A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Name: Tom McLaughlin
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I’m going to miss Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) when he retires after this year. Coburn picked up the mantle of William Proxmire (D-WI), who issued 168 “Government Fleece” awards during his long career.
After Senators Proxmire and Coburn, who is going to tell us how our federal government spent $385,000 out of Obama’s $1 trillion stimulus money to study duck genitalia? Part of me didn’t want to know that, but part of me did. What little confidence I have left in our federal government as presently constituted has diminished with the knowledge, and that isn’t good. If I do my part to spread that knowledge of how government spends our tax dollars, however, it may motivate more people in my small corner of northern New England to vote for small government candidates. That would be a good thing.
The knowledge was also cause for amusement when I read a writer in the liberal Washington Post try to justify the duck genitalia study and other ridiculous federal spending. The writer went on to justify the the disbursement of $3 million to Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital (where I was born) to discover why most lesbians are fat. It’s the fourth year of a six-year-long study. I could have told them the answer for a lot less. Lesbians are fat because they eat too much and don’t exercise enough. The same goes for all of us.
In 2010, Senator Coburn informed us that the Department of Veterans Affairs paid $175 million to maintain a monkey house and other unused buildings in Ohio. Then it spent $1.5 million in stimulus funds on mold remediation on an apartment complex scheduled to be torn down in Shreveport, LA. In 2012, Coburn told us we lost $70 million producing pennies because it cost two-and-a-half times more to make a penny than it’s worth. In 2013, Coburn shed light on the $379 million spent just to promote Obamacare insurance plans nobody wanted and the website that didn’t work.
The $1 trillion “stimulus” didn’t turn our economy around and Obamacare hasn’t been what anyone would call a success, but our federal government has been effective in its foreign policy, right?
If I still had any confidence in government, it disappeared after hearing our president’s speech last week. Our community-organizer commander-in-chief described going to war in the Middle East without calling it a war. Then there were follow-up remarks by his Secretary of State, John Kerry, who said, “War” is the “wrong terminology” to describe what the president is doing. Democrats prefer calling it a “kinetic military action”.
This was the president who got elected promising to end the “War in Iraq.” He withdrew US troops, against the advice of his generals and National Security officials, believing that would “end the war.” But it didn’t, of course. Now he wants to go back into Iraq without calling it war. Why is “war” too strong a word for Obama and Kerry? Don’t they lead the Democrat Party that accuses conservatives of waging a “War on Women”? If it’s “war” when conservative refuse to pay for abortion-inducing drugs under Obamacare, why isn’t it “war” when he pledges to destroy tens of thousands of Islamic terrorists? To make it even more confusing, Obama’s Press Secretary Josh Earnest[ly] said it was a war - a “War with ISIL.” Then Obama’s Pentagon said it was a war too. What are Americans supposed to think of all this?
The Obama White House also avoids using the words “Islam” or “Muslim” in the same sentence as “Terrorism.” Last week he claimed the Islamic State is “not Islamic.” This semantic legerdemain is at least consistent with past efforts at divorcing Islam and terrorism. When radical Muslim Major Nidal Hasan shot more than forty US soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas and killing thirteen, it wasn’t Muslim terrorism according to Obama’s Homeland Security Department. It was “workplace violence” that had nothing to do with Islam. Never mind Hasan’s shouts of “Allahu Akbar!” while he shot our soldiers. Pay no attention to Hasan’s numerous email exchanges with Anwar Al Awlaki - the leader of al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. Never mind Awlaki's killing by an Obama-ordered drone strike because he was a Muslim terrorist. The Fort Hood massacre was only “workplace violence.” If you think it had anything to do with Islam, you must be a racist Islamophobe.
Now Hasan wants to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which Obama insists is not Islamic. In his Wastebook 2013 published last December, Senator Coburn informed us that Major Hasan received $278,000 in military benefits after his jihadist Fort Hood massacre. Maybe Obama will trade him to ISIS - along with four other terrorists from Guantanamo - in exchange for the next western journalist in line for an Islamic haircut.