Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Obama’s State Dept spends $770 million on Mosque Makeovers?


I received a forword of a news story about Obama and Hillary spending $770 million to rebuild mosques in the mid east. The sender commented “unbelievable!” and he was right, I didn’t believe it.

It took me a while to find info on this that didn't come from the tea party or neo-Nazis (Stormfront the white supremacist website was one of the top search results.) I finally sifted through the vitriol to find that the story is about the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation or AFCP.

This is a link to the State Dept page: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/07/145109.htm

This program started ten years ago (can't pin this one on Obama) and may not be as crazy as it sounds. The AFCP has supported 640 projects in over 100 countries, here’s some:

Conservation of the 8th-Century Public Baths in the Umayyad City of Anjar, Lebanon

Conservation of 16th-Century Statues and Other Ethnographic Objects at Wat Visoun in Luang Prabang, Laos

Conservation of Armazi Archaeological Site, Georgia

Conservation of Prehistoric Rock Art in Kondoa, Tanzania

Documentation and Training in the Management of Archaeological Collections at Cyrene, Libya

Preservation of the Early 19th-Century Citadelle Laferrière (Henri Christophe) and Military Barracks of the Palais de Sans-Souci, Haiti

Restoration of 17th- and 18th-Century Paintings from the Compañia de Jesus Church in Arequipa, Peru

Restoration of the Early 19th-Century Fort at Lamu, Kenya

Restoration of an Historic Conventual Bakery in the Todos Santos Section of Cuenca, Ecuador

Restoration of the Minaret in the Ancient City of Tichitt, Mauritania

Restoration of the Rocas Canal at the Ancient Site of Chavin de Huantar, Peru

-This works out to about $1.2 million per project. My little hometown of 3,000 people has received bigger federal grants. Heck, we spend more every year giving Americans a mortgage interest deduction on their vacation homes.

We don’t seem to notice when we spend trillions making war but then we listen to demagogues making hay about goodwill efforts.

Polls show that most Americans oppose foreign aid but wildly overestimate the amount of it, (about one percent of the federal budget.) Also, much 'foreign aid' is in the form of weapons or other subsidized trade for US corporations.
Republicans in Congress have de-funded programs to secure Soviet-era nuclear weapons. That’s some foreign aid I can get behind. Sure, I have problems with how Congress spends money, but I’m not down with the GOP’s priorities. I’d like me some spending on rapid rail and wireless internet, a new Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps.

This infographic from americanprogress.org, was an eye opener. The real welfare queens in this country are the Fortune 500 companies that manage not to pay taxes every year, the captains of industry and commerce that used to get by on just thirty times a line workers pay, now they make 400 times that, and bitch about paying taxes. If we’d only left tax rates where they were under Bill Clinton, there would be no federal debt today. Look it up.

Until we start voting our own self-interest, the sluts in Congress who write our monstrous tax laws will continue to be like the proverbial two wolves and a sheep, voting on what’s for dinner. The plutocrats we’ve elected will use this manufactured rage about debt to cut needed spending on healthcare, education, infrastructure and the environment. If we let them.

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