POLITICIANS in Oklahoma created an airport that functions like a giant ATM to draw money from the Federal Aviation Administration. The Lake Murray State Park Airport is "an airport without passengers," according to the Washington Post.
Lake Murray may be the only airport in the world where a plane landing once a week is considered heavy traffic. "Fantasy Island" saw more landings.
Despite this, the airport has drawn $900,000 since 2007 from a federal tax on airline passenger tickets and fuel used by airlines. The state uses it elsewhere.
"This is a direct gift from your congressman and senators," said Victor Bird, director of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, which handles the money the government gets for Lake Murray. "Everybody's going to get something here, and we're going to take some."
The Obama administration threatened to close air-control towers under sequester, but not Lake Murray or its 495 cousins.
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THE $22,600 router that hooks up one computer at the Marmet Public Library, which is open three days a week, drew scrutiny at a congressional hearing this week.
The router was one of 1,164 routers the state
purchased for $24 million using federal money —
including money from the $787 billion stimulus.
"We're talking about millions and millions of
dollars here that were wasted," railed Congressman Greg Walden, R-Ore.
Indeed we are, but the bigger question is why a router in Marmet is the responsibility of a federal government that borrows $1 out of every $3 it spends.
No one opposes extending high-speed Internet
access to remote places. Every line item in the
federal budget is backed by someone somewhere who thinks it is a good idea.
But Americans cannot afford them all.
What the $600 toilet did to military procurement, the $22,600 router should do to all government spending.
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BLOOMBERG News reported that Caroline Kennedy, 55, is a leading candidate to become ambassador to Japan. Her support of President Obama in 2008 gave him credence in many circles.
While giving political supporters ambassadorships to safe countries like Japan are a longstanding tradition, Obama has played the game more often than other presidents.
"Obama has drawn ambassadors from the political ranks at a higher rate than the historical average of 30 percent, according to the American Foreign Service Association," the news service reported.