Op-Eds

May 26, 2009

An Airport for Somebody

President Obama spent loads of political capital early in his administration to push a behemoth $787 billion "spendulous" bill through Congress. In this promised era of transparency and accountability, Americans were supposed to rest safely in the assurance that the President would hold the line against fraud, waste and political kickbacks. Apparently, Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) didn't get the memo. The John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport is tucked away on the outskirts of ...

  • Wasteful Spending
May 21, 2009

And the Truth Shall Set Someone Free

U.S. law stipulates that someone who “knowingly and willfully makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation” to Members of Congress shall receive a stiff fine and eight years in prison. Over the past few weeks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has claimed that CIA briefers lied to her in 2002 about the use of waterboarding on suspected terrorists. CIA Director and former Congressman Leon Panetta denies his agency lied. Yesterday, I asked FBI Director ...

  • Defense & Homeland Security
May 18, 2009

Toss the Abacus, Uncle Sam

The time has long since passed for the federal government to report how taxpayers’ money is spent as quickly as it actually spends it. On his first full day in office, President Obama promised to create “an unprecedented level of openness in Government” that would “disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use.”  I intend to help him. That’s why I proposed legislation last week to create real transparency that would allow government officials and ...

  • Wasteful Spending
Mar 22, 2009

If Not Gitmo, Where?

Barack Obama, on his first full day as president, signed an order to fulfill one of his biggest campaign promises: shuttering the GuantÁnamo Bay prison. The president said he moved to close the military's marquee terrorist prison to regain America's moral stature in the world. Although a politically shrewd maneuver, the weight of one simple question casts doubt on all of President Obama's eloquent electioneering and executive ordering: What do you do with the 245 alleged ...

  • Defense & Homeland Security
Mar 9, 2009

One Hand Giveth, the Other Taketh Away

As Congress has been deliberating legislation that would give Washington residents representation in the House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Democrats have touted this effort as a defense of democracy bill. Ironically enough, they are making this argument at the same time they are driving an effort to take away one of our most fundamental and sacred expressions of our democracy: the right to a private vote. The one hand giveth; the other hand taketh away. The ...

  • Civil Liberties
Feb 20, 2009

Mr. Daley Comes to Washington

The embarrassing exit of ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, removed for auctioning off President Obama’s old Senate seat, gave America an inside look at the notoriously corrupt Chicago Democrat machine.  In their world, elections are just another means to an end -- a mechanism to provide plum jobs and kickbacks in return for lifetime loyalty from their allies. Corruption, of course, happens everywhere in almost every industry, but the unparalleled success of machine men like Blagojevich, ...

  • Politics & Elections
Feb 12, 2009

Census Should Be Free From Politics

The Obama administration’s recent actions regarding the census are outrageous and unprecedented. Commanding the census director to report directly to the White House is a naked political power grab and transparently partisan. There is only one possible reason for it — political interference in the 2010 census and partisan manipulation of the results. This ill-conceived proposal undermines a constitutionally obligated process that speaks to the very heart of our democracy. While there are ...

  • Politics & Elections
Jan 28, 2009

$825 Billion Earmark

An AP story appearing Sunday began, “President Barack Obama’s ban on earmarks in the $825 billion economic stimulus bill doesn’t mean interest groups, lobbyists and lawmakers won’t be able to funnel money to pet projects … The result … is a shadowy lobbying effort that may make it difficult to discern how hundreds of billions in federal money will be parceled out.” The more we learn about the proposed Pelosi-Obey $825 billion economic stimulus proposal, the more it looks like an ...

  • Wasteful Spending
Jan 28, 2009

Stimulus Bill Sells Out Taxpayers

The so-called American Recovery and Reinvestment Act amounts to nothing more than an $825 billion earmark designed to expand government on the backs of the American taxpayers using money we do not have. There is little guarantee of any short-term gain, but there is no question of the irreparable harm we can expect by saddling our children and grandchildren with trillions of dollars of additional debt. According to a report recently released by the Congressional Budget Office, only 7 percent of ...

  • Wasteful Spending
Jan 26, 2009

GAO At-Risk List Underscores Importance of Oversight in 2009

In his first weekly radio address, President Barack Obama promised “unprecedented effort to root out waste, inefficiency and unnecessary spending in our government.” The fact that Obama has chosen his very first weekly radio address to underscore the need to address waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in our government is an encouraging first step in what I hope will be an ongoing commitment and partnership to bring accountability and oversight back to government. Obama has recognized ...