Posts Tagged ‘Hypocrisy’

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Mark Martin Is Racing As Fast As He Can (To Spend Your Money)

August 28, 2012

Nice plane. I’ll take it. For the office, of course.

I have very strange feelings when it comes to Secretary of State Mark Martin.  As a human, I find him to be utterly detestable (and woefully in need of an ass kicking).  As an elected official, I find him to be shady and inept and as corrupt as his middling intellect allows. But as a source of blog fodder?  He’s like The Giving Tree, and I sort of love him for it. So reliable is Martin in this capacity that I had no doubt I’d be able to find something worth talking about simply by perusing the state online checkbook.

For example:

1. The Secretary of State’s Office spent $2,170 (plus $339.57 in travel expenses) to hire a company called THOR Global Defense Group, Inc.  Who is Thor Global Defense Group, Inc., you ask?  Well, according to their website,

[t]he mission of THOR Global Defense Group is to provide the most advanced weapons and equipment, the latest in techniques and tactics for training and to offer experienced, professional security operations for missions worldwide.

Overall, THOR provides “a variety of services including ocean freight security / protection, site analysis & consulting, remote or on-site training, weapon & equipment supply, protective services, facility construction, systems development, nuclear operations, import/export and delivery.”  Obviously most of those don’t (or at least shouldn’t) apply to the Secretary of State’s Office — they don’t need secure ocean freight shipping, they don’t need help in designing a secure facility, they don’t have nuclear operations … you get the idea.  So, best guess, Mark Martin brought in THOR either to (a) provide site analysis and consulting for the Capitol grounds or (b) to train the Capitol Police in paramilitary tactics and weapons.  Neither of these seems necessary or makes much sense, though I suppose (b) is slightly more likely.  But, hey, it’s good to know that the Capitol is safe from attack thanks to the efforts of Mark Martin.

2. At a glance, it appears that the office has spent $6433.63 in travel on conference fees and related expenses.  However, digging a bit, there are additional travel costs that, for whatever reason, are listed under Operating Expenses, including $1,615 in Conference & Seminar Fees and $1,555.80 in Lodging, bringing the grand total to $9,604.43.

And what did the state of Arkansas get for nearly 10 grand?  Well, we inexplicably sent someone from the office to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which only makes sense when you know that SOS employee Kelly Boyd works as the governmental affairs director, aka the on-staff lobbyist for the nonpartisan and non-legislation-backing SOS Office that Martin touted on his campaign website.  There’s not much detail in the checkbook to figure out what else we got, but I’m sure it was totally worth the money and not at all ridiculous.

You might be wondering how that $9,600+ total compares with other offices.  It is, roughly, the same as the travel expenses for the office of the Governor, Lt. Governor, Land Commissioner, Treasurer, and Auditor combined.  That’s an impressive amount of spending on stuff that, as far as anyone can tell, is borderline worthless.

3. They’ve spent $204,250 (so far) on repairing and renovating the skylight in the Senate chamber.  The money is not the issue here, really; the funds came from a grant.  Which might make you think, “hey, awesome . . . that’s money pumped into the Arkansas economy.”  Except it’s not.  Because Martin and Co. hired Ralph Jones Sheet Metal, Inc., a Tennessee corporation, to do the work.  Excuse me, I mean, a Tennessee corporation with a history of racial harassment.  So that’s awesome.

4. Then there’s the $4,435.50 to Comcast Cable.  Sure, there are some TVs in the main hall of the Capitol — showing FOX News, of course, because why wouldn’t you want vitriolic faux journalism available for all visitors — but where is the rest of that cost going?  How many of the SoS’s office have cable TV, and why?  While we’re at it, why do the Governor’s Office ($650.64), the Treasurer ($378.56), the Lt. Governor ($191.57), and the Auditor ($172.64) have cable bills?  What need do they have for watching television at work?  What news are they getting that they can’t get online?  Why are we paying for this?

5. Finally, for purposes of this post, the SoS spent $8,672.00 at Crain Ford in Chenal.  This is, of course, on top of the $27,629 he spent on the 2010 Ford Escape.  Not a huge deal, I suppose, and fleet vehicles do need replaced from time to time, but still worth noting, if only because of the hypocrisy in Martin’s riding into office on a wave of Tea Party support, only to spend like there’s no tomorrow.

It’s not like we expected any less from Martin when he came into office, of course.  His history of milking the state teat for every possible dime is well-documented.  Still, I guess I hoped that his staff retreat to learn “ethics-based leadership” — price tag $54,000 — would have stanched the flow a little bit.  Guess not.  Maybe when the unfortunately looking Alex Reed gets back from the GOP Convention, he and Mark Martin’s chief lackey, Mark Myers, can come up with some not-at-all-ridiculous spin about how these numbers are totally ok you guys because . . . uh Democrats steal elections OBAMACARE!

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The Stark-Raving Hypocrisy of Jason Rapert

July 17, 2012

I’ll admit my Bible is fairly old, as I got it as a gift from my grandmother in the 1970s.  Also, it contains a bunch of crazy ideas about the poor.  To wit:

I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor. – Ps. 140:12

Blessed are you who are poor, for yours in the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. – Luke 6:20:21

The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor; the wicked does not understand such concern. – Prov. 29:7

These seem simply incompatible with the Modern Day Republican Party (MDRP), don’t they?  Either that, or there’s been a re-print of the Bible which must say, somewhere, “Soak the poor; let them die.”

I must have the Hippie Bible.

But if you’re Jason Rapert, none of these formerly Christian values have any meaning whatsoever, and your policy stances are a nauseating maze of hypocrisies, all bundled under his supposedly conservative, Christian beliefs.

From Rapert’s website:

Healthcare is an individual choice…

Unless you’re a woman, that is!  Rapert introduced a sickening invasive ultrasound bill for women seeking abortions, SB 843.  Because, obviously, nothing says “healthcare is an individual choice” like being forcibly raped by a doctor with a wand.  Can you taste the freedom?  No?  Hold on, let me stick it farther up there.

From the Bible:

But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. – Luke 6:24

Rapert, of course, receives fantastic healthcare by being an Arkansas State Senator.  If there’s one thing he’ll never, ever have to worry about again, it’s meeting his and his family’s health care needs.  Woe unto you, poor Jason.  But if you’re one of the 505,000 Arkansans without health care, most of these among the most poor of the state’s citizens, this is what Jason Rapert has to say to you:

As a senator, I was proud to stand up for the rights of Arkansans and to fight the implementation of key components of Obamacare in our state while the question of the health care law’s constitutionality was being considered by the courts.

Raped by a wand?  Fantastic!  Health care for the poor?  Unconstitutional and I’ll fight against it!

But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? – 1 John 3:17

Ultimately, Rapert is a MDRP “life begins at conception/ends at birth” politician.  From his site:

Life begins at the moment of conception…

This is demonstrably false, but when you’re so overcome by ideology rather than scientific reasoning, your conclusion will be incorrect about every time.   The rest of the sentence from Rapert’s site:

…we, as leaders, have a moral and spiritual obligation to protect the life of children.

Unless, of course, you are poor and without health care.  In that case, Jason Rapert couldn’t care less about you and yours.  You’re born; interest gone.

Taking a quick look at Rapert’s largest contributors, it’s the usual bunch of conservative puppeteers buying Rapert’s votes: Ess Transportation, Don “Double Dipping” Thomas, Stephens Group, Waltons, etc.  These are Jason Rapert’s masters.

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money. – Mt. 6:24

The MDRP is a religious parody of itself, readily hiding behind the Bible but, seemingly, never bothering to crack the seal of the good book.  Jason Rapert is a perfect example of this hypocrisy: health care for me, not for thee; freedom except if you’re a woman; and, screw the poor (to say nothing of his other horrendous policy positions).  These aren’t Christian ideals, and rampant hypocrisy like his is a driving factor in the huge rise of atheism in America.

He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him. – Prov. 14:31

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And, If You Are ALEC, She’s Totally Your Huckleberry

April 21, 2012

The mud lets you know she isn't some liberal, car-washing elitist.

Apparently, a Holiday Inn in Heber Springs was hosting a meet-and-greeting last night, and all local political candidates were invited.  Sen. Missy Irvin (R-Mountain View) RSVPed on behalf of herself and roughly 100 additional people that she invited.  Because, hey, party!

Then she learned that the Holiday Inn had the unmitigated temerity to — gasp! — serve alcohol to attendees.  Well, she wasn’t going to have any of THAT, because (paraphrasing) such antics “alienated the Christians.”  So Sen. Irvin attempted to rally people not to attend the meet-and-greet.  Take that, Holiday SIN!

Oh, except she didn’t actually get in touch with all of the myriad people she’d invited, so people showed up, expecting her to attend.  That would have been embarrassing if Sen. Irvin had the capacity to be embarrassed by her own action.  Which she obviously does not.

But, hey, embarrassing or not,  maybe we should give Sen. Irvin credit for sticking to her faith-based guns (and for ignoring that 59% of the Bible’s references to wine/alcohol are positive), right?  Well, we could do that.

Or we could point out that tonight Sen. Irvin held a private event at the Red Apple Inn in Heber Springs.  Where . . . wait for it . . . alcohol was served!

If I ever film a re-make of Tombstone, I’m totally casting Missy Irvin as Doc Holliday.  Because when she says “it appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds,” you’ll know she absolutely means it.