Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Operation Fat and Furious

Perhaps because he's been sooooo busy shipping guns to the drug cartels, pushing show trials for terrorists, warning of the dangers posed by conservative military veterans, and defending voter-intimidating Black Panthers, Attorney General Eric Holder seems to have missed some major criminal activity taking place in...his Department of Justice.

According to a new report from the Inspector General's office, the Justice Department under Eric Holder has spent over $120 million on a number of "law enforcement conferences" around the country with wildly extravagant expenses being charged to America's already cash-strapped taxpayers.

$4000 for a tray of 250 muffins (at $16 each), catered lunches which cost $76 each, Crackerjack for $32 per person, $10 cookies, and Swedish meatballs that cost $5 each - and we don't even want to think about how much the toothpicks cost.

This is the kind of criminal waste of money which makes people roll their eyes when Barack Obama declares that government budgets are already tight, and that he will veto any budget cuts unless taxes are raised.

For now, Hope n' Change would like to suggest that the next time Mr. Holder schedules a conference on how to conduct full body scans, he worries less about making sure all the attendees leave with "full bodies."

And Barack Obama should spend $32 on one last box of Crackerjack to see if the prize inside is a decent Attorney General.

He could hardly do worse.


Eric Holder's idea of "Justice being served."


Angry Hoosier Dad said...

None of Obama's appointments are there to display competence or character. They exist solely to move a radical agenda forward. It stands to reason than people who conform to those twisted ideals are not likely to be able or honest. Their minds don't work that way. They are vile and reprehensible but I don't hold them completely at fault. You can't blame a snake for being a snake. I hold in contempt the one's who are charged with watching the snakes and warning of their approach. Hmmm, now who would that be?
If anything good comes of this evil - the entire Obama administration - I hope that it may be our awakening to fact that we cannot blindly believe the watchers. We had better do some watching of our own.

DavidD said...

$5 for each meatball? The kind where you put 4 on a plate, eat those, and then go back and get 4 more? That's $40 bucks right there. And that's not even counting the cheese cubes and the melons carved into birds and flowers.

Colby said...

Fat and Furious!? Great line, Stilton!

Even more proof that BO and his minions are completely and utterly tone deaf. $120 million might be a drop in the bucket when compared to the trillions that our elected officials have blown over the past few years, but it's still a huge slap in the face to me.

I, quite honestly, am extremely tired of being slapped in the face by these assholes, and I hope at least 51% of voters agree with me come november 2012.

Smokey Behr said...

Of course they're blaming the Bush Administration for some of the costs, which is to be expected out of the Obama Regime, but much of it occurred on their watch, so they have no excuse.

All of these government employees are supposed to be frugal stewards of the People's money, yet they spend it like there's no tomorrow. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that if all of the waste, fraud, and duplication were eliminated we could cut the Federal budget by at least 25%.

My Dog Brewski said...

Smokey Behr:
You are right, of course, but sadly "can do" and "ever will" don't even live on the same planet anymore.

John the Econ said...

The biggest disease that afflicts our society today is what I call "OPM", or "Other People's Money". It manifests nearly identically no matter where you find it; the halls of Congress, the White House, any government agency, private industry, and even amongst ordinary citizens when they consume government-provided services like health care, or buy ostentatious houses that they could otherwise in no way afford paid for with cheap dollars from government guaranteed loans. Even the "poor" spend their food stamp money far more recklessly than they'd spend their own.

The fact is that people give very little thought to the cost of things that are bought and paid for by someone else, especially when that "someone else" is someone they don't personally know, much less care about. Add in a sense of "entitlement", and you'll actually elevate this phenomenon to a level of contempt in the way they will waste "OPM".

This is how we get multi-trillion dollar deficits and continue pedal-to-the-metal on our trajectory towards becoming Greece. Government today is less about "governing", and more about everyone reaching into everyone else's back pocket while fooling themselves into thinking they're getting a great deal in the end.

So that Holder's office spends our money on $4000 trays of muffins hardly surprises or shocks me. In fact, it's probably the most benign thing his office does. I'd be happy this was all that people in Washington did all day; it would be a relatively small price to pay to be left alone.

Meanwhile, we now know that top executives of bankrupt Solyndra, Obama former icon of America's "green" future, will be pleading the 5th during their upcoming appearance before the U.S. House of Representatives investigative committee. Solyndra is certainly an example of what happens with "OPM". (Just look at that pretty HQ they have; any James Bond villain would have been comfortable there) Questions that will not be answered at this hearing will be "What happened the the half-billion we gave you?" and "How much of that money got funneled back to the Obama re-election campaign and other Democrats?".

With their tummies full of expensive pastries, can we expect the Holder Justice Department to be doing any worthwhile investigation into any of this? Probably not. They're still too busy covering up their anti-gun gun-running op.

Anonymous said...

I dislike Obama and his cronies as much as the next man, but if you read the entire article to which you provided a link, you will find that much of the extravagant spending occurred in FY2008 as well. Criticism of the arrogant crooks at the DOJ is all well and good; but the blame applies in both the current and former administrations.

Emmentaler Limburger said...

Holder needs to understand that, to be an effective law enforcement official, you need to "get into the criminal mind" as opposed to actually having one... (For that matter, 0bama, congress, and SCOTUS need to understand that as well.)

Unfortunately, this is just further evidence of the elitism of those in government - as if their passing laws not applicable to themselves wasn't evidence enough.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Angry Hoosier Dad- I agree that the entire administration is riddled with incompetence. In a classic example of the "Chicago way" of doing things, Obama's hires were all made to create a political machine with the sole purpose of giving him power instead of doing the people's business.

@DavidD- It's the melons carved into swans that will blow your party budget every time.

@Colby- $120 million seems like chump change when compared to the other deficits being run...but I look at it from the other side; how much work did it take taxpayers to earn that $120 million? What potential good could it have done remaining in the private sector, or by being efficiently allocated to help the needy?

This is robbery as surely as having a gun stuck in our ribs...and the Department of Justice should be stopping these kinds of crimes instead of committing them.

@Smokey Behr- Some of the stupid spending in the study indeed goes back to Bush's Justice Department. I have no doubt that these kinds of abuses happen routinely throughout "big government" no matter which party is at the helm, and it has to be cleaned up.

@My Dog Brewski- Your cynicism is matched by your accuracy. We're in complete agreement.

@John the Econ- The ease of spending "Other People's Money" is indeed the problem. And Obama seems (ironically) to be aware of this because one of the ways he proposes to raise revenues is by levying a fine on seniors who buy insurance policies which supplement their Medicare plans. His reasoning is that if those seniors have insurance to cover their Medicare deductibles, they'll be willing to get more healthcare services ("other people's money") than would normally be the they need to be punished. The hypocrisy is astounding, and senior citizens should be screaming about this - if only AARP or the mainstream media would quit covering Obama's ass.

@Anonymous (immediately above)- I'm in complete agreement; this kind of waste is inexcusable in any administration. And of course, I do read the entire articles that I link to, and I'll freely admit that many articles contain viewpoints or information which aren't entirely friendly to the Right. I like to do that "fair-and-balanced" thing when citing sources.

That being said, in my commentary I've focused on the current administration because they're actively abusing taxpayers, and previous abuses are now out of our reach. But trust me, I get just as pissed off when Republicans waste our money - and frankly I think they're every bit as bad about it as the Democrats.

@Emmentaler- The elitist attitude you're talking about is particularly galling. This administration is full of people who love to lecture, but are completely inept.

Emmentaler Limburger said...

2anonymous above my last post: Maybe so, but such abuses were not the hallmark or The Shrubs administration. Can you honestly say the same of the current one?

Too, if you've recently priced venues for social gatherings, the 2008 prices cited for dinners is a lot less horrifying than $16 for a freaking muffin.

Just sayin'...

Cookie said...

Seems to give all new meaning to the phrase "pork barrel spending!"

John the Econ said...

@Anonymous said "...the blame applies in both the current and former administrations"

Quite true.

The OPM disease knows no single party or ideology. It infects all once they get exposed. In 1994, the GOP took over Congress for the first time in 40 years on the "fiscal restraint" platform, and it took barely 6 years for OPM to overtake their former sensibilities, rendering them practically indistinguishable from former profligate congresses.

It's a hideous disease. The only known cure is to starve it of the resources required for its spread.

Colby said...

I just did the math. If you took every dime of my current salary, you would collect $120 million in a mere 1,846 years! 46 generations to pay for Eric Holder's donuts and coffee...

I'll bet ol' BO's is pretty pissed about this, too. Holder is cutting in on Michelle's vacation and wide belt money!

John the Econ said...

Don't worry. Barack has a plan to pay for it. He's going to tax private jet owners $100 for every trip. That should about cover it.

Seriously. This is how petty it's become.

Jazz said...

OPM. Opium. Not much difference when considering addiction factors.

DougM said...

"He could hardly do worse."
Ohhhh, I dunno ...
Michelle could find out about it.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Colby- Here's more math fun. If you took EVERY CENT of the income taxes paid by an individual earning $50,000 a year, it would take 19,200 taxpayers (working ALL YEAR) just to keep Eric Holder's department in muffins and crackerjack.

@Jazz- Wow, I like the OPM/Opium connection. Is that your observation or did you hear it elsewhere? Seems like this could be built into something...

@DougM- Are you implying that Obama would let Michelle kick his ass over sneaking a box of Crackerjack? Because you're probably right.

Jazz said...

@Stilton - I'm afraid I get the blame for that one. However, there is no "copyright" on the concept, so have at it!

SC said...

@ Cookie.....Good one

DragonAgnstEvil said...

The statist mindset is predictable, and it exists outside the realm of reality. They see capital as something that belongs to the community, and it exists in a finite quantity. As it belongs to the community, they feel they have more right to spend it as elites who know more than the common man.

In other words, the statist feels s/he has more right to spend that $120 million than the individuals who earned [or created] it. To them, it's an indispensable part of the budget. After all, they are societies betters.

It's almost sad that this sort of corruption is so commonplace that people practically shrug if off. Sure, they may appear angry, but it's a short-lived anger. It's the fundamental problem with the statist government, but other issues, wrongly, overshadow it in their minds. We get caught up in immediate concerns.

Along with willful mismanagement and misappropriation of tax revenue, the statist mindset attempts to blackout and whiteout free speech. The news article below is a perfect example to reinforce Eric Holder's "Fast and Furious" and other atrocities.

This is where taxpayer money is going. It is funneled into propaganda organizations like PlannedParenthood to fight grassroots organizations like The Radiance Foundation. It is being pushed to unions and schools to push agenda and brainwashing programs onto students.

Your comic, sadly, only scratches the surface of the problem. The statist feels entitled to the imaginary 'community pot' and will stop at nothing to make the future generations compliant.

The corruption of OPM is only magnified by willful disdain of our First Amendment rights.

Dragon Against Evil

Pete(Detroit) said...

Smokey - WAYYYYY bitd Martin Gross wrote a book, "Government Waste, A to Z" and as I recall that was exactly the % he came up with. I don't recall if he was also targeting duplicitous programs, or just sheer plain waste. Step one might well be to not hire ANYONE for 10 years or so, and let attrition start to whittle down the size. Ok, not practical, you NEED entry level types - so maybe replace ever 3rd or 4th retiree?

Pete(Detroit) said...

Updated in 2009, and another one due out next may

John the Econ said...

@DragonAgnstEvil, I've always found it sadly ironic the kind of decisions the statists feel we should be entitled to make versus those we should not. In the wildest of dreams of generations of psychotic KKK practitioners, they could not have conceived of the damage that elitist liberals have done to destroy Black America.

The only solution to these problems is de-funding the left, and the first step in doing that is reversing the growth of government.

Christopher D Ross said...

"To Each according to his administration connections, from each according to his ability." could be Obama's more honest (though still not better) version of the Communist Manifesto.
I imagine that would do pretty well on a soviet-style propaganda poster featuring a picture of BO. (perhaps with a sub-line being "Work hard America, Eric needs muffins!")

pryorguy said...

Occurred to me as I read all these great blogs, each and every one of us (and, millions of others)have Obama and his crew's number!

Absolutely NOTHING surprises me that they are up to, and so 'stupidly', too...just like the New Haven Police were (you know what I'm referring to).

Unless something really drastic happens, (like an economic catastrophe as in 2008, which we already have), I feel Obama is toast! The economy will still be in the dumper a year from now, millions will still be jobless and our so-called 'leader'will keep trying to lead us down the slope will still be hauling out plan after plan they want to shove down our throats! Sure am lookin forward to the repeal of Obamacare, I believe its coming. Better days are coming, might be rough for a while, keep the faith!!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Pryorguy- I agree. I think unless something weird happens in a major way, we're going to see Republicans take over with a supermajority after the next election. That being said, the economy will still be in the dumper, and the only way to turn things around will be by paring back the government drastically, which a lot of people won't like. But I'm hoping that it will happen, and that people can be made to understand that the process of restoring America to health is going to be like treating an aggressive cancer with chemotherapy: it's going to make everything feel worse on the way to getting better.

We need that kind of honesty, and we need the national courage to take our much-needed medicine.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

There are ways we can add a spoonful of sugar to the medicine we must indeed take. We can reduce the tax craziness we have going on now and give business a solid footing for their future so they will know what's coming and can plan...and hire. We can push for energy independence; open up closed areas for drilling, build refineries and power plants. You know...put people back to work. Of course this will require us to tell the environmental nazis to tank an "aerial intercourse in a motivated, perforated pastry", but that's a feature, not a bug. Those are just two of several sensible steps that will have an immediate beneficial impact. I can still only see one person who is absolutely committed to that. Hint: He/She's not a half-black Hawiian who lost his transcripts.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

"to tank"???
Not my fault. Operating on just one cup of coffee so far.

John the Econ said...

My plan: Repeal Frank-Dodd. Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley. Make Bush Tax cuts permanent. Remove "managing unemployment" from the Federal Reserve's mandate. Freeze government spending at 1997 levels.

Then do absolutely nothing.

Anonymous said...

To put this in perspective, it takes the taxes of 27,000 families of four with an annual income of $60,000+, or 18,000 small businesses with $800,000+ in annual business to pay $120MM in taxes. DOJ is just ONE of 40 or 50 wasteful agencies of the Federal Government.