Outrages, from Cranston to Iraq

I agree with Justin's incredulity about the overly generous benefits enjoyed by Cranston firefighters:

It's amazing enough that Cranston firefighters can retire after twenty years at any age, but this is stunning:

Once retired, retirees continue to receive extra pay each year for longevity bonuses and extra pay for 15 holidays!

So, they get longevity bonuses for a job that they no longer do, as well as holiday pay for days they have off anyway. Jim Davey has more details on Cranston firefighters' new contract.

And I second Matt's observation about the mind-boggling wastefulness of our misadventure in Iraq:

Listening to more right-wing sycophants on the radio today babble on and on and on about how welfare recipients and undocumented immigrants are a drain on the Rhode Island economy, it struck me that these are the same wackos who pushed our nation to invade Iraq and who have supported the $750 billion that our nation has spent in taxpayer dollars in Iraq. Of this $750 billion, Rhode Island taxpayers have lost nearly $2 billion to the Iraq War. Imagine the kind of economic development that could have happened with this money! Nationally, do you know what we could have invested that $750 billion in instead of in a misguided war?

  • a Marshall Plan for the public schools
  • a Marshall Plan for renewable energy
  • a Marshall Plan for American roads, utilities and infrastructure
  • Full, Universal Health Care for every American
  • And of course, the American Dollar would be strong and the American Economy would attract more investors than simply China buying T-bills.

Speaking of waste, did you know that there are still 34 full-time staffers at the United Nations whose job is to monitor Iraq for Weapons of Mass Destruction and it wasn’t until 6/8/07 that the U.S. put in a resolution to disband this monitoring team (from Harper’s 8/07)?

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