Thursday, March 22, 2018

Senator Rand Paul Wading Thru (Reading) 2000+ Omnibus Spending Bill

What he has discovered so far after reading 600 pages. He has signed off for the night. be.@RandPaul on omnibus bill: "This is why people are so upset with politics, because when the Republicans are out of power, when they're in the minority, they are the conservative party. But then when they get in the majority, there is no conservative party." #Tucker
Senator Rand PaulVerified account @RandPaul 9h9 hours ago
1. On page 207. 2000+ pages to go! Reading about the ever wasteful $6 billion National Science Foundation.

2. Remember the $350,000 NSF spent asking if japanese quail are more sexually promiscuous on cocaine?

3. Reading this monstrous bill full of grant programs begun decades ago reminds me of Reagan’s critique: the nearest thing to immortality is a government program.
Page 226 of terrible, no good, rotten deficit spending bill. I found a kernel of hope: “no funds in this act will be used to support or justify torture."

Page 240 good news for states rights: no funds will be spent to prevent any state’s medical marijuana initiatives. Thank you Congr. Rohrbacher
Page 278. (1954 to go!) $961 million to destroy our chemical weapons. Who was it, exactly, who convinced our government to pay billions to develop weapons we now find deplorable?
Page 281 of “crumni-bus”. CIA retirement funding. Wouldn’t it be great to amend out the retirement benefits of Trump hater John Brennan and Congressional dissembler James Clapper?
Here are a few more highlights: o $1m for the Cultural Antiquities Task Force o $6.25m for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation o $20m for Countering Foreign State Propaganda o $12m for Countering State Disinformation and Pressure
o $5m for Vietnam Education Foundation Grants o $2.579m for Commission on Security and Co-operation in Europe o $15m to USAID for promoting international higher education between universities o $2.696bn for International Disaster Assistance
o $1.371bn for Contributions to International Organizations o $51m to promote International Family Planning and Reproductive Health o $7m promoting International Conservation o $10m for UN Environmental Programs
o $1m for the World Meteorological Organization o $218m for Promoting Democracy Development in Europe (yep..the birthplace of democracy needs promoting) o $25m for International Religious Freedom o $10m for disadvantaged Egyptian Students
o $12m for Scholarships for Lebanon o $20m for Middle East Partnership Initiative Scholarship Program o $12m in military funding for Vietnam o $3.5m in nutrition assistance to Laos
o $15m in Developmental assistance to China
o $10m for Women LEOs in Afghanistan
1:47 PM - 22 Mar 2018
on page 355. NSA prohibited from targeting US persons with FISA 702 program. sounds good —but — privacy advocates fear that NSA still does back-door targeting of US persons. Courageous Senator Wyden has asked how many US persons caught up in supposedly foreign data base.
But Brennan and Clapper too busy spewing hatred of Trump to respond to legitimate requests.
Page 357. Sec. 8116 no funds can be used in Iraq in contravention of the War Powers Act sounds good but . . . haven’t we been back in Iraq at war against new foes without any new congressional authorization?
Page 348 of terrible, rotten, no-good budget busting bill, a nugget that I wish we obeyed sec. 8103: none of the funds may be used in contravention of the War Powers Act
hmm . . . that would mean we shouldn’t be spending $ in undeclared wars in Yemen, Libya, Niger, Somalia, Afghanistan wonder why the party that talks about the rule of law, doesn’t obey the rule of law?
and I’m STILL reading. This bill is no @bradthor thriller. 
Page 365: Overseas contingency operations. aka military slush fund that circumvents budget caps. All told, we’ve spent over a trillion dollars in this budget busting category.
eyes getting tired but really someone should read this beast. Page 392 sec 9007: no $ shall be spent “for the permanent stationing of US forces in Afghanistan” Wonder what they meant by permanent? Some might argue that after 16 years we approaching the definition of permanent.
Page 430 of “crumni-bus:” Good news. The government is going to “earn” $350 million by selling oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Bad news is the $ won’t go to reduce the $21 trillion debt. The $ will be instead be spent elsewhere by the Federal government.
Page 447: a little over $30 billion for Dept of Energy Wonder if anyone would notice if we had no Dept of Energy Put oversight of nuclear waste in DOD and let supply & demand be our Energy policy
Page 485: No $ used by the IRS to target citizens for exercising 1st amendment rights. Do you think Lois Lerner knew about this part of the law before she targeted Tea Party groups?
Ordered some pizza to help me get through. Still going...
page 550: $9 billion for Govt Services Admin that oversees federal properties Fed government spends $1.7 billion a year to maintain 770,000 empty buildings while continuing to buy new properties.
General Services Administration database of properties for sale is not available to public, Congress or other federal agencies. Govt Acctbility Office says govt continues to hold more property than it needs. No matter. . .this year the big spenders still give GSA big $
Page 580: Post Office gets $58 million but only if it promises not to close down small, underutilized, money-losing post offices.
Page 587: No $ for the President to request FBI background report on any individual. If we had amendments, this would be a good place to add no $ for partisan hacks in the Intel community to unmask any American without a judicial warrant.
Page 594 sec 626: No $ to require disclosure of content of an electronic communication. Good amendment here. It would be to also protect forced disclosure of metadata, ie phone #’s and identities of the phone callers.
I shared 600 pages tonight. I’m done tweeting them for the evening. If they insist on voting, I will vote no because it spends to much and there’s just too little time to read the bill and let everyone know what’s actually in it. Thanks for sticking with me.