Here Comes The Sun
The Obama administration trumpeted its installation of solar panels on parts of the White House roof last week just before the president announced his plan to use executive orders to direct the use of more solar panels and other energy efficiencies. The administration, according to the Daily Caller, said the panels would provide -- if the sun was shining and if it was at the right angle -- 6.3 kilowatts of power for six or seven hours a day, totaling around 44 kilowatt hours per day. Based on the most recent estimate (2009) of White House electricity use of 852,500 kilowatt hours per year and the average 2,528 hours of sunshine per year Washington, D.C., gets, the maximum 16,272 kilowatt hours of power per year the solar panels would produce would not quite equal 2 percent of the mansion's needs. ''Solar panels at the White House are a really important message that solar is here, we are doing it, we can do a lot more,'' Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a release to promote the panels. White House officials did not mention the cost of the solar array, which experts said would be considerable. "If the average American knew how much this cost the taxpayer, they'd realize this is not cost-effective at all," the blog Climate Change Dispatch noted. "Which is specifically why the White House refuses to release the numbers."
Taxpayers Dollars (Not) At Work
Employees at an Obamacare processing center in Wentzville, Mo., have weeks pass without data entry workers receiving even a single application to process, a whistleblower recently told KMOV-TV in St. Louis. The facility is operated by Serco, a company owned by a British firm that was awarded $1.2 billion in part to hire 1,500 workers to handle paper applications for coverage under the law, according to the Washington Post. "Their goals are set to process two applications per month," the whistleblower said, "and some people are not even able to do that. They're told to sit at their computers and hit the refresh button every 10 minutes, no more than every 10 minutes. They're monitored, to hopefully look for an application." Even with the lack of work, Serco continues to hire employees for processing centers in Missouri, Kentucky and Oklahoma, the employee said. Serco, the employee said, is compensated for each worker it hires. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare services told KMOV-TV in a characteristically bland statement that "Serco is committed to making sure federal funds are spent appropriately, and the number of Serco staff is reviewed on a regular basis."
A Dangerous Book
What is it about the Bible that Broward County Public Schools doesn't want a curious fifth-grader to know? Giovanni Rubeo chose to read his Bible during free reading time recently at Park Lakes (Fla.) Elementary School, but his teacher told him to put the Bible on her desk because he was not allowed to read a religious book in the classroom. When Liberty Institute attorneys investigated on behalf of the Rubeo family, school officials changed the facts to say it wasn't free reading time but Accelerated Reader Program time and that religious books couldn't be read during that time. When the Liberty Institute investigated further, it found the Bible is an approved book within the Accelerated Reader Program. The boy's lawyers are demanding the school lift the ban by today or face a federal lawsuit for violating the First Amendment.
Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is ...
Pot, meet kettle. The left-wing organization People for the American Way -- in a fundraising email obtained by The Daily Caller -- criticized conservatives for raising money off the recently ramped-up Benghazi investigation while simultaneously asking supporters to contribute their dollars. The solicitation, a letter from organization President Michael Keegan, says, "The House GOP's latest Benghazi investigation is nothing more than the exploitation of the death of four Americans for political gain. They're wasting taxpayer money to turn a tragedy into a phony scandal -- all to rally their base and raise election funds." He then goes on to ask donors to renew their "membership with a gift today to help us expose the Right's lies, and mobilize progressives to win at the ballot box. Only by mobilizing and turning out enough progressive votes will we be able to prevent these extremists from winning control of the U.S. Senate and taking even more power on Election Day. That means we need your renewal contribution right now."