Pandemic money used to employ parking cops, fund prisons, and construct hotels. At a time when many residents were struggling due to job losses and loss of business, the District of Columbia ramped up efforts to wring money out of them—and spent federal pandemic aid to do so.
Spending in the city $2.5 millionNew reporting by the Associated Press shows that federal relief funds are being used to pay more parking officers.
The money intended to support people is not the only one that Alas, D.C. uses.
Los Angeles, for example, received $639,450,000.464 was taken from American Rescue Plan in the last year, and 50 percent on Los Angeles Police Department payroll. according toKenneth Meija is an accountant who runs for the L.A. Comptroller.
In cities around the country, pandemic relief funds went to either ordinary police costs or to increase policing capabilities—sometimes in questionable ways.
According to notes, Albuquerque spent over $3 million on an ineffective gunshot tracking system. Mic. Honolulu purchased a robot dog for $150,000 to help monitor the unhoused population. Wisconsin Republican lawmakers tried to get federal money to pay $5,000 bonus signings to help recruit officers.
Cities can misuse pandemic money in a number of ways, including police spending.
Officials in Broward County in Florida recently opened a $140 million hotel with views over the Atlantic Ocean. It will also feature a 11,000 square-foot spa.
Dutchess County, New York, pledged $12 Million to renovate a minor-league baseball stadium in order to fulfill the requirements of New York Yankees’ farm team.
Massachusetts lawmakers provided $5 million for debt repayments to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston. The nonprofit organization was created to honour the late senator, who had struggled financially.
The outlays are quite different, but they all share one thing: each is funded by federal coronavirus money from the United States. This despite the fact that it has little to do in combating the pandemic.
These expenditures are a small fraction of $350 billion that was made available last year through the American Rescue Plan, which helped state and local governments to weather the crisis. These are not the only examples of aid used that go against the reasoning of Democrats for last year’s record $1.9 trillion Bill: It was urgently needed to save jobs and help people in need, as well as open schools, increase vaccines, and rescue lives.
Pandemic funds were also used to build new prisons in Alabama, remodel a City Hall (Woonsocket) and overhaul a tourist website (Alexandria), Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, as well as irrigation systems for golf courses (Colorado Springs), and to create a museum honoring Major Taylor (Worcester), Massachusetts.
In order to buy “gunshot detector” technology, many cities and states use funds. It isn’t actually effective, but cities and state are still spending millions in pandemic relief funds on ShotSpotter devices.
Notes: “Officials from some jurisdictions were nothing but gleeful about the prospect of using pandemic Relief funds to expand carceral infrastructural infrastructure.” The Appeal:
The Oklahoma County Jail administrators were captured calling COVID-19 their friend and the “greatest thing to ever happen to them” in a recorded voicemail conversation. Over $10 million had been paid to the jail under the 2020 CARES Act. Officials expressed hope during the recording that ARPA would give them “another 150 million”. Over a dozen people perished in Oklahoma County Jail custody in 2021.
This is what you need to keep in mind as the Biden Administration and federal lawmakers discuss the necessity to provide more funding to address pandemic-related concerns (or high gasoline prices, climate issues or other crises). This is a program to look nice and not to channel funds where they are actually needed.
Lawyer Ken White—aka “Popehat”—tackles the recent New York TimesOp-ed:
It is important to have an honest conversation about how modern American culture can encourage us to respond in a cruel and excessive way to hate speech, what that means for people and how we can change it.
The Editorial Board of the New York Times did not provide such a thought-provoking conversation in “America Has a Free Speech Problem,” a piece that discusses “cancel culture”, a topic often cited by many. It is frustratingly unnerving.
The Editorial Board can help you with this. used on social mediaPromote the piece
The modern world claims tolerance and enlightenment, but Americans are losing the fundamental right of citizens living in free countries to voice their opinion and speak out publicly.
From the jump, this is pure nonsense. Americans do not have the right, nor have they ever had the right, to be free from shame or shunning. First Amendment guarantees our freedom to communicate without interference from the government. However, it does not provide protection against others saying hurtful things about our speech. It is incoherent. Shaming someone else is a good idea. TheyI am free to speak my mind, but someone is going after me TheyThe First Amendment guarantees free association.
White clarifies that although he isn’t denying the existence of “evil responses to speech”, but believes it is important to be more specific in what we are referring to. cancel culture. The culture war isn’t a matter of complaining, but defining it and taking actions to end it. “It inflames them,” he says.
The whole article is available here.
Tennessee courts ruled that allowing the state to let game wardens inspect private property of people without having to obtain a warrant was unconstitutional.The ruling does not only benefit Terry Rainwaters, Hunter Hollingsworth and other landowners in Benton County. They sued the Institute for Justice (IJ), after the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency(TWRA), ignored their “No Trespassing” signs and entered and installed cameras on their property. This victory applies to any private land throughout Tennessee.
Earlier this week we covered proposals—some better than others—to help people pay for gas. It would surprise you that California is on the wrong track.
BREAKING: @GavinNewsom unveils gas relief package:
A maximum of 2 vehicles are eligible for a rebate up to $400 per registration. The payments could begin in July
Transit for three months free – $750M
For 1 year, a portion of the diesel sales tax can be halted up to $600M
To halt inflation adjustment for gas and diesel excise taxes, a halting of $523M
— Emily Hoeven (@emily_hoeven) March 23, 2022
NEWS: USA now alleges Russia has committed war crimes.
.@SecBlinken: “Today I can declare that the U.S. government has determined that Russian forces members have perpetrated war crimes in Ukraine based upon information currently available.”
— Josh Lederman (@JoshNBCNews) March 23, 2022
• “The White House has quietly assembled a team of national security officials to sketch out scenarios of how the United States and its allies should respond if President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia — frustrated by his lack of progress in Ukraine or determined to warn Western nations against intervening in the war — unleashes his stockpiles of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons,” reports The New York Times.
• Airline CEOs want an end to pandemic rules for flights. “Now is the time for the administration to sunset federal transportation travel restrictions – including the international predeparture testing requirement and the federal mask mandate – that are no longer aligned with the realities of the current epidemiological environment,” wrote the heads of 10 U.S.-based airlines, including Delta, in a letter to President Joe Biden.
• Male birth control pills get a step closer to reality: “In new preliminary research, a team says they’ve developed a non-hormonal form of male birth control, one that kept lab mice sterile for four to six weeks with seemingly no side effects. The first human trials are set to start by the end this year.
• Belgium is decriminalizing selling and paying for sex, making it the first European country to officially do so.
• RIP Madeleine Albright.
• “Turns out marijuana really is a gateway drug — for America’s statehouses, anyway”: PoliticoExamines the slew of actions taken to make hallucinogens illegal.
• New research looks at the economic costs of rejecting refugees:
Trump’s refugee bans permanently lower the US economy to $9.1 Billion annually. https://t.co/s1a7nSU7cs Near 300,000 fewer refugees multiplied by their net contribution to the economy.
Michael Clemens’ jaw-dropping new research is now available@M_Clem)
— David Evans (@DaveEvansPhD) March 23, 2022