The Disinfecting Value of Sunshine

SCOBEY, Montana (CNN)

The Department of Homeland Security had announced it was spending $31 million to enhance and upgrade two remote border crossings — just 12 miles apart — on the border between Montana and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The spending was lauded by Montana’s two senators, even though only an average of 22 cars a day traveled through these border posts.

…farmer Marc Chabot, a U.S. citizen whose family has farmed the area on both sides of the border for generations, said he was grateful for the money his senators — Democrats Max Baucus and Jon Tester — steered to northeast Montana. But, he said, like others in the community, he gasped when he learned of the plan to spend $31 million expanding two border crossings that are rarely used.

…Baucus is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; Tester is on the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee. Both took credit for convincing the DHS to give these towns millions for border crossings, bragging in a joint press release that they pressured the agency.

…So, the nagging question: Did politics, rather than security, guide the DHS? Especially when a border town like Laredo, Texas, which sees 66,000 crossings a day, was getting not one dime of the $400 million in DHS border stimulus funds. Montana, in total, was to receive $77 million.

…Within hours, Napolitano announced she was ordering a 30-day review to see if the money was being spent appropriately. In her letter to Dorgan, Napolitano said 39 of the 43 Custom and Border Protection posts were located in the northern United States. She said most of the Southern ports were owned by the General Services Administration, and the money directed by Congress was earmarked for the Custom and Border Protection properties and required to be spent within 24 months.

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Frank Throws ACORN Under The Bus

(Quote) In a stunning turnaround, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is distancing himself from ACORN, blasting their response to a string of recent scandals — and contradicting a staffer who said the congressman would have voted against a GOP-sponsored bill banning the group from federal funding.

In a rambling, contrite, at times bombastic statement to reporters, Frank apologized for “a number of factors, one of which in particular is my own fault, have contributed to my position on ACORN being unclear.”

His “biggest error,” he wrote was signing off on a recent letter — jointly written with Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) — requesting that the Congressional Research Service audit the group.

…Last week, Frank’s office reported that he skipped the vote to attend a White House ceremony bestowing the Congressional Medal of Honor on a fallen Massachusetts soldier. When asked for his position on the bill, Frank’s spokesman said the Financial Services chairman would have voted against the “Defund ACORN Act,” which passed 345-75.

“[T]hrough a misunderstanding with a member of my staff, it was incorrectly reported that I said I would have voted against the motion to defund ACORN,” he said in the statement. “In fact, I would have voted for the motion at that time. I am very disappointed in the actions that were taken by members of ACORN, and I do not believe that ACORN’s response has been adequate for an organization that has received public funding.”

…But Frank reserves his harshest criticism for ACORN, a group he’s long defended.

“I have previously communicated to ACORN my dissatisfaction with their lax supervision of employees and volunteers. The fact that people who were improperly registered to vote did not actually cast ballots in no way excuses the organization’s failure to exercise better control in this way. Further, the motivation of those who went to ACORN offices and initiated the discussions involving prostitution are wholly irrelevant to the fact that ACORN’s employees’ actions were outrageous and further indication of an organization that is at best poorly run in many regards. The defense against sting operations is not to ban them, but to behave properly so that they do not reveal as they did in this case clear evidence of gross impropriety.”

http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0909/Frank_turns_against_ACORN.html

Frank’s released statement is on the same page

Yes, It Is a Tax

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press Writer Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Associated Press Writer Mon Sep 21, 7:55 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Memo to President Barack Obama: It’s a tax. Obama insisted this weekend on national television that requiring people to carry health insurance — and fining them if they don’t — isn’t the same thing as a tax increase. But the language of Democratic bills to revamp the nation’s health care system doesn’t quibble. Both the House bill and the Senate Finance Committee proposal clearly state that the fines would be a tax.

And the reason the fines are in the legislation is to enforce the coverage requirement.

“If you put something in the Internal Revenue Code, and you tell the IRS to collect it, I think that’s a tax,” said Clint Stretch, head of the tax policy group for Deloitte, a major accounting firm. “If you don’t pay, the person who’s going to come and get it is going to be from the IRS.”

Steve Jobs on Teachers Unions, Wall Street Journal

February 23, 2007; Page A10

“I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they’ve become unionized in the worst possible way,” said Mr. Jobs during a Q-and-A session on technology in the classroom. “This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy.”

“Here’s the problem,” said Mr. Jobs, using a business analogy: “What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them, when they came in, they couldn’t get rid of people they thought weren’t any good in the first place? Or they couldn’t pay people three times as much when they got three times as much work done?”

Zazi’s Error

Zazi, and several of his cohorts,  face 8 years in prison for lying to “federal authorities.

Bill Clinton only faced a $2,000 fine and loss of Arkansas Law License for the same offense, of course he was lying to a state judge.

Either one was too easy, or one is too harsh.

You can’t convert your enemies by betraying your friends. All you do is double your enemies.

(QUOTE)By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press Writer Vanessa Gera, Associated Press Writer Fri Sep 18, 8:10 am ET

WARSAW, Poland – Poles and Czechs voiced deep concern Friday at President Barack Obama’s decision to scrap a Bush-era missile defense shield planned for their countries.

“Betrayal! The U.S. sold us to Russia and stabbed us in the back,” the Polish tabloid Fakt declared on its front page.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski said he was concerned that Obama’s new strategy leaves Poland in a dangerous “gray zone” between Western Europe and the old Soviet sphere…(UNQUOTE

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090918/ap_on_re_eu/eu_eastern_europe_missile_defense_22

Comment: You can’t convert your enemies by betraying your friends. All you do is double your enemies.

From the Heritage Foundation, Today

“Despite all the rhetoric you hear about the rest of the world abandoning fossil fuels to avoid global warming, their actions show where their real priorities are. Brazil, whose beautiful beaches rival or even surpass anything in California or Florida, recently discovered a huge underwater oil field and it is moving quickly to begin drilling. In Asia, China and Japan were able to put aside centuries of mistrust to come to an agreement on how to drill and share oil in waters in between their countries. Germany plans to build 27 coal-fired plants by 2020. Italy plans to increase its reliance on coal from 14% today to 33% in just five years. In all of Europe, 40 new major coal power plants are set to be built in the next five years. In 2006 alone, China completed enough coal power plants to match all of Britain’s capacity. India plans to boost coal production by 50% by 2012 and quadruple it by 2030.

The rest of the world gets it: in order to compete in today’s global economy countries must maximize the energy potential of all their natural resources. The Obama administration would be forcing American businesses to compete with one hand tied behind our back if they favor costly, inefficient, and unproven renewable energy to the exclusion of all other U.S. resources.”

If you have not joined the Heritage Foundation, I strongly recommend doing so. They do good work.