Funding for clinical cancer trials and other life-saving research under the National Institutes of Health was cut off in response to the government slimdown, but it looks like the cookie monster will still be knee-deep in chocolate chips... -Hollie McKay Go To Site

The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help. “It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.” -Wesley Pruden Go To Site

Over at Politico, they're quasi-blaming the Navy Yard shooting on cuts. The president of MIT says sequestration is "choking the innovation economy." The Center for American Progress frets that "austerity kills." The Atlantic says cuts are "undermining what makes America great." -Katherine Mangu-Ward Go To Site

Government, Incompetence, Financial, Waste, Debt

The government shutdown may be keeping furloughed federal workers at home, but on Monday the U.S. Army contracted to buy a mechanical bull. The $47,174 contract was awarded on Oct. 7 to Mechanical Bull Sales Inc. of State College, Penn. According to the General Services Administration (GSA) listing, the National Guard of Utah made the request for a “bull which needs to be durable and low maintenance.”

Nicholas Kristof Budget Cut Demagoguery

Democrat, Liberal, Character, Financial, Brilliance, Demagoguery, Debt

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said he wondered if budget cuts had something to do with a gunman getting onto the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, killing 12 before being killed himself. “As I look at, for example, sequestration, which is about saving money in the federal government being spent, have we somehow skimped on what would be available for projects like this and then we put people at risk,” Mr. Gray said on CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday morning.

Government, Financial, Demagoguery, Waste

The federal government has spent $2.2 million studying why three quarters of lesbians are obese despite sequestration-mandated budget cuts that critics warned could “delay progress in medical breakthroughs. The National Institutes of Health awarded an additional $682,873 to Brigham and Women’s Hospital for the study on July 17.

Government, Character, Financial, Demagoguery, Greed, Debt

With officials from the Judicial Branch demanding that Congress end across the board budget cuts from the sequester, federal judges from the Tenth Circuit start to gather today for a judicial conference at a "five star" Colorado resort that features three golf courses and a "scenic mountain backdrop."... "We again considered canceling the conference when the sequester occurred, but the hotel cancellation fees made it more cost-effective to proceed," said Tenth Circuit Executive David Tighe in an email.

Despite Obama administration warnings that the sequester would force thousands of government workers into mandatory unpaid leave for weeks on end, as the fiscal year winds down nearly all federal agencies have avoided the promised amount of employee furloughs. Go To Site

Democrat, Liberal, Government, Obama, Financial, Demagoguery, Waste, Debt

The Washington Times reports that the cost of Obama's Africa trip, estimated as high as $100 million, is overshadowing President Obama's agenda... In late March, Vice President Joe Biden's $321,000 limo bill and $585,000 Paris hotel bill for his trip to Europe earlier this year were revealed.

Government, Financial, Demagoguery

With an impasse over a new deal to tackle the national debt, mandatory across-the-board US federal spending cuts of $85 billion kicked into effect this weekend. The Pentagon has to find more than half of that money. And among the most controversial savings is delaying the Truman's deployment to the Middle East even as tensions there rise over Iran's nuclear programme.

Democrat, Hypocrisy, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Obama, Financial, Oops, Demagoguery

The Washington Times reported on another administration email that seemed to show at least one agency has been instructed to make sure the cuts are as painful as President Obama promised they would be. In the internal email, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service official Charles Brown said he asked if he could try to spread out the sequester cuts in his region to minimize the impact, and he said he was told not to do anything that would lessen the dire impacts Congress had been warned of.

Democrat, Liberal, Government, Obama, Financial, Narrative, Oops, Demagoguery

President Obama and his family will be going to Africa later this month. But the trip won't be cheap; it's expected to cost American taxpayers $60 to $100 million, according to the Washington Post. "When President Obama makes his first extended trip to sub-Saharan Africa later this month, the federal agencies charged with keeping him safe won’t be taking any chances. Hundreds of U.S. Secret Service agents will be dispatched to secure facilities in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship, with a fully staffed medical trauma center, will be stationed offshore in case of emergency," reports the Post.

After claiming that the targeting of conservative groups came about because they lacked sufficient resources, the IRS is planning to dole out $70 million in employee bonuses, according to Senator Chuck Grassley, the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee. “The IRS always claims to be short on resources,” Grassley said. “But it appears to have $70 million for union bonuses. Go To Site

Democrat, Liberal, Obama, Character, Financial, Demagoguery

The Obama administration announced this week that it would indefinitely suspend all tours of the president’s residence to help the nation cope with $85 billion in mandatory across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester. Across the country, parents and students preparing for spring-break trips to Washington were aghast. Administration officials say the decision was made by the Secret Service, which estimated that ending the tours for roughly 11,000 people a week would save $74,000 in weekly overtime costs. That adds up to about $2 million in savings through the end of the fiscal year in September, it said.

Democrat, Liberal, Government, Obama, Character, Financial, Funny, Demagoguery

The next casualty of sequestration could be the Easter Bunny – at least according to a White House e-mail that recently landed in Capitol Hill inboxes. The White House warned Congress that budget cuts could nix the annual Easter Egg Roll for kids, which is planned for April 1.

Liberal, Government, Narrative, Press, Demagoguery

Later on the broadcast, Williams again declared the delays to be a sign of "the impact of Washington all across this country" and predicted: "Now the American people as a whole just might take further notice because now the sequester is responsible for delaying airline flights across this country."

Democrat, Liberal, Government, Brilliance, Narrative, Oops

Ms Napolitano said today that major airports were seeing lines "150 to 200 per cent as long as we would normally expect" as result of the federal spending cuts that went into force on Friday. "We're already seeing the effects at some of the ports of entry, the big airports, for example. Some of them had very long lines this weekend," she told a breakfast event organised by Politico.

When pressed for specifics she cited Chicago's O'Hare, Atlanta's Hartfield-Jackson and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), adding: "I don't mean to scare, I mean to inform." However, when contacted by The Daily Telegraph, spokespeople for both O'Hare and LAX, as well as representatives from the travel industry, denied that airports had been hit by delays. "We haven't had any slowdowns at all," said Marshall Lowe, a spokesman for LAX. Mr Lowe said that he had been on duty over the weekend and received no reports of unusual security delays.

The budget cuts known as sequestration were supposed to wreak havoc, forcing the shrinking of critical workforces including airport security officers and food inspectors. But since sequestration kicked in March 4, the government has posted openings for 4,300 federal job titles to hire some 10,300 people. Go To Site

Democrat, Liberal, Government, Character, Financial, Funny, Brilliance, Demagoguery, Debt

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) demanded the end of sequestration, alleging it would lead to a “work until you die” society. "It will cause pain,” Grayson said Thursday after delivering a petition to House Speaker John Boehner’s office. “It will cause economic dislocation and then, the wailing will begin. The wailing will begin."

Democrat, Liberal, Government, Obama, Financial, Brilliance, Oops, Demagoguery, Jobs

"[A]ll the folks who are cleaning the floors at the Capitol -- now that Congress has left, somebody is going to be vacuuming and cleaning those floors and throwing out the garbage -- they're going to have less pay," Mr. Obama said. "The janitors, the security guards, they just got a pay cut, and they've got to figure out how to manage that. That's real."... The president's mention prompted Carlos Elias, the superintendent of the U.S. Capitol building and the Capitol Visitors Center, to email his employees within hours of Mr. Obama's comment. "The pay and benefits of EACH of our employees WILL NOT be impacted," Elias wrote. ... "This is NOT TRUE," wrote Elias.

Government, Financial, Oops, Waste, Debt

Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr. (R,, La.), a member of the House Ways and Means subcommittee, ripped the Internal Revenue Service Monday on Fox News after news broke of “training videos” with “Star Trek” and “Gilligan’s Island” themes that cost taxpayers upwards of $60,000.

Hypocrisy, Government, Financial, Demagoguery, Socialism, Healthcare

The office implementing most of President Obama’s healthcare law is not furloughing its workers as a result of sequestration, its director said Wednesday. Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said Wednesday that his office has not cut its workers’ hours and pay as a result of the automatic budget cuts that went into effect in March.

Democrat, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Obama, Financial, Oops, Waste, Debt

Fragmented, overlapping and duplicative executive branch agency programs are costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses annually, a new government study found. The study, issued Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) following a three-year investigation, found 31 new areas of redundant or wasteful spending. Added to the findings of similar reports issued in 2011 and 2012, the new study brings the total areas of duplicative spending to more than 160, according to the report.

Government, Financial, Demagoguery, Waste, Debt

As it turns out, Vice President Joe Biden's London stay in February was not the most expensive part of his trip. A government document released on February 14, 2013 shows that the contract for the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand came in at $585,000.50.

Liberal, Government, Narrative, Oops

A large majority of Americans say they did not miss the federal government when it was partially shutdown during the first half of October, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released today. The survey conducted Oct. 17-20 asked 1,002 adults: “Were you personally inconvenienced by the partial shutdown of the federal government or not?”