Just sitting here at 4:30 in the morning, wondering why it seems that I'm the only person who sees irony in unrelated information.
Amount included in this year's budget for the Pentagon that the military never asked for: $1,229,000,000 (that's one BILLION, two hundred twenty nine MILLION dollars).
Amount that the Pentagon "lost" and can't account for from last year's (1998) budget: $22,000,000,000 (twenty two BILLION DOLLARS!!!!!)
Amount that the Pentagon will spend on the Ballistic Missile Defense(Star Wars) in 1999, a system that is based on a sarcastic answer a scientist once gave (and came to regret) to President Ronald Reagan when he asked a truly stupid question of the scientist regarding a "Space Umbrella": $4,166,000,000 (Four BILLION one hundred and sixty six MILLION DOLLARS!!!).(1)
Amount requested by Clinton to fund the "war" in Kosovo - $6 billion. Amount that Congress authorized - $10 Billion. Further funds that will probably be added by Congress: a 4.5% pay raise for military personnel, $2 Billion for victims of Hurricane Mitch, some unknown total of billions to American farmers hit by falling commodities prices and another unspecified amount for the latest tornado victims.(2)
Estimated amount that Americans lose to securities fraud, per hour: $1,000,000.
Maximum income that a resident of Aspen, Colorado may earn and still be eligible for subsidized housing: $140,000. (3)
Increase in the value of Ross Perot's portfolio on the day one of his newer companies went public in February of 1998: $882,112,600.(4)
Estimated amount a major political party's candidate for President must raise per hour in order to become a nominee: $2,466 (5)
Amount donated to Texas A&M University to pay for the cloning of a family dog: $2,300,000.(6)
Rank of the U.S. among the 17 leading industrialized nations with the largest percentage of its population living in poverty: #1 (We're number 1!!! We're number 1!!!! Oops, I guess I was channeling Ronald Reagan for a minute. Sorry.)(7)
Number of men, women and children reportedly killed in Kosovo before America's (NATO's) intervention: 25,000.
Number of men, women and children killed in Rwanda in the last three years, mostly by being hacked to death with machetes: 800,000.
Number of military personnel from NATO nations sent to stop the killing in Rwanda: 0
Race of the vast majority of the 25,000 dead in Kosovo: Caucasian.
Race of all of the Rwandan fatalities: black Africans.(8)
Percentage of all American hospitals reporting a decrease in health care offered free or at low cost to the poor after purchase by for-profit corporations: 80%
Average decrease in actual amount of health care offered to the poor at these hospitals: 90%(1)
With all that is going on in the world and all of the death and pain we are completely at fault for, what do the idiots in the Senate want to foist on the American public once again? What stupidity do they feel worth wasting our time over? The Anti-Flag Burning Amendment to the Constitution of the United States has, again, crawled out of the sewers that pass for minds in Congress and, sadly, may have enough votes to force the states to vote on ratification. How sad and sickening these little gnomes are. Does anyone with an IQ above seven or so really care about this garbage? Do you care if some cloth is burned or do you find the buying and selling of government more important? How about a national health care system or stopping the destruction of the world's environment or any number of actual problems that the dummies in Congress simply cannot find a way to debate without exposing their complete lack of an ability to actually behave in an intelligent and civilized manner. Therefore, let's all get excited about burning some colored cloth, an event that happens hundreds of times more often in the nations who hate us than in this nation by people making a First Amendment protected point. Congress is only capable of pretending that these silly little humanoid creatures who inhabit the lowest rungs of the genetic ladder are doing something, even though the act isn't in anyway, shape or form a necessary part of life. (Whew! Worked up a sweat there.)(13)
Reason stated by Heritage Foundation analyst Robert Rector which proves that poverty in America is vastly overstated: some poor people own color TVs and VCRs.(9)
Here's something to think about next time you drive past your local school - count thirteen of the children - any thirteen will do. That's the same number of children killed at Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado. Now, consider the fact that the same number of children are killed every single day, 365 days a year, by guns. How much respect do you have for Charlton Heston and his band of single and simple minded cowboys now? (10)
Some very small good has come out of the Littleton tragedy, though. After voting as a bloc against a Democrat-sponsored bill to force gun sellers at gun shows to follow the law covering all other sales of guns and to do a background check on all buyers on 5/13, the Republicans in Congress made a complete turn around on 5/14 and voted nearly unanimously for the bill. (11)
House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey could only bring himself to justify the Republican's complete shift in philosophy towards supporting an increase in the minimum wage by the contorted logic of explaining that House leaders will do "the wrong thing in the least hurtful way possible". How will they accomplish that promise? Why, by creating tens of billions of dollars of brand spanking new tax breaks for Corporate America. As is usual for the simple minded Congressmen who are so obviously the property of the wealthy, the tax breaks will be far more than the small cost of the increase to the lowest wage earners. How much will the minimum wage go up, you ask? A whopping $1.00 over three years from $5.15 an hour all the way to the princely sum of $6.15. Gosh, almighty, I sure do hope that these suddenly wealthy workers don't spend all that new found loot in one place. What a sad and sorry bunch of people these servants of the wealthy are. (12)
Well, I suppose that we all need a few minutes to digest all of this information. I'll give you the time it takes to load the next page and we'll begin anew.
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