 2009 Congressional Committees Raise Concerns Over Pentagon's Strategic Communications (Fine Print)
QUOTE: Lawmakers are voicing concerns about the Pentagon's strategic communications programs, through which the military aims to win over civilians and erode support for adversaries in countries around the world.
Washington Post Jul 26, 2009 Reviews prompt suspension of Iraqi jobs program
QUOTE: The top U.S. aid agency has suspended a $644 million Iraq jobs program after two outside reviews raised concerns about misspending, including an inspector general's audit that found evidence of phantom jobs and money siphoned to insurgents.
USA TODAY Jul 22, 2009 Nobody's Normal Anymore: Should we blame overdiagnosis for rising health costs?
QUOTE: It's tempting to complain that Americans today are wussy hypochondriacs, overmedicated and overtreated for all kinds of imagined disorders. Some of them no doubt are. But, to take my personal experience as an example, many aren't.
Slate Jul 21, 2009 TARP watchdog cites lack of transparency in Obama administration
QUOTE: critics of the administration said that the White House has fallen short of its promises to run a more open government.
Los Angeles Times Jul 21, 2009 Costly Drugs Known as Biologics Prompt Exclusivity Debate ("The Work-Up" Part 3)
QUOTE: How many years should makers of those drugs be exempt from generic competition?
New York Times Jul 20, 2009 Bailout Overseer Says Banks Misused TARP Funds
QUOTE: Many of the banks that got federal aid to support increased lending have instead used some of the money to make investments, repay debts or buy other banks...
Washington Post Jul 16, 2009 European Subsidies Stray From the Farm
QUOTE: it [computer analysis] also showed that hundreds of millions of euros [for farm subsidies] are being paid to individuals and companies with little or no connection to traditional farming.
New York Times Jul 16, 2009 Afghanistan: Oversight AWOL?
QUOTE: Even as the Obama administration steps up spending in Afghanistan, it's shortchanging the government auditors responsible for ensuring that taxpayer dollars don't wind up in the pockets of swindlers and opportunists.
Mother Jones Jul 15, 2009 Amtrak accused of hindering stimulus oversight
QUOTE: Amtrak managers have improperly interfered with oversight of the railroad's $1.3 billion in economic stimulus funding, according to an independent report by a former federal prosecutor.
USA TODAY Jul 15, 2009 Air Force Project Being Probed Is Linked to Murtha: Lawmaker Arranged Earmark for It
QUOTE: The research effort at the Pensacola Air Force base fell apart, however, when investigators found evidence that it was used to improperly pay a series of companies linked to [Rep. John P.] Murtha.
Washington Post Jul 15, 2009 Massachusetts in Suit Over Cost of Universal Care
QUOTE: A hospital that serves thousands of indigent Massachusetts residents sued the state on Wednesday, charging that its costly universal health care law is forcing the hospital to cover too much of the expense of caring for the poor.
New York Times Jul 15, 2009 Why We Must Ration Health Care
QUOTE: Health care is a scarce resource, and all scarce resources are rationed in one way or another.
New York Times Jul 13, 2009 Tiny Airports Get Big Cut of Stimulus Cash: Small, Rural Airports Get Big Payouts While Safety Violations at Major National Airports Get Little Attention
QUOTE: taxpayers may be surprised to find "that airports they never heard of in communities they will never visit are getting some of the maximum stimulus grants," says Michael Grabell of the non-profit journalism group ProPublica.
CBS News Jul 02, 2009 Congress's Travel Tab Swells:Spending on Taxpayer-Funded Trips Rises Tenfold; From Italy to the Galápagos
QUOTE: Spending by lawmakers on taxpayer-financed trips abroad has risen sharply in recent years, a Wall Street Journal analysis of travel records shows,
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Jun 26, 2009 Bailout of U.S. Banks Gives British Rum a $2.7 Billion Benefit
QUOTE: Congress inserted the tax benefits for companies other than banks in a fog of confusion and panic after the House of Representatives rejected the first attempt to fund the bank support effort urged by then President George W. Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
Jun 25, 2009 Heading for the emergency room (Reforming American health care)
QUOTE: The American health-care system, which gobbles up about 16% of the country’s economic output, is by far the most expensive in the world...
Economist Jun 23, 2009 Bringing Down the House: The sobering lessons of health reform in Massachusetts. (Prescriptions)
QUOTE: Despite having health insurance, roughly one in 10 [Massachusetts] state residents still failed to fill prescriptions, ended up with unpaid medical bills, or skipped needed medical care for financial reasons. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to insure more Massachusetts citizens, but many people still weren't getting necessary care.
Slate Jun 22, 2009 Mayors complain about stimulus spending
QUOTE: City and county officials say a disproportionate amount of the economic stimulus money is going to rural areas, leaving urban areas shortchanged.
Los Angeles Times Jun 22, 2009 VA Moves Texas Brain Laboratory After Years Pass Without Testing
QUOTE: the Department of Veterans Affairs established a laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin with high expectations that it would conduct state-of-the art research into combat-related brain injuries. Last month, VA announced it was moving the facility, after spending more than $3 million without testing a single veteran with traumatic brain injury.
Washington Post Jun 21, 2009 Funds going to districts of key lawmakers
QUOTE: Most of the $2.2 billion in economic stimulus money for Army Corps of Engineers construction projects will be spent in the home districts of members of Congress who oversee the corps' funding
USA TODAY Jun 14, 2009 Some projects raise question: Where's the stimulus?
QUOTE: As President Obama moves to accelerate the flow of federal funds intended to rev up the economy and energy efficiency, public officials are voicing concerns about the merit of some plans.
Los Angeles Times Mar 10, 2009 Illegal immigrants might get stimulus jobs, experts say
QUOTE: Tens of thousands of jobs created by the economic stimulus law could end up filled by illegal immigrants,
USA TODAY Mar 09, 2009 Money Stimulates Debate in States Over Plan's Goals
QUOTE: states and federal agencies are gripped by disputes over whether the money [from the Recovery Act] is being used in ways that violate the letter or spirit of the legislation,
Washington Post Jan 24, 2009 EPA a failure on chemicals, audit finds: Assessment of toxic risks inadequate, says new chief (Chemical Fallout: Update)
QUOTE: The Environmental Protection Agency's ability to assess toxic chemicals is as broken as the nation's financial markets and needs a total overhaul, a congressional audit has found.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/JS Online Dec 15, 2008 Executive Pay Limits May Prove Toothless: Loophole in Bailout Provision Leaves Enforcement in Doubt
QUOTE: Congress wanted to guarantee that the $700 billion financial bailout would limit the eye-popping pay of Wall Street executives, so lawmakers included a mechanism for reviewing executive compensation and penalizing firms that break the rules. But at the last minute, the Bush administration insisted on a one-sentence change to the provision...Now, however, the small change looks more like a giant loophole...
Washington Post Oct 21, 2008 Official Portraits Draw Skeptical Gaze--Cost to Taxpayers Vaires but Can Reach Nearly $50,000
QUOTE: investing taxpayer money in the time-honored art of official portraiture has become increasingly controversial. In a throwback to the Jimmy Carter era, some fiscal watchdogs and government scholars suggest that high-quality photographs would be a more cost-efficient way to honor departing dignitaries, especially because most portraits are largely inaccessible to the public.
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