Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happy stories from the homefront

I don't have much to add to these stories.

1) Susan G. Komen for the Cure is spending up to $1 million per year on lawyers to chase down other charities that use the term "for the Cure" in their fundraising efforts. Wow.

"In addition to raising millions of dollars a year for breast cancer research, fundraising giant Susan G. Komen for the Cure has a lesser-known mission that eats up donor funds: patrolling the waters for other charities and events around the country that use any variation of "for the cure" in their names.

So far, Komen has identified and filed legal trademark oppositions against more than a hundred of these Mom and Pop charities, including Kites for a Cure, Par for The Cure, Surfing for a Cure and Cupcakes for a Cure--and many of the organizations are too small and underfunded to hold their ground."

"It's never our goal to shut down a nonprofit," he said, "and we try very hard to be reasonable, but it's still our obligation to make sure that our trademarks are used appropriately so there's no confusion in the marketplace over where people's money is going."

Blum told HuffPost that legal fees comprise a "very small part" of Komen's budget, but according to Komen's financial statements, such costs add up to almost a million dollars a year in donor funds.

"I think it's important that charities protect their brand, but on the other hand, I don't think the donors' intent in giving their money was to fund a turf war," said Sandra Minuitti, a spokesperson for Charity Navigator."

2) A firefighter in charge of helping the department "better plan, distribute and manage overtime through improved work scheduling controls on a shift-by-shift basis" managed to rack up 2,500 overtime hours over the past 2 years and earn $153k in overtime pay in Washington, D.C. -- What is it they say about having the fox guard the hen house?

Your going to hear a great deal of bluster out of Washington about the need to "CUT THE SPENDING". The Republicans have already put it out there that they want to cut $100 billion from the budget ASAP (with some caveats).

Here's the breakdown:

Total Federal Spending - $3,552 Billion (I'll refer to this in Billions because Trillions are too hard for us to work with)

Seems like it would be easy to find $100 extra billion in there right?

Well, not so fast. $2, 184 Billion of that spending is off limits because it's mandatory spending (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Interest on our Debt, other mandatory spending).

Okay, well that still leaves $1,368 Billion of discretionary spending that we can chop through, right?

Well, $664 Billion of that is defense spending and that's off limits and another $53 billion is Veteran's Affairs spending that has been ruled out.

Uh, oh. So now we're left with "just" $651 billion of Federal spending that can actually be cut.

Do you think you can cut $100 billion or 15% of the budgets of the Dept of Health and Human Services, the Dept of Transportation, the Dept of State, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Homeland Security, Energy, Agriculture, etc?

Good luck with that.


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