Tag Archives: Pork Barrel Spending

$80M Pork Project Sits Useless in AK

It sounds like an April Fool’s news story. But it’s not. Over the weekend a report emerged that should make everyone shake their heads. A brand new, unwanted high speed ferry worth $80 Million was put up for auction receiving only one bid of $750,000.

The 200 foot vessel was christened in 2010. Built in Southeast Alaska it was designed for use in the Southcentral area of the state. Only problem? There is no dock or plans to build any docking facilities for the ferry.

So what happened?

In a nutshell, a boat designer convinced the state of Alaska and the Department of Defense that he could create a new type of boat that could be raised or lowered in the water providing icebreaking ability. This high speed vessel would be used to ferry residents the length of Cook Inlet and would be available for rapid deployment in case a disaster, such as an emergency plane landing in the inlet.

It sounds good on paper right?

Imagine with me a whole bunch of guys spending other peoples’ money talking about this idea. You might call them ‘Yes-Men’. Imagine the adjectives being tossed around: novel, new technology, rapid response, ground breaking. . . Sure, they all said, “Let’s build it!”

But what about the cost?

The population of the entire borough this ferry would serve was only 80,000 residents. In fact, Alaska’s most populated city of Anchorage hovers at 300,000. A pricey endeavor for a small population. Luckily, the Navy was interested and because they were, much of the money was paid from the DoD budget. Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was said to be instrumental in getting the earmarks for this pork project added. (Yes, he was a Republican.)

MV_Susitna_-_Catamaran_Ice_Breaking_Ferry_for_AlaskaUnfortunately, without additional foresight, the prototype was built.

After its completion, a state study discovered the boat can hold 134 passengers but only 20 vehicles, and burns 375 gallons of fuel an hour. A state ferry with a similar capacity, the Lituya, burns 55 gallons an hour. The borough and the state decided they really couldn’t use it. It was too expensive and docks currently within the state ferry system would have to be reconfigured.

Here we are three years later. It costs the state $75,000 each month to maintain and now we know nobody else even wants to bid on this white elephant…or should we say orca?

One has to wonder, in light of the severe military cuts via the sequestration, how many veterans college tuition costs would have been covered if the federal government had just thought this project through?

Read more at the Mat-Su Borough website, the Anchorage Daily News or even the MV Susitna’s own website.

Liberals: ‘Tea Party Waging War on the American People’ – What would they Call the Last Two Years?

Where in the world has the left been for the last couple of years? An Op-Ed Columnist for the New York Times – Joe Nocera – wrote a piece today claiming the Tea Party was Waging War on the American People. I would like to ask Joe, where he has been for the last two years? If you want to call trying to get the uncontrolled spending under control – war – then I guess the Tea Party is waging war, not on the American people, but on Washington.

In the past two years the Obama administration has been on a ‘No-limit’ spending spree. They have shoved Obama’s economic plans through congress by writing colossal bills stuffed with pork barrel spending. They shoved an unconstitutional health care bill (Obamacare) through congress, at last count 27 states were suing over Obamacare – a $787 billion stimulus package to keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent, it is now 9.2 percent – and now that the Tea Party Republicans are the House majority leaders and this kind of wasteful spending ceases they get called jihadist?

The Democrats control the Senate in 2011, but in the 2010 midterm elections, the Republicans gained a majority in the House of Representatives. Up until this past election the Democrats controlled both Senate and the House of Representatives. It was relatively easy for Democrats to pass bills before the Republicans took over the House of Representatives – now it is not so easy.

Since Republicans took over the House of Representatives it kind of reminds me of when the United States went to war with Saddam Hussein. Saddam would shoot those Scud missiles and the U.S. would fire the Patriot missiles knocking the Scuds out of the air – nearly every time. The Obama administration fires their “Scud policies” and the House of Representatives shoot them down with the “Patriot members.” The Tea Party members of congress, I guess are waging war as Joe Nocera writes – but it is not against the American people as he dreams – but it is against the Obama administrations almost ludicrous “back room deals” they try to shove through.

Obviously Joe is a libtard, because in his first couple of sentences he writes: These last few months, much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people. So this writer thinks the Tea Party Republicans are “Muslim?”

What is  jihad? Answer: The Qur’an describes Jihad as a system of checks and balances, as a way that Allah set up to “check one people by means of another.” When one person or group transgresses their limits and violates the rights of others, Muslims have the right and the duty to “check” them and bring them back into line. There are several verses of the Qur’an that describe jihad in this manner.

See Joe tried to use jihad in a “bad” way to make the Tea Party Republicans look bad. But, I guess depending on what website you look at to get your definition of jihad the above definition is the most that I found. So I guess if we go with the above definition then I guess the Tea Party Republicans are waging jihad but not on the American people – but the Obama administration.