Mar 9, 2009

Top 10 Spending Bill Boondoggles

Sunday, March 8, 2009 5:58 PM
By: David A. Patten, Newsmax.com

Guess what Newsmax picked as the number one item for their boondoggle top ten list?

[...]

Based on watchdog reports and recommendations, here’s a Newsmax list of the bill’s top 10 non-earmark boondoggles:

Boondoggle #1

$97 Million for a Program That’s Being Cancelled — When the government decided to replace old nuclear warheads with new ones, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory said they needed two new buildings to produce the necessary plutonium components. One of those structures is reportedly nearing completion.

President Obama recently announced, however, that he is canceling the Reliable Replacement Warhead program based on scientists’ recommendation that it’s unnecessary. That should save the public a lot of money, right?

Think again: Officials are moving forward with the second new building anyway. The spending bill includes $97 million for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) facilities at Los Alamos. That’s up from $74 million in 2008, which was a big increase from the $54 million spent in 2007. In other words, the budget for a program that is now being eliminated has increased 80 percent in the past two years.

“The question is why are they building this building?” asks Laura Peterson of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “There’s been a lot of concern about taking on a giant new construction project at Los Alamos, when the primary justification for the project is gone. From our point of view, that’s some pretty questionable funding.”

[...]

[View the full article here.]

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered about this...does anyone else think that Austin Industries is robbing the place blind?

Anonymous said...

Oh please, let’s not play “Outrage-Of-The Week” here.

America, via our President & Secretary of Energy have just in effect cancelled the Yucca Mountain project after pouring nearly $11 billion in to the project & have no publicized alternative other than to spend billions more studying a issue that been on-going for more than 3 decades.

As best I can see, there’s no public outcry no Congressional outrage of this.

Law suits from the nuclear industry will near $100 billion from cancellation of this project.

Why the hell am I to be upset with a few more billions of $$$ spent on frivolous B.S. programs.

Anonymous said...

Oh fer cryin' out loud. How many times do we have to remind these jokers that we are being forced out of CMR because it's "too dangerous to being doing this work in a facility that sits on an earthquake fault." This decision predates the fleeting RRW program. Another case of damned if we do, damned if we don't, and often by the same "watchdogs."

Anonymous said...

Who cares, it's all gonna be history next FY. A fancy new building among the pile of ashes of what was once LANL.

Anonymous said...

The CMRR was not required by the RRW.

It was required by the fact the 55 year old CMR structure would probably collapse if it caught fire or suffered an earthquake.

And people worried about what was in the smoke that blew all the way to Kansas from the Cerro Grande fire.

These watchdogs sure do talk out of their a**.

Anonymous said...

Everyone, can we pause our snark for a moment? Two of our co-workers died this morning in a plane crash in the East Mountains. The second person was another long-time LANL employee, though their name has not been released yet.



2 Die In Small-Plane Crash
Crash Reported Just South Of Golden

POSTED: 7:57 am MDT March 9, 2009
UPDATED: 5:33 pm MDT March 9, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- State police are blaming weather for a single-engine plane crash that killed two people Monday morning.

The plane went down in mountainous terrain near Highways 14 and 344, which is near Golden.

State police said it was snowing heavily when the plane tried to make it to Los Alamos, and it couldn't handle the conditions.

They said Randy Rupert was flying the plane.

His passenger has not yet been identified.

State police said they responded to the scene when someone reported a forest fire.

But when they arrived, they realized it was plane crash.

"It's pretty clear that the airplane crashed pretty abruptly. There's a small scene, there was a fire, and the remains of the airplane are pretty charred," Peter Olsen, with the Department of Public Safety, said.

Family members said Rupert lived in Edgewood but worked at Los Alamos National Lab.

So each morning, Rupert and a co-worker air-commuted to work.

Family members said Rupert had been flying for 15 years and his commute to LANL each morning was nothing new.

anonymous said...

Austin is losing money BIG TIME due to their incompetence. They are in a liquidated damage scenario because of their complete and utter stupidity.

Anonymous said...

80% increase in 2 years is a little suspect. are you sure Austin isn't trying at least break even?

Anonymous said...

6:53 PM wrote, The CMRR was not required by the RRW.

No, but it has been eyed as lab space for Neu's efforts. Therefore, it becomes a LANS requirement.

Anonymous said...

Um, CMRR is a boondoggle? What about PDCF----100's of millions so far in conceptual design and billions to build. The cost estimate to build keeps going up several billions every year.

Me thinks the South Carolina and Georgia Legislature are doing a better job lobbying than our NM equivalents.

Anonymous said...

We're #1!!
We're #1!!
We're #1!!
We're #1!!

Some people don't understand. Getting the most ridiculous pork spending approved is a great thing for Rechtel.

Anonymous said...

Austin is losing money BIG TIME due to their incompetence. They are in a liquidated damage scenario because of their complete and utter stupidity.

This was foreseeable from the job they did on the LANL Emergency Operations Center.

Anonymous said...

This idiot project is well-timed and well-placed as a monument to the Domenici years. (and the scientists that accepted the Faustian bargain)

Anonymous said...

We may not be designing new warheads and putting them together or even doing much science, but at least we're doing lots of building construction at LANL.

We're #1 (in construction) !!!

Bechtel must love it.

Anonymous said...

The US needs the CMR building for scientific research reasons that are completely separate from the RRW effort. It is true that NNSA wants to make LANL a pit factory and send all our science jobs to LLNL as a way to justify the existence of LLNL. As a result, NNSA wanted to use the CMR building for a pit factory instead of a research facility. Despite the nefarious intent of (1) NNSA and (2) the occupying Livermore army (LANS) we need the new facility for maintaining our ability to conduct material science research. As long as Udall, Bingaman, and others fight the RRW effort, the CMR building will be an excellent scientific resource for the US.

Anonymous said...

5:22 pm

interesting comment, ........ on several levels

Anonymous said...

I have had strong suspicions that our Director, Mike Anastasio, dislikes LANL and is working to wipe out what little is left of the lab's science. Nothing Mike Anastasio has done over this last year has lessened these suspicions.

You are right, 5:22 PM. Both he and NNSA want to turn LANL into something more akin to a glorified plant facility rather than a top rated scientific lab and they are well on their way to accomplishing this goal.

Anonymous said...

Well, I probably, I guess first became aware of the whole, what I call the nuclear complex or weapons work those kinds of things, right out of law school.
Tom Udall

As a part of preparing those lawsuits, learning about those lawsuits, I learned about the various nuclear issues in parts of the nuclear production process I guess you'd say.
Tom Udall


Tom, we sure are lucky to have you looking out for us. Don't know how we were able to make it all these years without you.

Anonymous said...

We need the CMRR more than the useless science buildings dreamed up for the welfare science community here at LANL. The only reason that Los Alamos has NOT been shut down is the plutonium facility. Like it or not, it is the plutonium stupid. If you want to do real science, the go work at a university, or DuPont. Whoops, you need to show a possible market for the science. Clearly that is lost by the scientists here.

Anonymous said...

"Whoops, you need to show a possible market for the science."

You think university research has to be marketable? You are way off base there.

Anonymous said...

I read this different. If you want to do real science go to a university. At DuPont you have to show a possible market.
Could also be a dig at Baker. He came to LANL from DuPont so he could do research that was pure. Then he left LANL for a university.