Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Honesty, Accountablility, .... It's All Gray

The other day, BY ACCIDENT, I glanced at an agitprop newspaper at my parent's house in Worcester, Massaschusetts.

Latest Kerry Ad On Fuel Aid May Be Chimera

Federal budget Not Net Set Despite Claim

After state energy officials said last week at a hearing in Worcester that the federal government is investing less in fuel assistance for the upcoming winter despite rising fuel prices, people wondered about U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry’s latest campaign advertisement.

The advertisement, which shows worried-looking people, mostly elderly, says "Many are wondering how they’ll heat their homes this winter." It shows Mr. Kerry, who faces Edward J. O’Reilly of Gloucester in the democratic primary Tuesday, and continues, "But John Kerry is doing something about it."

"He’s gotten new funding to help thousands of seniors and people on fixed incomes in Massachusetts afford to heat their homes."

But state officials said Massachusetts received $115 million from the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the federal fiscal year 2008, which will end Sept. 30. No federal budget has been passed for LIHEAP for the year that will include this coming winter, so state officials expect Congress will approve a continuing resolution.

That would provide Massachusetts with $81 million, $34 million less than last year. The program helps low-income people pay their heating bills in cold states and air conditioning bills in hot states.

It only gets worse because the Massachusetts Legislature has allocated $10 million to supplement the federal fuel assistance for the new fiscal year. That is $5 million less than last year.

When Massachusetts got $115 million in federal fuel assistance last year, it started with $81 million and $34 million in contingency funds were added later in the budget year, said Philip Hailer, state Department of Housing and Community Development press secretary.

"We can hope the federal budget comes through for what we need," Mr. Hailer said. But state officials at the hearing in Worcester, including Ian A. Bowles, secretary of energy and environmental affairs, "have to look at the worst-case scenario."

"People last week spoke in black and white when there are shades of gray," he said.

Hah! Anytime you hear someone insist things "are gray" your Moron antennae should arouse. I would never simply assert that something is gray; I would explain why it was. You see, John Kerry (or his mouthpiece) is so unhappy with the sound-bite "black or white" world that he's offering up his own SOUND-BITE of "gray", "it's complicated", "na, na, you can't pin me down!"

I could care less about his ad and its basis-in-fact. As far as I am concerned, anyone stupid enough to watch ads on TV AND let them shape their beliefs deserves to be lied to.

However, the article served up one illustrative point. The Worcester Telegram showed how unconcerned it was whether or not it was a good thing, a Constitutionally justified thing to throw tax dollars at the furnaces of poor people. If people can't afford to live in this climate, what is the reason for creating a welfare class dependent on energy bill-paying handouts? Won't they be in need every year? Shouldn't they move to where they can support themselves in a climate-controlled environment?

No, the Worcester Telegram is only concerned about how much Federal pork that Senator John Kerry brings home. That is how he should be measured, apparently.

Here's what I wrote a while back about Congress:

Congress is really just a bunch of collusive local lobbyists. The federal government scoops up tax dollars and these wanton criminals divy it up to suit their own perceived political agendas. Congressmen think it is their duty to bring home as much federal money as possible. Think about that for a second. The present-day Congressional metric for success is how much federal tax revenue they can have wasted in their own states.

The foundering Worcester Telegram is, no surprise, owned by the foundering New York Times. Stock chart above - click to enlarge.

If anyone at the Telegram did any substantive research, they'd find that their readers have all left in search of adult-level edification (on the web) or tax relief (in the South).

It's a heck of a gate-keeping job those newspapers have been doing!

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