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Balladeer
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0 posted 04-19-2010 11:55 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


Watchdogs: Temple for Ted Kennedy built with pork
John Kerry, Edward Markey request millions in public funds
By Renee Dudley
Sunday, April 18, 2010

The amount of taxpayer money being funneled to a Dorchester shrine to the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has ballooned to $38 million and could rise to at least $68 million this year, infuriating watchdog groups who insist the project should be privately funded.

With $38.3 million in federal earmarks already secured for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Sen. John F. Kerry and Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Malden) have in recent days tapped the government for $30 million more in the next budget.

The new taxpayer-funded total would cover the full $60 million estimated cost of building the project, adjacent to John F. Kennedy Presidential Library at Columbia Point. And it would put the public on the hook for nearly half the project’s $150 million target.

“If the Kennedy family wants to honor the family they should find a way to fund it themselves,” said David E. Williams of Citizens Against Government Waste, a Washington nonprofit group.

“They should be looking for private funding,” he said. “They’re using federal taxpayers as the funder of first resort. We need to be the funder of last resort.”

Williams and other critics called it “ridiculous” and an “egregious waste” that supporters want to siphon $28.9 million of the funding from the Defense Department budget alone. Nearly $19 million of that is already signed into law.

“It’s hard to fathom the defense-related portion of this project,” said Steve Ellis, a vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a fiscal watchdog group.

Peter Meade, president of the planned institute, defended the use of tax dollars and the defense money, saying the project would include programs geared for children of active military personnel.
Markey and Kerry also defended the project’s growing cost, saying it could draw tourists to Boston. Both declined to respond to criticism of earmarks for the center.

The institute “will serve as a national resource, helping Americans learn more about the Senate’s vital place in our democratic system and the historic leading role that the late Senator Kennedy played during his decades of outstanding service to Massachusetts and to the nation,” Markey spokesman Daniel Reilly said in a statement.

It will be “an invaluable resource for citizens from the commonwealth to California,” he said.

A Kerry spokeswoman said in a statement that the institute will bring “knowledge and good citizenship to thousands of young people” and that Kerry is “proud that he worked with his colleagues last year to help make it a reality.” Williams said their support for the project equated with support for pork-type spending.

“Markey and Kerry understand that Kennedy is a beloved figure in Massachusetts and that it is sacrilege to speak ill of this,” he said. “But it’s still pork-barrel spending and not something federal taxpayers should be paying for.”
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1248058

Take millions from the Defense Departments budget to build a memorial to Kennedy...sounds typical. Good thing Obama is against pork barrel projects (or so he says). If he was in favor of them, who knows what would happen???????????
JenniferMaxwell
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1 posted 04-19-2010 12:18 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

A fitting tribute to a Senator who helped save the lives of American troops.


Kennedy instrumental in improving armor for troops in Iraq, Afghanistan

Senator Edward Kennedy is known for being instrumental in many pieces of important legislation. One of them was for the country's men and women in uniform. Kennedy worked with the family of John Hart, who died in Iraq, to pass legislation getting improved armor for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. NECN's Greg Wayland has more on Kennedy's work for the troops. He was gentle and caring - and always dreamed of being a soldier. 9/11 intensified that yearning. John Hart enlisted on his nineteenth birthday and by July, 2003 he was serving in Iraq. Then one October night, he made a fateful call to his parents and two young sisters in Bedford, Mass. John had been in combat for just a few months, but he was worried. John told his father the Humvees in which he and his fellow troops were traveling lacked adequate armor protection. But just days later, on October 18th, 2003, John was killed in an ambush just south of Kirkuk. This is when Senator Ted Kennedy entered the lives of this Texas-born couple who most often voted Republican and initially supported the war in Iraq. Kennedy had called to express his condolences, asking if he could help. Kennedy also attended John Hart's burial at Arlington National Cemetery. The Harts told him about john's phone call. About his fears and the lack of armor. The senator's military attaché took notes. Congress learned there were barely any armored Humvees in all of northern Iraq and only a couple of hundred anywhere among the 35 thousand U.S vehicles in the theatre of combat operations. In August, 2004, at Senator Kennedy's urging, congress passed a supplemental military budget -- the first since the Korean War. There were only two dissenting votes. But that was just the beginning of the Harts and the Senator's campaign for better equipment for the troops. “People started calling us, family members of soldiers, would call us to ask us to anonymously ask on their behalf -- Senator Kennedy to ask questions in the Senate and that's actually how it happened.  Brian Hart continued asking questions -- and says he continued to get help from the senator meeting shortages of ammunition, body armor and medical supplies. And, he says, facts kept colliding with defense department claims. By end of 2005, all Humvees leaving bases in Iraq and Afghanistan were retro-fitted or factory-built with armor and soon were bolstered by the heavily armored m-wrap vehicles. And the Harts -- who turned activists in memory of their son -- say Senator Kennedy supported them every step of the way.
http://www.necn.com/Boston/Politics/2009/08/26/Kennedy-instrumental-in/1251273763.html


Balladeer
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2 posted 04-19-2010 05:37 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Kennedy did some good things...fine. Shall we erect, and pay 70 million dollars, for all congressmen who have done good things for the military? Kennedy was certainly not the only one. At a time our national spending and debt has reached Olympian proportions, at time even Obama says the government needs to stop spending, is this the time to spend that kind of money on a memorial? And to take it from defense spending? The Boston Herald doesn't think so and I don't think they would reject anything to do with Massachussetts favorite family without good reason. Let the Kennedys build their own tribute to him. They can take it out of petty cash.
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3 posted 04-19-2010 06:08 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Have you asked the obvious question Mike   do they need the building in any case, I mean its not just a temple to Kennedy as the article suggests, its a public building. Right? With , presumably,  a good reason to exist with or without a dedication over the front door.

If theres a good reason for it to be built Mike do you still think it shouldnt be built? If they picked another building that was being built anyhow and stuck a plaque on it would that be OK?

Maybe this building is that building if you know what I mean.


[This message has been edited by Grinch (04-19-2010 07:25 PM).]

Balladeer
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4 posted 04-19-2010 06:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, Grinch, according to the article, these are the justifications given..

the project would include programs geared for children of active military personnel.

The institute will serve as a national resource, helping Americans learn more about the Senates vital place in our democratic system and the historic leading role that the late Senator Kennedy played during his decades of outstanding service to Massachusetts and to the nation, Markey spokesman Daniel Reilly said in a statement.

Markey and Kerry also defended the projects growing cost, saying it could draw tourists to Boston.

The institute will bring knowledge and good citizenship to thousands of young people


So we have children's programs, helping Americans learn about the Senate's place  in our democratic system (which they should laready have been taught in school), bringing good citizenship to youn people (whatever that means) and COULD draw tourists to Boston (as if there weren't enough political attractions to bring tourists.) SO you see enough there to warrant the 70 million price tag?

With , presumably,  a good reason to exist with or without a dedication over the front door.

The dedication is the whole point. I quote.... helping Americans learn more about the Senates vital place in our democratic system and the historic leading role that the late Senator Kennedy played during his decades of outstanding service to Massachusetts and to the nation, Do you really think they would be building it without that little detail involved? Of course not. It is a tribute to Kennedy...period. Fine. Build him a statue but don't stick the taxpayers with a three quarter of a billion dollar bill, much of it taken from the defense program budget, just because Democrats want to enshrine a hero of their party.
JenniferMaxwell
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5 posted 04-19-2010 06:41 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

http://emkinstitute.org/pages/about-the-institute
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6 posted 04-19-2010 07:01 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I see nothing there to justify the incredible price tag at a time of being in "the greatest recession in modern times", as Obama likes to say. The students could hold those classes and exercises anywhere or do you say they can't unless a 70 million dollar classroom is available to them?
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7 posted 04-19-2010 08:32 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

With the internet, and other electronic media so prevalent to the youth...why should any monuments be token to a place and space, when space is now subjective to medium?

If children really wanted to be educated as to the why and wherefore of any statesperson...

do they really need to travel? Pour $$$ into mechanical structures that burn oil and gasoline?

Haven't the gameboys and other games already provided a safer course of not spending extra dollars on travel?

[Part of me is being snide, here...as I still want to touch certain structures, but y'all get my drift.]
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8 posted 04-20-2010 12:41 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I wouldn't expect folks from the Right to be sympathetic to the wish to support a center of this type, especially one dedicated to a guy that many consider a great Liberal voice in the Senate.  Many from the Right spoke of Senator Kennedy with great loathing during his lifetime, and it is not surprising that there would be and even should be considerable opposition to acknowledgement of his contributions after his death.  Many on the Right would feel that the very notion of putting Senator Kennedy's name together with the thought of contributions to the country would be wrong, despite his willingness to reach across the aisle and cosponsor bills such as the No Child Left Behind Bill.

     I didn't like that legislation, but Senator Kennedy thought it was important, and he supported it.

     To characterize a bill designed to help finance the building of a center to honor Senator Kennedy as "pork," as opposed to "a just tribute" catches the mood of the Right quite well.  I'd call it generous to a fault, with all due deliberate ambiguity.
Balladeer
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9 posted 04-20-2010 07:41 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

So, due to the money siphoned off the Defense Department budget, a small crack in our security opened up just enough to allow terrorists to plant a bomb in the US - and they choose the new Kennedy Memorial as their target.

Now wouldn't that be ironic?
JenniferMaxwell
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10 posted 04-20-2010 07:46 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

fear mongering
Balladeer
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11 posted 04-20-2010 08:04 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Obama has also declared that he would spend no money that wasn't deficit neutral, in other words, pay for itself. I haven't seen where that applies here. Perhaps they will charge the students to attend classes? Or maybe they will charge the public to enter the shrine and charge 20 bucks for hot dogs. Just sell three and a half million of them and it's paid for! Pork paying for pork..what a concept!
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12 posted 04-20-2010 08:11 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

mockery and ridicule
Balladeer
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13 posted 04-20-2010 08:33 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yes, it's the perfect time for us to start building just tributes to our heroes (as long as they are Democrats). Money is plentiful and there are so many programs that have so much cash, we can simply cut them down a bit, like school lunches, Medicaid, Social Security, national defense.... the possibilities are endless. We are rich. Ok, our future generations are already broke but that's their problem. It might be a good idea to start making learning Chinese in school mandatory, just in  case.

Senator Byrd could certainly use a tribute when he passes on, the longest running member of Congress and only one who was ever a Klu Klux Klan high ranking official. We could build an old barn for him with a hanging tree out in front and students could come from all over and learn the secrets of how to keep their sheet sparkling white, even with bonfire and torch soot in the air. (can anyone even imagine how hard it must be for him to serve under a black president??)

Kennedy? Naming a bridge after him would have been appropriate. Then students could come from all over to learn all about the golden rule of HE WHO HAS THE GOLD, RULES and discover how they, too, even if not having had the luxury of being born with the proverbial golden spoon, could work hard, get rich, become a drunk and get away with things normal citizens would go to jail for - like manslaughter, for example.

Obama? His tribute in the future will be a pig farm, with a sign out in front declaring "FREE PORK..ALL YOU CAN EAT". (Republicans will be directed to the greased pig sections.)


There's only one reason to take defense money to build a Kennedy tribute at this time....the upcoming elections. That is more important to Obama and congress than anything else.

Bob K
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14 posted 04-20-2010 02:32 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:

There's only one reason to take defense money to build a Kennedy tribute at this time....the upcoming elections. That is more important to Obama and congress than anything else.



     If the notion of building such a monument is the terrible idea that you seem to think it is, then this conclusion is 180 degrees off base.  It would be a bad idea and would backfire on the Democrats.  Your conclusion would only work if the building of the monument was a wonderful idea and there were a massive groundswell of support from virtually everybody.

     Your conclusion would seem to contradict your argument here.

     Also, you seem to speak as if remaining in power was a shoddy goal for an administration or a party to pursue.  This is downright foolish; considering your partisan preferences for Republican administration, why would you assume that Democrats would want something other than continued time in power for themselves.  And why would they be ashamed of it.  Being in power is pretty much the price of admission for the exercise of power, after all.  
 
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