Do They Care?

On December 12, 2014, in Constitution and Laws, Defense, Ethics, Healthcare, Politics, by An American

According to the latest Gallop poll, only 19% of Americans believe the government in Washington does what is right just about always or most of the time. As a result of such low approval ratings, many career politicians were not reelected in November’s election. Do any of our representatives in Congress care? Please join the Community Breakfast Group at our December 18 meeting and share your opinion with us.

We don’t have to look very far to find examples of government behaviors which lead to mistrust by the Public. On December 9, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program. This report was critical of the Enhanced Interrogation Techniques used prior to President Obama’s election. It was highly partisan, given that it was prepared with little input from either CIA personnel or Republicans on the Committee. The purpose for releasing the report at this time, six years after the fact, was that the Democrats will no longer be able to release it when the Republicans take over next year. Another explanation for the timing of the report is that it may have been intended to distract attention from the testimony of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber on the very same day. 

At a hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Prof. Gruber tried to explain and even justify his efforts to mislead the public on behalf of supporters of ObamaCare. He did not, of course, offer to return the $4,000,000 he allegedly received from taxpayers in return for his efforts. Prof. Gruber’s interrogation was, of course, an effort by the Republicans to discredit the Democrats and the Affordable Care Act.

On December 11, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers applauded the House of Representatives for passing legislation to fund the government for the remainder of the 2015 fiscal year. The 1595 pages of this legislation include full funding for 11 of the 12 annual Appropriations bills through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2015. The 12th bill, which funds the Department of Homeland Security, is also included in the legislation, but is funded under a temporary “Continuing Resolution” mechanism that expires on February 27, 2015.  Apparently the legislation was loaded with pork and passed, literally, in the dead of night.   Why the Republican controlled House could not pass these Appropriation bills by September 30, as required by law, has not been explained.

Conowingo Dam: Joker or Batman?

On December 5, 2014, in Environment, Politics, Technology, by An American

Is the Conowingo Dam a super villain? The Maryland Public Policy Institute has reported that “nearly 19 million tons of Bay-killing sediment were released from the dam over just five days”.

Or is it a misunderstood super hero that has been selflessly protecting the Chesapeake Bay for more than 8 decades?

Bill Herb, an experienced hydrologist, local resident, and someone with a personal interest in the Chesapeake Bay, will discuss the role of the Dam and Pond in sediment delivery to the Chesapeake Bay, and the related water-quality issues. The discussion will be structured around how the Conowingo Dam and Pond work together to impact the Bay.

If you have ever wondered about the similarity between the Conowingo Pond and the digestive system of a Canada goose, you will not want to miss this discussion.


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