Istook’s Insights: Taxpayers pay for climate propaganda, standing for the National Anthem, buying and paying for compliance

Would you listen to speeches if you were paid to attend?

Former vice president Al Gore and New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, spoke in New York City about climate change. It was the middle of the work day but the hall was packed.

It turns out that state workers were promised their regular pay if they went to the speeches instead of to work, plus they’d get the rest of the day off, all with full pay.

But a new national survey shows climate change is not among the major fears of the American people. The public’s top fear is government corruption—like paying government workers to attend that climate change event.

And the French government has suspended the top weatherman on France’s public TV. Officials don’t like the weatherman’s new book, which labels climate change a planet-wide scandal, an effort to control the population by keeping us in fear.

In other news, do you stand for our national anthem?

Most of us rise to our feet for The Star-Spangled Banner. We learned long ago how patriotic symbols are important. We love the unity of displaying our pride and gratitude to be Americans, whether we sing along or not.

We’re less likely to stand if we’re at home, watching the opening of an event on television. But what if we are actually there, yet watching by closed-circuit TV?

This was the situation at the first debate among Democrat candidates for President. Hundreds of reporters were in the adjacent room. When the national anthem was sung to open the event, most reporters ignored it, staying seated and working on laptop computers.

They can claim an excuse because they technically were in the next room. Yet it tells us a lot about today’s reporters, because wouldn’t most Americans have stood anyway?

Finally, there’s this: Can you be bribed for $640-billion?

The third-largest item in the federal budget is sending money to state and local governments—with plenty of strings attached.

Our communities are bribed to do things Washington’s way, with a torrent of $640-billion a year to adopt social welfare programs, federal standards on environmentalism, schools and colleges, how roads are built and maintained, and of course the massive cost of providing “free” health care.

Priorities change when money is involved. The desires of local people take a back seat to grabbing federal dollars, and changing your ways to do what Washington insists.

There are over 1,100 federal grant programs with a dizzying array of rules and regulations, but financial incentives to go along with them. That is why governors, mayors, legislators and city council members don’t always listen to the public. Instead, their attention is bought and paid for by Uncle Sam.