This gets us back to the principle that the government must pay us what we are entitled to.Ramah Navajo Chapter President Rodger Martinez • Discussing the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to force the government to pay back Native American tribes for money they spent on federal programs. Back in 2000, Congress allocated a $1.6 billion payback to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, but Congress had capped paybacks, so only $120.2 million has been paid back so far. ”We stressed that the government’s obligation to pay contract support costs should be treated as an ordinary contract promise,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her majority ruling, released Monday.
Quantifying Nepotism: Everyone knows (or at least assumes) that politicians use their power to benefit people close to them; that’s old news. However, scientific studies on the matter are hard to come by. The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wanted to change that, and carried out an exhaustive study of the extent to which nepotism manifests itself in US Congress. Their report is 347 pages long; in case you have better things to do with your time (impossible!), here are some takeaways. Note: This study only covered the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.
» Miscellaneous: Out of the aforementioned 248 members who warranted inclusion in the report, 105 were Democrats, and 143 were Republicans. Speaker of the House John Boehner is nowhere to be found in the report—but Nancy Pelosi is. Oh, and which member of Congress paid fees or salaries to more of his family members than anyone else? Why, none other than anti-government crusader Ron Paul.
» Our point still stands: The problem with the bill was not the earmarks. The problem was that it was a trillion dollars, but a few senators have made earmarks the issue, which sucks, because the earmarks are a tiny part of the plan and if they would’ve gone to some random bureaucracy had they not been earmarked for the states.
» OK, Tom, you’ve made your point: Democratic and Republican leaders alike in the Senate are taking a lot of federal money and giving it to the states. But you’re trying to deceive us. Here’s why; see, a trillion dollars is a thousand billion by our last count. And Tom, who’s anti-earmark, is pointing out how wrong it is for Senate leaders to throw roughly two-thousandths of the entire spending bill back to the states, $2.2 billion which would get spent by the federal government otherwise. (The total amount, $8.3 billion, is still absurdly tiny in comparison to the entire spending bill.) To put it another way, Tommy Boy’s trying to make hay out of an issue that’s actually needle-sized. You know what the real problem is? The hay. Not the needle. (And in case you’re wondering, these earmarks were made earlier this year, before the current anti-earmark vibe hit.)
Make no mistake, I know the good that has come from the projects I have helped support throughout my state. I don’t apologize for them. … [but] unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government.Sen. Mitch McConnell • Agreeing to support an anti-earmarks moratorium. This is a big deal because just a few days ago, he came out against it. His support shows that the GOP is willing to bend to Tea Party interests. Obama in particular supports McConnell’s decision. “I welcome Senator McConnell’s decision to join me and members of both parties who support cracking down on wasteful earmark spending, which we can’t afford during these tough economic times,” he said. In other news, Robert Byrd is rolling in his earmarked grave. source (via • follow)