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Yu Darvish, Cubs spring training, AP photo

New Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish takes a break at the team's spring training facility on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Mesa, Ariz.

CARLOS OSORIO, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Time to clear off the desk and get ready for spring and a new baseball season.

Here's a clipping that has me asking why we always play games with the state's treasury and give small surpluses back to a few taxpayers when we've got big bills to pay.

Now it turns out that we're going to leave $90 million in road work undone because we need to meet transportation obligations for that new Foxconn plant that is supposed to be built soon near Racine. Instead of helping resolve the festering maintenance problems on our local roads and highways, we're going to spend $174 million on $100 per-child rebates and a sales-tax holiday before schools start.

It makes no sense, not to mention about the million dollars it costs taxpayers to send that money back and forth.

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Here's another clipping that suggests that the swamp Donald Trump promised to drain keeps getting muckier.

Trump's anti-environment head of the Environmental Protection Agency, former Oklahoma Gov. Scott Pruitt, really likes to fly in class. The Washington Post reported recently that Pruitt almost always flies first class, including a $1,600 flight from D.C. to New York and two $4,443 round-trip flights to Alabama. He also took a $36,000 military jet from Cincinnati to New York — so he could catch his first-class flight to Rome.

Pruitt also brings a large security detail and top aides with him on every trip, increasing his travel bill compared to past administrators. In all, the paper reported, Pruitt and his entourage racked up at least $90,000 in travel bills — and that was just for the month of June 2017.

But, what the heck, this administration is in the habit of spending big money and adding to the debt.

And while on the subject of swamp creatures, here's another clipping about one of Trump's other "make American great again" icons — Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Carson was a brilliant brain surgeon but keeps fumbling in his government job.

You heard the news. HUD spent $31,000 on a new dining room set for Ben Carson’s office in late 2017 — just as the White House circulated its plans to slash HUD’s programs for the homeless, elderly and poor.

"The purchase of the custom hardwood table, chairs and hutch came a month after a top agency staff member filed a whistle-blower complaint charging Mr. Carson’s wife, Candy Carson, with pressuring department officials to find money for the expensive redecoration of his offices, even if it meant circumventing the law," read The New York Times story.

After the embarrassing account was published, word has it that Carson is trying to figure out a way to return the expensive furniture.

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And how about Republican state Sen. Tom Corbin of South Carolina?

In discussing a domestic violence bill, Corbin told state Sen. Katrina Shealy, the only woman in South Carolina's 46-member Senate, that women are a "lesser cut of meat" than men.

"Well, you know God created man first," the senator told Shealy. "Then he took the rib out of man to make woman. And you know, a rib is a lesser cut of meat," Corbin said at a dinner at a Brazilian Steakhouse with fellow Senate Judiciary Committee members.

The comment came after Shealy reportedly asked Corbin where he "got off" attacking women during the discussion about the pending bill.

He later insisted that he was only joking.

Yeah, I really do need to clean off this desk.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com and on Twitter @DaveZweifel. 

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Dave is editor emeritus of The Capital Times.