Thursday, July 14, 2005

HOMELAND PORK

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The Light at the end of the terrorist tunnel
by Elaine Meinel Supkis

It never ends. The thrashing around of the beast. A terrorist attack, evidently the work of ordinary British citizens, all young people who didn't look or act or grow up even slightly different from any other Brit, have successfully attacked at the heart of their own homeland.

Securing an imperial city is very difficult when this sort of anger is aroused. But if we are supposedly conducting a war on terror, both the USA and its provinces like England ought to be slightly serious about the matter.

So what gives here? This editorial of the NYT lays into our own representatives but look at the names involved! From the NYT:
This was a sad week for the war on terror. The Senate voted, disgracefully, to shift homeland security money from high-risk areas to low-risk ones - a step that is likely to mean less money to defend New York and California against terrorism and more for states like Wyoming. Before the vote, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff made a powerful appeal to the senators to distribute the money based on risk. But the Senate, led by Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and other small-state representatives, put political pork ahead of national security. It now falls to the House to fight for a financing formula that will keep the nation safe.

The 9/11 commission, after an extensive study of the best ways to defend America, urged that antiterrorism funds be divided "strictly on an assessment of risks and vulnerabilities." Mr. Chertoff, in a strongly written letter, urged the senators to enact a formula that would distribute money "based on risk and need," not one that is "static" and "inflexible."

But Congress likes inflexible formulas because they allow members to grab homeland security dollars for their own districts and constituents, whether they need them or not. Rather than dole out homeland security money according to a system based entirely on risk, Congress builds in guaranteed state minimums - money that goes to a state regardless of the risks and threats it faces. This way, money that the Homeland Security Department may want to use to protect New York's subways or Texas' chemical plants ends up in Nebraska.

Senators had a chance to fix next year's formula, but they voted to make it worse. The original homeland security budget would have allocated 70 percent of the money according to relative risks. Senators from the highest-risk states, led by Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, introduced an amendment to raise that number to 87 percent. Ms. Collins, supported by Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat, introduced an amendment to lower to 60 percent the amount given out according to risk.
Lieberman at it again! What possesses him? Well, we all know. He is wheeling and dealing for his own country which ain't the USA. Why should he care if Americans are blown up? This makes them give more money to his homeland. This is why Sharon is asking us for another $2.2 billion so the Israeli welfare state can continue to pad the incomes of Jews immigrating between the two countries.

We do spend more than that every two weeks in Iraq, but the Iraqis see none of the money. They live in terrible misery. All that money flows right back into the wallets of rich American owners of companies like Halliburton.

The budget deficit will be, if you leave out all this war money and money to Israel, "only" $333 billion. Well, like, wow. This means we go another trillion into the hole in two and a half years instead of two? Great. Seeing this, Congress goes mad and churns out more money for themselves as we see with this latest spending bill.

Making nearly half of the money available for "protecting" totally improbable "targets" is just so much hooey because the real enemy is within, it is ourselves and our hyper spending, hyper militarism run hopelessly out of control because our future enemies are bankrolling this useless madness.

None of this money being spent is making us safer or happier. It is all a total loss. Someday we will have buyer's remorse and it will be too late.

Oh, and Chertoff has so much influence in the White House that he has to beg Congressional Republicans who then throw his words back in his own face and Bush sits idly by, doing nothing. A word from Bush and this would have been stopped in its tracks. The fact that he has OKed this garbage shows me that his stupid war on terror, aka, humiliate as many Muslims as possible and goad them into attacking us, is a shadow show for children.

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