Pork Barrel Remains Hidden in U.S. Budget published today via NY times proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the economic focus of “lawmakers” is any where else but on the current financial crisis facing the American Citizens.
Whereas billions of dollars of taxpayer money could have been directed to alternative energy technologies and advanced healing technologies to reduce costs to the American Republic, instead that money is directed to “personal favourites” like a Christian broadcasting group to build a shortwave radio station in Madagascar, a program to save hawks in Haiti, efforts to fight agriculture pests in Maryland and an “international fertilizer” center in Alabama that assists farmers overseas.
(There were more than 10,000, costing nearly $20 billion last year, according to the Congressional Research Service.)
These “lawmakers” of Psalms 73 have made it obvious that they are completely out of touch with our present economic troubles; they simply have their own interests. Does this seem like the kind of people who should be running an entire democratic country – much less running around free outside of cages where they should be?
That’s not what really grabbed me about this article. What really grabbed me is the terminology and the application thereof: “earmarks.” To me, it’s bad enough that there’s still pork barrel spending during this inflation, recession, or whatever it is at the moment.
These capitol hill monkeys also have their own clandestine terminology surrounding this free-for-few spending which further proves how far out of touch they are with the people they should really be helping. (Isn’t this the reason that the Marcos Family was ejected from office in the Phillipines?)
This article points out the difference between “soft earmarks” and “hard earmarks.” Here’s an example of a soft earmark. The language is that of a respectful suggestion: A committee “endorses” or notes it “is aware” of deserving programs and “urges” or “recommends” that agencies finance them; this is the sort of talk one might hear in a Simpsons cartoon.
Hard earmarks have exact information including threats of budget cuts. Soft earmarks come with the implicit threat of hard earmarks. This is similar to a game that kids might create on a playground – and if you don’t play this little game exactly the way you’re supposed to, your budget is cut.
The American Republic doesn’t know how to play this little game, so our budget are cut too – unless we happen to work for a sweetheart organisation that’s set for an “earmark” on capitol hill. (This post does not include pentagon spending – not that it’s a different subject.)
I also admit that I don’t know how to play this little earmark game either. But when I read how our current administration signed an executive order in January that directed agencies to ignore all earmarks in committee reports, this reminds me of the coverups by the Catholic Church of the illicit activities between priests and alter boys.
What’s that called in the Catholic Church? “Assmarks?” Then there were executive orders to ignore all “assmarks?”
From what I gather, these Psalm 73 “lawmakers” deeply appreciate vague language. They also enjoy obfuscation to the point that Congress could get around the order by simply inserting them in the text of spending bills or including language in the bills that directed agencies to treat earmarks listed in committee reports as if they were written into the law…
Of course, that’s short cutting – a form of cheating. In Congress, it’s called “paper clipping.” This is akin to the “heel” in pro wrestling choking the life out of the “baby” for the five count. By the end of the five count, the damage has been done, but, at least in pro wrestling, we know that’s not real.
What kind of personality dimension is a Psalm 73 “lawmaker” according to Keys To Power Persuasion by Alan Tutt? Obviously, they’re “big picture” personalities; they don’t like details. What’s the last and most important thing said in this article? “With soft earmarks, everything is done in secret.” And that’s what these people love; they love to be clandestine about their intentions. (You’d think everything was run by the free masons or whatever skull and bones society.)
Your persuasion tactics around these types of people would be vague, big picture language. You should also include inferences to their pet projects as “good, wise, helpful” or whatever nonsense compliments they like to use. You see, although I don’t know how to play their little games, it’s just a matter of dealing with their personality dimensions because they’re still human – as far as I know.
All you have to do is speak their language to persuade them into something? Speaking their language builds rapport and gets you into their door; this applies to anyone. For a shortcut into their hearts, make them believe you think like them. Politicians are mostly hot air, so you would have to sacrifice your dignity by talking to these people in the same way and agreeing with them in ways you wouldn’t normally agree – if you want something from them.
Of course, it pays to have some reconnaisance about who’s doing what; this needs to be done going directly to the source. After googling “sweetheart pet projects earmark us pork barrel spending,” I’ve observed, Citizens Against Government Waste is a pet project of our current administration (they congratulated Bush on curbing Kyoto Protocol spending – who needs clean air anyway? Right?)
You can be sure that every politician has a pet project – just look on their website and whatever amendments they keep pushing – then follow the money trail. All you have to do is start with one politician, build rapport, then ask for names, who does what – and all that.
Political Reconnaisance can be fun (for political majors, anyway). All you have to do is master the art of the “earmark.” Here is what “earmarks” leading to pork barrel spending could have prevented:
The financial crisis in the US, along with rising food and energy prices, is increasing the already alarming rates of US hunger. Media coverage of this issue has not been significant. Nearly one in every five US children are in poverty, of which hunger in some degree is an accompanying symptom.
The relationship between US hunger organizations and public policy impact reached a plateau some time ago, with no significant new funding or programs. Indeed, the mantra, pushed from the White House to the Congress, and often adopted by hunger organizations themselves, has been that US hunger is best solved through private charity, individual, corporate and to some extent, government partnerships; which is in effect saying there is no commitment or money from the federal government to end hunger.
However, it appears clear that only a national government commitment can end hunger, and that the rest is a diversion from reality. Many corporate sponsors and food companies appear to use the issue to further their own public relations. Such contributions and those of individuals help, but they could only feed all hungry Americans for a few days. (This means that the system itself is faulty. Please have a look at the Economic Control site for an economic system that actually empowered all Americans until 1913.)
Further, a number of hunger groups have received huge donations from Big Tobacco and its subsidiaries over the years (Wow, you’d think the multi-national drug co’s would have chipped in too). Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society noted on tobacco money for health research, “If you’re using blood money, you need to tell people you’re using blood money.”
The World Health Organization recently noted unless drastic measures are taken, tobacco companies will kill a billon people this century, especially the poor, women and children, and are a major impediment to accomplishing the UN millennium goals of reducing hunger, poverty, infant mortality, improving maternal health, insuring environmental sustainability, combating disease and so on.
Planet Earth Foundation, which created World Campaign, attempted nearly two decades ago to convince hunger organizations that taking tobacco funds was morally indefensible and strategically suicidal.
For these and other reasons, US hunger has become one of many problems that people contribute to, but has lost all urgency as a major political issue. (No “earmarks” concerning poverty in America?) National programs to end U.S. hunger are widely understood in terms of what would be effective, requiring a relatively small amount of additional funds.
Lisa Blume, the co-founder of World Campaign, spearheaded public service media campaigns through Planet Earth Foundation’s Campaign To End Hunger on effective maternal, infant and childhood nutrition programs nationwide from the late 1980’s through the early 2000’s.
When interviewed in the news media, Blume noted that “the fact that people don’t see it (US hunger) negates the fact that it exists.”
There must have been an executive order to ignore all the economic victimarks as well. If you really think about it, there’s a lot that the American Republic doesn’t see – so how can they care about it?…