Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Marty Chavez Statement on the Super Committee and Fmr. NM AG Patricia Madrid Throws Her Support to Marty Chavez

The following two statements were provided by the Marty Chavez for Congress campaign.

Statement on the Super Committee

Former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez released the following statement on the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, known as the "super committee,” to reach an agreement that cuts the federal deficit.

“I’m very disappointed in the Super Committee’s failure to find a fair and reasonable solution to reducing our nation’s deficit.  Washington needs leaders who know how to solve the problems we face and get results for our families and communities and that’s why I’m running.  The easiest way to reduce the deficit is to get people back to work and grow our economy again by building infrastructure here at home and bringing our troops back from overseas.

“If I were in Congress I would support a package that protects and preserves Social Security and Medicare while ending the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy and closing the loopholes that allow mega corporations to escape paying taxes while shipping jobs overseas.   Everyone must pay their fair share as we come together to solve the problems our nation faces.”

The Patricia Madrid Endorsement

“Marty is the Voice New Mexicans Need Speaking Up on Their Behalf”

In an email to supporters, former New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid endorsed Marty Chavez in his bid to represent New Mexico’s First Congressional District in the House of Representatives.

“In these difficult economic times, New Mexico needs a strong advocate that fights for our values in Washington.  Marty Chavez has proven that he has the will and the leadership ability to get the results our families need.  I’m supporting Marty because he’s the only candidate in this race who has actually created a job.  He does more than talk about our problems – he knows how to find the solutions,” said Madrid.

“Patricia Madrid broke a glass ceiling in New Mexico as the first female Attorney General and the first woman elected to the position of District Court Judge.  She is a strong advocate for women and children and I’m extremely proud to add her support to our growing coalition of Democrats who believe in electing leadership that gets results,” said Chavez.

Madrid added, “In the past few weeks we’ve seen the momentum for Marty’s campaign grow significantly with the addition of women’s equality activist Lilly Ledbetter and UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta to his impressive list of local and national endorsers.  Throughout his life Marty has stayed true to his core values by advancing fairness and equality.  Washington could sure use more people like him as we confront some of the most daunting issues of our time.  I know that Marty will always have the best interests of our families at heart.”

November 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM in Martin Chavez, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012, Super Committee | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Heinrich Statement on Super Committee

U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich (NM-1) released the following statement on the inability of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, known as the "super committee,” to come to an agreement on a plan to reduce the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion:

“Like many Americans, I'm angry and frustrated that the ‘super committee’ didn’t reach agreement on how to reduce the deficit. Sadly, they didn't even come close. Democrats put hundreds of billions of dollars worth of spending cuts on the table, but Republicans refused to compromise in order to protect the misguided Bush tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. They said ‘No’ because they value their pledge to lobbyist Grover Norquist over the commitment they've made to the American people.

“At a time of serious national debt, we cannot afford to extend tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires who aren't shouldering their fair share of our nation's challenges.  We need to be clear on our priorities: cut waste and end tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires so we can reduce the debt, create jobs and protect Social Security and Medicare.”

November 21, 2011 at 07:31 PM in Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Super Committee | Permalink | Comments (1)

CD1 Candidate Eric Griego Asks Us to Choose

Eric%20Griego%20for%20Congress%20Logo%2001From the Eric Griego for Congress Campaign:

The Congressional “Super Committee” failed to reach an agreement today on reducing our national debt because the Republican members won’t let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% expire while insisting on making steep cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

What a disgrace. What Speaker John Boehner and his Republican Congress have done again is to put tax cuts for the rich ahead of the 99% of us and the economy. Unfortunately, my Tea Party Republican opponents in this race are running on the same pro-millionaire agenda to take from our seniors and the middle class to give to the richest 1%.

That’s why I’m starting a new petition today calling on the leading Republican candidates in this race to choose between keeping the Bush tax cuts for the richest 1% or protecting Social Security and Medicare from cuts. This should be a simple choice, but let’s put them on notice.

Click here to sign my new petition.

I’ll deliver your petitions to the leading Republican candidates in this race. And I’ll invite the media to come along like when I delivered more than 35,000 petitions to Speaker John Boehner a month ago calling on him to “stand with the 99%” and pass the President’s jobs bill.

November 21, 2011 at 07:19 PM in Action Alerts, Eric Griego, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012, Super Committee | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Military Budget Fraud and Waste No One is Talking About

This commentary post is by Mary Ellen Broderick. It encompasses material about military fraud and waste that is not being talked about, anywhere. 

The following press release was provided by the Whitehouse on 11/15/11: “We Can’t Wait: Agencies Cut Nearly $18 Billion in Improper Payments, Announce New Steps for Stopping Government Waste”.

The first two paragraphs of the report state the following: “Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today announced that the Administration cut wasteful improper payments by $17.6 billion dollars in 2011 as part of the Obama Administration’s Campaign to Cut Waste, fueled by decreases in payment errors in Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, and Food Stamps.  Combined with the improper payment cuts in 2010, agencies have avoided making over $20 billion in improper payments in the two years since President Obama issued an Executive Order initiating an aggressive campaign against wasteful payment errors.

“When the President and I launched the Campaign to Cut Waste we knew success would be measured by results, not rhetoric,” said Vice President Biden. “The sharp reduction in payment errors announced today demonstrates this Administration is serious about cutting waste,” he added.

Although it is commendable to be finding fraud in the programs that serve the poorest and most in need in our nation -- Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, and Food Stamps -- there is no mention in this release regarding the obscene Military Waste and Fraud. This report, “Wartime Contracting Commission releases final report to Congress” , starts out with these 4 bullets:

• Pegs waste, fraud in Iraq, Afghanistan at >$30 billion

• Sees threat of more waste in unsustainable projects

• Faults both government officials and contractors

• Offers 15 recommendations for contracting reform

This report was issued back on 8/31/11, and there has been no discussion of this fraud and waste anywhere. Here is the entire report, with great waste graphs and photos on everything, as well as who is doing the most stealing. I have not seen a single member of Congress comment on this report and its findings. None of our elected officials in NM have commented on this report.  Did our elected officials not see this report -- nor did any of their staff? Well, here it is and I am asking for more motivation from our elected officials to start pushing for this waste and fraud to be addressed. This whole website -- Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan--  is full of interesting maddening, information, yet no one is saying a word about it.

Occupy Congress
Remember this ticker many blogs had up when the Afghanistan and Iraq war started? Cost of War Ticker. Well, it is still ticking away -- to the tune of billions. Every minute of every day the people of this country are struggling while these billions go out into unknown places and pockets, with zero accountability. This link, Ten Years After 9/11: The Dollars and Sense of War, is also informative on where our tax dollars are going and what the funds could be doing if spent here in this country.

It is staggering that we have this amount of our tax dollars leaving our country not accounted for and with no one even mentioning it. We need some of our Senators and Representatives to start camping out on the floor of the people’s house. Camp out until someone listens.

Estimated War-Related Costs, Iraq and Afghanistan
According to the Center for Defense Information, the estimated cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will reach $1.29 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2011. The chart below shows yearly expenditures for the Iraq and Afghan wars. 

War spnding chart 001

1. Includes $5.5 billion of $7.1 billion appropriated in DOD's FY2003 Appropriations Act (P.L. 107-48) for the global war on terror that CRS cannot allocate and DOD cannot track.

2. Of the $25 billion provided in Title IX of the FY2005 DOD appropriation bill, CRS includes $2 billion in FY2004 when it was obligated and the remaining $23 billion in FY2005. Because Congress made the funds available in FY2004, CBO and OMB score all $25 billion in FY2004.

3. Includes funds in the FY2007 Supplemental (H.R. 2206/P.L. 110-28), Title IX, P.L. 109-289, FY2007 DOD Appropriations Act (H.R. 5631) designated for war and funds for other agencies in H.J. Res 20, P.L. 110-50, the year-long Continuing Resolution. VA Medical estimates reflect VA FY2008 budget materials and CRS estimates. Amounts for foreign and diplomatic operations reflects State Department figures.

Source: "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11," Amy Belasco, Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, RL33110, p. CRS-9).

Read more: Estimated War-Related Costs, Iraq and Afghanistan — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0933935.html#ixzz1dyw8JIFR.

Where is All This Money Going?
Besides the wartime contracting fraud report linked to above, I see no other place where these dollars are being accounted for. This report is just dealing with that one portion of war funding too -- needless to say the tip of the iceberg.

I am an architect and in my career I have worked on many public sector projects, many federal projects. And it is my experience that the contractor is held to high scrutiny when working for the federal government, both on ensuring accuracy within documentation and accountability in terms of actual production. I do not see how this Iraq-Afghan boondoggle is being managed at all, and yet just the pure volume of 2 bil a week leaving our country is a huge undertaking to account for. There should be scores of people tracking these monies -- and reporting on them in a timeless and honest manner. I like the saying I encountered recently: Let's invade the US so we can have massive Wartime Contracting Spending rebuilding this country.

Just remember, every week 2 bil dollars leaves this country that could be being used to put our people back to work. 

Defense Spending Cant' Be Immune
This article, "Dire warnings from Pentagon over potential defense cuts", reports what Defense Secretary Leon Pannetta said recently to the Super Committee about any cuts to defense spending.  Paraphrasing -- don't do it or we will not be prepared for the boggie men. Leon, my bad dreams are not about the boogiemen invading this country or the so-called freedom haters; my worries first thing in the morning are about jobs, money, healthcare.

Yet since September 11, 2001, the Military Industrial Complex has had free reign. A bonanza of fraud and waste. Sinful really. Read this report: The Military-Industrial Complex Revisited: Shifting Patterns of Military Contracting in the Post-9/11 Period. The companies listed should be prosecuted for treason. Not given more contracts. They are part of the problem. They and their investors are the controllers of that 1% of all the wealth in the nation. This is one of the major issues of the Occupy movement. How can we as the 99%'ers ever get our message heard as long as our elected officials refuse to face realities and talk about it.

To Remain Silent is to Condone This Waste and Fraud
The silence around this military spending matter is deafening. Why? Because the war profiteers and crooks own the elected officials. From Kucinich to Boehner. From McCain to Schumer. Bought, owned. The only elected official with a soul talking about these matters in depth seems to be Sen. Sanders. I challenge our Senators and Congressmen to break their silence on these outrages. Take action, and do not mention cutting the people's programs without -- in the same sentence -- talking about cutting the military programs that are draining our nation's treasury and enriching crooks. And that just might mean no more "Tacos" and other unnecessary and wasteful military and lab spending here in New Mexico. There is no more of a lot of what we used to have. Why should military spending be immune?

Lab Spending
One last point. It was reported in this morning's Albuquerque Journal that LANL has almost 50% of its funding going towards administration.  HALF!! You can’t tell me there isn't any fraud or waste in that bloat. I suggest our Congressional delegation and the rest of Congress set about finding it.

November 17, 2011 at 03:17 PM in Afghanistan, Iraq War, Military Affairs, Occupy Wall Street, Super Committee | Permalink | Comments (3)