Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Once Around - Black and White Version

DC Media Girl has the best take on George Bush's newest unqualified appointment to a critical government position. She first takes us to the Washington Post for this recap of Julie Meyers credentials.

"The Bush administration is seeking to appoint a lawyer with little immigration or customs experience to head the troubled law enforcement agency that handles those issues, prompting sharp criticism from some employee groups, immigration advocates and homeland security experts.

The push to appoint Julie Myers to head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security, comes in the midst of intense debate over the qualifications of department political appointees involved in the sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina."

DC Media Girl then cuts to the chase:

"To put it bluntly, whoever put her name forward for this position is insane. The immigration service is not only a critical one, it’s also the area of Homeland Security that affects real people on a day-to-day basis. A 36-year old who has no background in immigration law, which is complicated and arcane, need not apply, not even one with a big shot uncle and a direct connection to the DHS chief."

The rule in this Administration is simple - everyone must be a clueless and unqualified for their position as the president himself.

Democratic Veteran takes us to this amazing tale of FEMA on ice via the Gloucester Daily Times (MA).

"Hundreds of truck drivers from Minnesota, Alabama, Georgia and even Massachusetts have been crisscrossing the country since the beginning of September, moving loads of ice from storage facility to storage facility and earning big bucks from the federal government to do little more than sit in their cabs and not unload their precious cargo.

Truck driver Paul Kite said he never would have agreed to pick up the ice had he known it was a job for FEMA, because government orders on shipments often change, he said.

"Once you pick up a load from FEMA, you're stuck," he said. "We've done jobs for FEMA before, but never to this extent where you sit and sit and sit. I just drove 1,300 miles to dump ice in Gloucester. This has to be the stupidest thing I have ever done."

Kite and his wife, Sharon, picked up their load of ice in Newburgh, N.Y., Sept. 2 and planned to make their delivery in Carthage, Miss., later that week.

When they arrived in Carthage, 60 other trucks were ahead of them waiting to unload. All of those trucks were told to bring their loads to Maxwell Air Force Base, which is 750 miles away, Kite said.

"It cost them $90,000 to move that ice 750 miles," he said.

A frustrated Kite — only 200 miles from cities that he said were on television nightly pleading for help — offered to pay $1,500 for his load of ice so that he could drive it down to the Gulf Coast himself, he said. The offer was refused by FEMA, he said.

Three weeks later, Kite's truck is still carrying the same load of ice."

Five years, billions of dollars and the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA are sparing no expense to move ice as far away from the people who need it as possible.

The Heretik covers the lastest DOJ assault on pornography from a number of novel positions and quotes a Washington Post article with the provocative title of "Recruits Sought for Porn Squad."

"Popular acceptance of hard-core pornography has come a long way, with some of its stars becoming mainstream celebrities and their products -- once confined to seedy shops and theaters -- being "purveyed" by upscale hotels and most home cable and satellite television systems. Explicit sexual entertainment is a profit center for companies including General Motors Corp. and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (the two major owners of DirecTV), Time Warner Inc. and the Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt hotel chains.

But Gonzales endorses the rationale of predecessor Meese: that adult pornography is a threat to families and children. Christian conservatives, long skeptical of Gonzales, greeted the pornography initiative with what the Family Research Council called "a growing sense of confidence in our new attorney general."

I can see the headline now - "NASCAR Dads Revolt Over Playboy Channel Ban."

Quote of the day:

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." Douglas Adams