Tuesday, February 3, 2009

GOP list of wastefull items in the Bail Out Plan.. you decide

CNN) -- On Monday, House Republican leaders put out a list of what they call wasteful provisions in the Senate version of the nearly $900 billion stimulus bill that is being debated:

The Senate is currently the nearly $900 billion economic stimulus bill.

• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.

• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.

• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.

• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).

• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.

• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD's.

• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.

• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.

• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.

• $75 million for "smoking cessation activities."

• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.

• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.

• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.

• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.

• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.

• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into "green" buildings.

• $500 million for state and local fire stations.

• $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.

• $1.2 billion for "youth activities," including youth summer job programs.

• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.

• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.

• $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

• $5.5 million for "energy efficiency initiatives" at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.

• $850 million for Amtrak.

• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.

• $75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.

• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations


At February 3, 2009 at 1:51 PM , Blogger Frank S. said...

You have got to be kidding me. This is completely unbelievable. Talk about waste. And this is suppose to be the best they can do? Hell, I could do better than this.

At February 3, 2009 at 1:55 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

This tops my list

$248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.

I wonder if they have an IKEA store down there.

I'll bet you could Frank

At February 3, 2009 at 1:59 PM , Blogger Linda and George said...

This makes me sick. We expected more of Obama.

At February 3, 2009 at 2:27 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

I think what you see.. is a result of horse trading. Obama wants what he thinks will stimulate the economy... while some in the Senate... want what the lobbyists have said THEY want.
Some of this will go away I'll bet, in the final package.

The numbers are beyond my comprehension

At February 3, 2009 at 2:39 PM , Blogger Old soldier said...

This should come as no surprise to any of us. Same old crap we have been dealing with for the last 8 years, just a different guy shoveling it at us. But I am surprised. I expected better of the new guy.

At February 3, 2009 at 3:28 PM , Blogger concerned voter said...

Don’t give up on Obama yet. Jim is right, he has to give the other side some of what they are asking for if he wants them to vote for this. He needs 2 republican votes, and every democrat vote for this to pass the Senate. I think this is just politics at play. The republicans asked for a bunch of this stuff, and then use it against the democrats. Don’t fault Obama until we see the final package. There will be plenty of time to blame him then if he does not do what he said he would do about cleaning up this type of thing.

At February 3, 2009 at 4:03 PM , Blogger Worried 01701 said...

I need a miserly $25000 to save my house and put me on a level playing field where I can feed and protect my family. That 25K would keep 4 people from being homeless. Hell, all I need them to do is lower my mortgage payment for a year until I can get a job. Forget giving me the 25K, just make my payments more manageable. They can’t figure out how to do that, but they can give 246K to Hollywood to buy film? News flash you A-holes. No one can afford to go see the films you are making, so why do you need film? And isn’t it all digital now anyway, so what’s that about?

At February 3, 2009 at 4:11 PM , Blogger Eric said...

I still have faith in the new president, in spite of much of what we have heard over the last few days. I think we should expect he will make some mistakes, as everyone does in a new job. I will be looking to see how he fixes and handles those mistakes when he makes them. So I am going to reserve judgement on the man for a bit longer. After all, he has only been on the job 2 weeks today. It took us 8 years to get into this mess, we can’t really expect him to get us out of this in 14 days.

At February 3, 2009 at 4:32 PM , Blogger Doreen said...

Obama will do fine. Just getting his feet under him. He is still saying what he has been saying all along, has not changed his story. He has hit a few bumps in the road, but lets give the guy a chance before we give up on him.

At February 3, 2009 at 4:41 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Let's just hope, that Deval gets his bucket of money for Mass... or we, ALL will be in deep do do.

Mc Cain will make so changes, if for no other reason, to flex his muscle.

Obama wants us to host house parties to gather support.

I'll make the brownies...

At February 3, 2009 at 5:06 PM , Blogger fed up in framingham said...

What do I decide? I decide this is outrageous! But other than you Jim, no one is asking what my decision would be. Guess I will head home now and watch the news, get depressed, and look forward to Jim's brownies, which I am hoping will be the adult only version.

At February 3, 2009 at 7:41 PM , Blogger Frank S. said...

Blah, blah, blah. Stop bitching and lets give the guy a chance, shall we?

At February 3, 2009 at 8:08 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Adult brownies for everyone....

At February 3, 2009 at 8:08 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At February 4, 2009 at 10:18 AM , Blogger Harry said...

Hey Jim, at little off topic here but any comment on Michael Phelps getting caught enjoying a little of "the weed"?

At February 4, 2009 at 12:37 PM , Blogger Barney said...

I just heard on the news that the President is going to put a cap on the top end of the salary a senior official in any company getting bail out money can take. Now that is what I would expect from this new president. Now they just need to put a cap on the salary our senators, representatives can take, and they need to stop all that lobbyist money from being thrown around at the Capital. Regulate the flow of that money, and you would see more honest and ethical people on the ballots come election time.

At February 4, 2009 at 1:06 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...


The media's attempt to make a mountain out of a mole hill... the polls all say, who cares, what the greatest swimmer every to dawn a speedo does on his own time. And note.. no positive drug test when he was at the Olympics... clearly the kid has brains.

And the sheriff who wants to prosecute him over this, just helps our cause. How foolish can any law enforcement person be, to make statements like he did, without ANY real proof of a crime

At February 4, 2009 at 1:23 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...


Yes.. good news from the White House. Obama is doing what we all want him to do... stand up and tell those CEO's no more. And even Deval today has asked to stop the State agencies from paying lobbyist with our tax dollars to sway other agencies...
I never knew that

If the Governor cuts the State House and Senate salaries to almost nothing, he would have my undying support and would show all of us, he means business about helping everyone in the State.

And note, Deleo, has still not picked committee chairs, so no new business is taking place... what shear arrogance toward our problems in this State.

At February 4, 2009 at 1:26 PM , Blogger Angry Voter said...

What I want to know is, where is all this money coming from? I know the budget deficit is increasing, but who is paying the bills for what has to be paid now? Seems the US Government must have had a lot more money laying around waiting to be spent. All those mattresses in the White House must have been stuffed pretty full. Must be like sleeping on the floor around there now that all the money is being pulled out.

At February 4, 2009 at 1:46 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...


Regrettably, it comes from you and I, our children, their children and perhaps their children, and various good and bad countries around the world. In other words, the same place the money has come from to pay for the last two wars, dug war and every other useless program that has ever come down the pike. Only now, will it be spent on you and I.

At February 4, 2009 at 2:48 PM , Blogger Jamie said...

I don’t like what I am seeing from Patrick. Jim, I know you are hoping he is going to do right by the state, but so far, I don’t see him doing much of anything expect reaching deeper into my pockets. He may be Obama’s friend, but then, isn’t that the same old politics we are trying to get away from, taking care of their friends and screw the rest of the people? If that is wrong, which it is, then it is wrong even when we are on the friends list.

At February 4, 2009 at 3:13 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Jamie.. I agree

but we can't fire him ....or shoot him and he's not going to Washington and hasn't try to sell anyone's Senate seat, to impeach him. And things are so bad now.. and getting worse for him every hour, that I have to believe that he has to do write by us, in part, because of his relationship with Obama. I wonder if Deval would have even brought up the lobbyist thing, tolls on the boarders, etc, if he did not have an allie in Obama.

I have to have some hope, something to hold onto here, my distrust of the Government and it's allies have been heightened, even more at the local level. I hope Obabma is Deval's mentor and role model, for it's Obama that will give Deval his courage to fight for what's right.. I hope.

I'll be the first to admit if I'm wrong here... not that it would matter to them or anyone else, but what's frustrated many of us, over the years, is the ability in being heard and this blog helps me and you vent, to everyone who cares about what we think.

At February 4, 2009 at 4:31 PM , Blogger John said...

Jim you keep a level head and an open mind here, which are not qualities I would have associated with you in the past, but qualities I hope you continue to cultivate. It is never to late to make a change for the better, and through this blog, I think I see that happening. You have always been someone who would stand up for what was right, but you have not always been good at building the coalition of people it takes to unite in order to facilitate change. I always thought it was too bad that the fact you were often abrasive was preventing you from doing all the good things you clearly wanted to do. I think I am seeing a change in that abrasive behavior, without a diminishing of your drive to do what is right. If I am right about that, then you just may have learned the most important lesson you will ever learn, which is something I am sure you have heard before. People will not listen to you if you are yelling at them or belittling them. But they will listen when you educate them. Educate people and you can build a strong legion of supporters who will want to make change, and will help you to make those changes happen. Keep up the good work, and don't lose sight of the fact that people will listen if you educate them and not just shove your ideas down their throats.

At February 5, 2009 at 8:52 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Thanks for your insight. I guess I'm not to old to learn after all.


At February 5, 2009 at 11:50 AM , Blogger Framingham resident said...

I agree with what John says here about building a coalition. It is not too early to start doing that for the next round of elections. I suspect we will still be suffering in this financial disaster in 2010 so people will be ripe for change, but there will also be lots of newbies trying to run, seeing this as their opportunity to get their foot in the door. So for a somewhat seasoned political activist like Jim the one thing you have going for you that they don’t is time to establish your reputation and your abilities early in the process, like now. This blog is a great way to start on that. Keep it up.

At February 5, 2009 at 1:36 PM , Blogger Frustrated in Framingham said...

Running in 2010 is a long way off. Most of the people in trouble now will not be able to hold on until the 2010 elections unless things change and get at least a little better. So no problem with thinking long term, but we need to act in the now time frame and stop thinking that it is some new elected official who is going to fix this mess. Obama is on the right course I think, but we need to do more ourselves now.

At February 5, 2009 at 2:28 PM , Blogger new to blogging said...

Can’t any of you guys ever take responsibility for anything yourselves? We are all in this mess because of greed, maybe not our own personal greed, but greed nonetheless. And now people are being greedy with what they expect to be given to them to get them out of this mess. Come on people, lets get a grip on reality here. Lost your job, then sure, you deserve unemployment. Having trouble paying the mortgage because you lost your job, sure, lets cut you some slack until you are again employed. But if you are upside down on the value of your house, well, sorry, but that is the risk we all take when we buy a house. Have $20,000 in credit card debt and no job to pay that off. Sorry, but if you bought $20,000 worth of stuff on credit cards, you were clearly spending more than you made. You want to get rid of the debt? Sell the stuff you bought, put whatever small amount you get for that stuff on the debt and then pay the rest off a little every month. Credit ruined? Sorry, but you proved you can not manage credit, so you shouldn’t get anymore credit any how. So suck it up, pay those bills off a little at a time, and maybe you will learn to be more responsible with your spending habits. Yeah, times are tough, and yeah, we need to help people stay afloat and survive, as we should. But that does not mean letting them walk away scott free from their irresponsible or risky behavior. There has to be some consequences or what is going to prevent people from making these mistakes again? I am not blaming people or saying they were corrupt or dumb, but they were greedy, and now we can help them out and help them learn a valuable lesson. I am more than willing to do that. But bail them out with no consequences? I can’t sign of for that sort of deal. And just for the record, I am paying off over $20,000 in credit card debt myself, and struggling to pay the mortgage on a house where I own $80,000 more than it is worth now. But I got myself into this mess, and it will take me 10 yrs to get out of this mess, but I will be a much more responsible consumer than I was 2 yrs ago.

At February 5, 2009 at 4:04 PM , Blogger Just wondering said...

What does it matter how we got here? Only thing that matters is how we get out of this mess. Like it or not, we can not do that without politicians. The government has to fix what the government broke. You are living in a dream world if you think otherwise. Jim is right, we need Obama, Deval, Richardson, all of them to work for us and with us or no one will come out of this mess in very good shape. We can vote them out the next election if they don’t, and I hope we will. But right now, we need them to work for us, they are all we’ve got. So stop pointing fingers at whose to blame, and start pointing at the people we need to shovel us out of this hole.

At February 6, 2009 at 8:57 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

FR, FinF,

I agree, 2010 is far away and by this time next year, the problems we have now, may only be worse in the State and country. While you and I can't do anything at the Fed level, we should be able to do something about the State. IF, by some chance, we could get 150 like mined individuals to make a commitment to run for house rep seats in 2010, that alone MAY, give the current State House reps an incentive to get their acts together now. Although I've read today Deleo suggests term limits on his post, it would not matter who is in that chair, if the majority of reps were independent and not Democrat or Republicans, we could take back the peoples house and stop the disgraceful actions of a dysfunctional elected body.

Some things to keep an eye on. As most of you have read, Martha Coakley has a secret but legal bank account, used for her "testing the waters" in running for the Senate. This person is more powerful than the Speaker and Governor combined and is one of this States most politically connected and feared elected officials. Look between the lines on this.... the donators to her bank account and exactly who has donated will come to light here soon I believe. Another peak may reveal funds in that account that may be funneled from civil forfeiture, as those monies are not accounted for in any form, from our own Police department here in Framingham, to the top cop of this State. A bill years ago to press for accountability of these funds was killed in committee and has never seen the light of day since. Obama's new AG may have something to do with all this and it's my belief, that Coakley's rein is responsible for many of the un ethical wrong doings in this State, selective politically motivated prosecution and keeping her donors out of harms way.

At February 6, 2009 at 9:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to say you have guts Pillsbury to publicaly speak against Coakley. She is a woman with a long reach, a control freak, and someone who beleives in fear as a control option. She has a lot of power in this state, and is not afraid of using it. I will be watching the news for more information on this secret bank account, but something tells me we won't be hearing too much more about this!

At February 6, 2009 at 9:40 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...


There are those who read this blog, who have a much better scholarly definition of greed and where it comes from, but I do think this:

People who grow up with greed, are greedy. Those of us who had to work for everything we have now... give more away. Who among us, don't want more out of life, in terms of things. We all got caught up in buying to many things that perhaps we didn't need and now we face the reaper. We fell pray to those who said it was ok to do so, the well was artesian and never ending. Some have warned of this day, years ago, but we ignored those warnings because we were told it was ok to re mortgage the house and buy that second car, was it greed on our part, perhaps, or just wanting more out of life. We will all pay, in one way or another for our blind faith in institutions that lied to us, that's greed. When we read about the huge profits that oil companies were making on our dependence of their product, did we sell our shares of Exxon?, nope, that's greed. We all want a price of prosperity, kids to college, the beach house, a bigger home and financial security when we retire. We're learning now how our excesses in life have hurt us as a country and will pay some price for this and hopefully we will make the those who have conned us into this false sense of security will pay their fair share of the price of greed.

And speaking about greed, the COE of your bank may make over 1 million a year. Many of these same banks have received billions in bailout money, your money. That greed has even sparked outrage from Obama. Showing my outrage to these fat cat bankers, I will write a letter to the Bank informing them that I'm pulling my money out of Bank America because of the CEO salary and put it into a local bank, which didn't get bail out money and is perhaps safer than the big boy banks anyway. It's a small attempt, but perhaps thousands of people feel the same way as I do and desperately want to show them we are watching and do care about the future and will not fund greed.

At February 6, 2009 at 10:39 AM , Blogger Jerry G. said...

Good idea about pulling our money out of these banks that are taking bail out money, not that I have that much money to pull out. But you are right, if all of us were to do this, it sure would send them a clear message of our disgust at how they do business. I am going to follow your example and do the same thing myself this weekend.

At February 6, 2009 at 1:38 PM , Blogger Michael said...

Right on in your comments about all of us exhibiting a little of that greed....good point on the Exxon stock. But again, come on people, stop living in the past and talking about what has already happened. Lets start making plans for the future. We do have a future you know.

At February 6, 2009 at 4:22 PM , Blogger Jamie said...

Sounds like this bailout package may not pass. What happens then? How will all those execs collect their huge bonuses if we don't send the money to them to cash those checks?

At February 6, 2009 at 5:25 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...


I'm watching C span now, The Senate is grilling the new oversight people. One thing is very clear, the new round of bail out money will come with serious oversight and verifiable audit, criminal and civil penalties for those bankers who screw the taxpayers. Interesting enough, Bank of America got hundreds of BILLIONS and as I wrote earlier, their CEO is taking huge over a million in salary. There's every reason for me to believe, the bail out will pass and shortly. We, all of us, rich and poor are teetering on such disaster, that the great depression will look like a day at the beach. This is serious stuff and those fat cat greedy SOB's have to be stopped.. meaning some banks may have to fail.. big ones, that took the un necessary risk.. notice all banks didn't ask for bail out money... just those greedy bastards at the top of the heap. Sachs and Bank of Mercian got billions, Middlesex Savings, as far as I know, didn't ask for money. You may see, very soon, common pissed off people, storming some of these COE's offices.

And according to CNN, some banks that got bail out money, want to pay it back now... one wonders, if they needed to money anyway. But the reason is clear, they want no oversight, they don't want to start lending again, because they know they can get more money.

I strongly urge all who can, take you money out of Bank of America and put it in a local bank. They could be the ones to go under... they know.. for sure.. they are likely to ask for more billions this time next year and still not be in the black. Obama has to know what's happening and I hope and pray, (and I'm not a believer in organized religion) he will get the reforms and oversight into this round of TARP funding and the Senate Banking Committee meeting being held now, are pressing the new guys for assurances.

The only way, as I see it, for this country to actually know all that goes on, is to stop what you are doing for the day, and scan each and every televised government hearing that is going on. It is absolutely mind boggling, the numbers, the fraud in the past three months, the elected elite who approved this whole package just a few months ago, sit there and just expect the viewers to believe, they had no idea, any of this would go on.

We have got to get back to honest government of the people... or our children's children, will have nothing left to work with.

Last word about greed... Manny holds out for 25 million a year, the Red Sox announced yesterday, you can buy your tickets on 12 month installment plan, the young second string quarterback who made 500,000 last year for the Pats is guaranteed 14 million if he plays or not this year.

At February 6, 2009 at 5:33 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Anon.. you may be correct, but think of where this comes from.. AP. Something is making this happen.. a Madoff thing, a bailed out bank... something happened. you don't stumble on secret bank accounts for an AG's office on google.. I'll buy the organic coffee if this doesn't come up again, in three months or so. I hope Ted lives to be 100.

At February 8, 2009 at 10:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone see today's papers about Wilkerson, ethics, and freedom of information act? When are they going to see that it is time to fix this mess!

At February 8, 2009 at 11:50 AM , Blogger Friend said...

This blog gets quiet on weekends...does everyone take a few days off? News today was not encouraging about the state of the economy. Jim, any thoughts on if this bailout is really going to help?

At February 8, 2009 at 2:18 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...


I think most of you who follow the current state of affairs, are so aggravated over the past 5 days of news... we need to recharge our faith over the weekend... so we play an instrument in a band, or take ice off our roofs... well, that's what I did anyway.

Sunday is the day we read the papers, search the web, watch the talking heads, and get ready for the next round of weirdness.

I believe something will be ready for Obama's signature this week and on Presidents Day, he will get this going. Clearly, not the bi partisan way he wanted, but at this point, he will compromise and get something going. It will at least come with more oversight and big compensations restrictions may help keep those greedy, high risk taking bankers, from asking for more money.

I'm not sure if it means great things for everyone, but whatever it is, we have to suck it up and move forward. I do believe it means more trouble for Mass.. I think Deval will end up with less in aid from Obama and even more next year, for local aid.

It won't take to much longer, before the working class realizes the mess we are all in and to bring to a boiling point a taxpayer revolt. There are major civil disobedience protests around the country and in time, we will have to speak up in the same manner.

While we worry every day of our own and our neighbors precarious positions, our elected elite STILL, can't feel our pain and do right by us. Deavl will have to take drastic action and the salaries of the corrupt elected elite will have to go, before any more central service personal are lost.

At February 8, 2009 at 2:32 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...


Alan Cote at the public records division is perhaps one of the only state employee's we can trust. I've asked for his help in a bait and switch mortgage scheme by East West Mortgage Company some years ago that happened to me hours before I was to close. He was very helpful and honest. He just needs more power to get the information from those who have something to hide.

Wilkerson, DiMasi, DeLeo, and all the rest are mere products of an entire system that is blind to justice, ethics and accountability. They're the poster children for a massive replacement of the House and Senate seats in 2010.


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