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Ball point pen on todays newsprint The leader of the House Appropriations Committee David Obey announced a new ban on earmarks to private business. If the Senate follows suit, it would bar the end run around the merit-based or competitive allocation processes and the means legislators use to slip pork and no-bid contracts into bills. The ban does not include not-for-profits. It's a start. ...

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Ball point pen on the morning newsprint I applaud how the legislature has been shining a light on how corporate America does business, but the standard practices of our legislature also seems broken. Earmarks are a way for legislators to make the federal government pay for local concerns. But, often seniority has as much to do with who brings home the bacon as those concerns....and in light of the catastrophic state of the economy and our ballooning deficits, said concerns often seem silly and ill conceived. The state of Iowa is receiving $1.7 million to research pig odor, while Hawaii is receiving $2 million for the promotion of astronomy. Of the $126 million Massachusetts is receiving in earmarks, more than twenty percent of those funds are going to preserve the Kennedy legacy. The bill includes 5.8 million to plan and design the Edward M Kennedy Institute for the Senate, $22 millio ...

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Ball point pen on paper napkin This week lets take a look at John McCain. Today, McCain on waste. He claims never to have asked for an earmark and wants to do away with them. I'm on board with that. Lets bring the pork above board. The US Dollar has tanked in recent years, in large part due to out of control spending and budget deficits by a republican administration. (BTW, Crude oil is traded in US Dollars) Can he successfully distance himself from that? Tomorrow, running mates...I take requests. ...

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