Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
Remember this one, folks...?
* * * * * *
A follow-up... after the fact... by Bart Jansen of USA Today...
Transportation Security Administration fees on plane tickets are rising Monday, and travelers used to non-stop flights or long layovers will notice the biggest change.
The current fee is $2.50 for a non-stop flight or $5 for a connecting flight. The new fee will be $5.60 for all flights, with any connection longer than four hours counting as a separate flight.
Although Congress approved the fee hike to help reduce the deficit...
* CONGRESS... MEANING THE GOP HOUSE... AND THE DEMOCRAT SENATE... WORKING IN "BIPARTISAN" FASHION...
* HOW'YA LIKE THAT "BIPARTISANSHIP," FOLKS? GREAT, HUH!
...TSA is the agency getting pounded by more than 300 comments through Friday largely criticizing the agency and government taxation. Although the fees are going into effect, TSA will collect comments through Aug. 19.
* "POUNDED." (*ROLLING MY EYES*) WHAT THE HELL DO THEY CARE!
Patrick Riehl of Cambridge, Mass., argued that two things other than the TSA have made aviation safer since the Sept. 11 attacks that prompted creation of the agency: reinforced cockpit doors and passengers who fight back. "It only succeeds in humiliating the elderly, scaring children and making all travelers feel like criminal suspects," he said in submitted comments. "We should scale back airport security, not expand it."
Jonathan Peterson, of Atlanta, said he strongly opposes the higher fee because of past TSA mistakes in buying equipment that was later discarded. "The TSA has wasted tremendous traveler time and money, with useless security theater and lobbyist payout devices like whole-body scanners," he said.
James Cartmill said because money is diverted to the general fund...
* AND THERE WE HAVE IT, FOLKS! THE DIRTY LITTLE "SECRET." THE SCAM. THE SLIGHT OF HAND...!!! THESE BASTARDS AREN'T RAISING TSA FEES TO MEET RISING TSA COSTS - THEY'RE SIMPLY RAISING TAXES! THEY'RE DIVERTING THE TAXES TO THE GENERAL FUND!
...the higher fee should be considered a tax — and House Republicans should be blamed for going against their pledge not to raise taxes. "It's all a very expensive fleecing of consumers, and now the TSA fee will become another thing to be cynical about and to add to the cost of travel," he said.
* OF COURSE THE REPUBLICANS LIED...! THESE ARE THE BOEHNER REPUBLICANS...! OH... PEOPLE... UNDERSTAND WHAT WE'RE DEALING WITH HERE...!
Congress agreed to the increase in December to raise $12.6 billion to cut the deficit.
* THE DEFICIT WON'T BE CUT. THE PATTERN IS RAISE TAXES... AND RAISE SPENDING EVEN HIGHER.
TSA estimates the hike will generate $16.9 billion more than current collections.
* YEAH... GOVERNMENT ESTIMATES...
* I'M STILL WAITING FOR MY $2,500 IN YEARLY PREMIUM SAVINGS FROM OBAMACARE - HOW'BOUT THE REST OF YOU...?!?!
Industry groups, such as Airlines for America, which represent the largest airlines, and the U.S. Travel Association, representing a variety of travel businesses, have opposed the fee increase. "It's like paying for a root canal," said George Hobica, founder of airfarewatchdog.com, which monitors ticket prices. "It's something you didn't want anyway. Now you're paying more for it."
* NO... IT'S MORE LIKE WHEN YOU OR YOUR WIFE OR CHILD HAS BEEN RIPPED OFF BY AN UNSCRUPULOUS DISHONEST MECHANIC! (WITH A ROOT CANAL AT LEAST YOU'RE GETTING WHAT YOU PAY FOR! WITH THIS... THE MONEY WILL JUST GET PISSED INTO THE WIND.)
"I think it's going to hit people who do multi-city trips," Hobica told USA TODAY. "Policymakers really treat travelers as a piggy bank, picking their pockets."
* YEP. I'VE ADDRESSED THIS MANY TIMES!
Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition, a trade group serving travel managers, said the fee is part of the government's dysfunctional funding for all aviation regulation and security. Businesses need to find more constructive solutions for how to finance aviation rather than the current combination of general taxes and user fees, he said.
"There is an incoherent policy for financing the U.S. aviation system, including fees for security," Mitchell said.* WELCOME TO AMERICA!
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Too bad TODAY'S Washington Post "exposé" wasn't LAST YEAR'S Washington Post news... or better yet 2012's... or 2011's...
* * * * * *
Nearly a year before President Obama declared a humanitarian crisis on the border, a team of experts arrived at the Fort Brown patrol station in Brownsville, Tex., and discovered a makeshift transportation depot for a deluge of foreign children.
Thirty Border Patrol agents were assigned in August 2013 to drive the children to off-site showers, wash their clothes and make them sandwiches.
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
As soon as those children were placed in temporary shelters, more arrived.
An average of 66 were apprehended each day on the border and more than 24,000 cycled through Texas patrol stations in 2013.
* TODAY IS... JULY 20, 2014. THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR A YEAR NOW!
In a 41-page report to the Department of Homeland Security, the team from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) raised alarms about the federal government’s capacity to manage a situation that was expected to grow worse.
* LACK OF CAPACITY... LACK THEREOF... INCOMPETENCY...
The researchers’ observations were among the warning signs conveyed to the Obama administration over the past two years as a surge of Central American minors has crossed into south Texas illegally.
* "WARNING SIGNS?" FOLKS... TO OBAMA THESE WERE SIGNS HIS POLICIES WERE WORKING! THIS IS PART OF OBAMA'S "FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE!"
More than 57,000 have entered the United States this year, swamping federal resources and catching the government unprepared.
* SWAMPING FEDERAL RESOURCES...?!?!
* HOW'BOUT STATE RESOURCES? COUNTY RESOURCES? TOWN RESOURCES? VILLAGES?
The administration did too little to heed those warnings, according to interviews with former government officials, outside experts and immigrant advocates, leading to an inadequate response that contributed to this summer’s escalating crisis.
* BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT...!!! GEEZUS...! GET THIS THROUGH YOUR THICK FRIGGIN' SKULLS, PEOPLE...!!!
Federal officials viewed the situation as a “local problem,” said Victor Manjarrez Jr., a former Border Patrol station chief who led the UTEP study. The research, conducted last year, was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and published in March.
A broader crisis was “not on anyone’s radar,” Manjarrez added, even though “it was pretty clear this number of kids was going to be the new baseline.”
* A BORDER CRISIS HAS BEEN ON MY RADAR SINCE 1986!
* SERIOUSLY... FOLKS... REMEMBER WHEN BUSH, THE RINOs, AND THE DEMOCRATS TRIED TO FORCE AMNESTY THROUGH LEGALLY - CONSTITUTIONALLY - BACK BEFORE THE AGE OF OBAMA AND THE IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY...?!?! REMEMBER THE OPPOSITION THAT STOPPED THEIR ATTEMPT? THAT OPPOSITION HAD THE BORDER CRISIS "ON THEIR RADAR!"
Cecilia Muñoz, Obama’s domestic policy adviser, said the administration and key agencies had made adjustments over time to deal with the influx of children but then responded with urgency once federal officials realized in May that the numbers would far exceed internal projections of 60,000 minors crossing the border in 2014.
Revised Border Patrol estimates now suggest the number could reach 90,000 by the end of September.
* MEANING PERHAPS 100,000... PERHAPS MORE...
Last month, Obama ordered an "emergency response" overseen by the National Security Council and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and he asked Congress to approve $3.7 billion in emergency funds.
* WHAT "EMERGENCY RESPONSE?" ALLOWING THE INVASION...?!?! (YES! THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THEY'VE DONE! BUT NOT ONLY THAT... THEY ENCOURAGED THE INVASION!)
* JUST A SIDE COMMENT, FOLKS: ISN'T IT AMAZING HOW EVEN WHEN EXPOSING THE TRUTH, THE LIBERAL MEDIA CAN'T HELP BUT TO TRY AND PROVIDE AS MUCH COVER AS POSSIBLE FOR THE DEMOCRATS... FOR THEIR FELLOW LEFTISTS?
“What happened this year was . . . off-the-charts different,” Muñoz said. “It was not the same pattern. We assumed a significant increase, but this was not the same kind of trend line.
* BECAUSE OF OBAMA'S POLICIES...!!! BECAUSE OF OBAMA'S EXTRA-CONSTITUTIONAL "EXECUTIVE ORDERS!" (WHO THE FUCK ARE THESE CLOWNS TRYING TO FOOL...?!?!)
“This trend was more like a hockey stick, going up and up and up,” Muñoz added. “Nobody could have predicted the scale of the increase we saw this year. The minute we saw it, we responded in an aggressive way.”
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
* FOLKS... BROWSE THROUGH THE PAST FEW YEARS OF USUALLY RIGHT. THEN TELL ME "NOBODY COULD HAVE PREDICTED THIS."
But top officials at the White House and the State Department had been warned repeatedly of the potential for a further explosion in the number of migrant children since the crisis began escalating two years ago, according to former federal officials and others familiar with internal discussions. The White House was directly involved in efforts in early 2012 to care for the children when it helped negotiate a temporary shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
(*THROWING MY ARMS WIDE; GAZING TOWARD HEAVEN*)
“There were warning signs, operational folks raising red flags to high levels in terms of this being a potential issue,” said one former senior federal law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about internal operations.
(The former official said the agencies primarily in charge of border security, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were “ringing alarm bells” within the administration.)
* FOLKS... WHAT'S IT GONNA TAKE... WHAT'S IT GONNA TAKE FOR THE AMERICAN SHEEPLE TO WAKE UP?
Meanwhile, top officials focused much of their attention on political battles, such as Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and the push to win congressional support for a broad immigration overhaul, that would have been made more difficult with the addition of a high-profile border crisis.
“I don’t think they ignored this on purpose, but they didn’t know what to do,” said Michelle Brané, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission, which published a 2012 report highlighting the influx of minors.
* OF COURSE YOU WON'T SAY THEY IGNORED THIS ON PURPOSE! OBAMA'S POLICY GOALS ARE YOUR POLICY GOALS!
“For whatever reason, there was hesitation to address the root causes.
* AGAIN... FOLKS... UNDERSTAND: THIS IS HOW THE MEDIA WORKS. THEY'RE LIKE LAWYERS. THEY PICK PEOPLE TO INTERVIEW WHO THEY KNOW BASICALLY WHAT THEY'LL SAY! THE OBJECTIVE IS TO PROTECT OBAMA AS FAR AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE WITHOUT MAKING IT TOO OBVIOUS YOU'RE IN THE TANK... SO... "COVER" MICHELLE BRANE... LET HER DO IT FOR YOU!
I think the administration was dealing with it at a minimal scale, putting a Band-Aid on something they should have been thinking about holistically.”
* MEANING OF COURSE THAT "THEY MUST HAVE HAD THE BEST OF INTENTIONS..."
(*SPITTING ON THE GROUND*)
Until recently, the number of Central American children crossing into the United States illegally was below 5,000 a year and was not considered a major problem among the many issues federal agents were dealing with at the Mexican border.
* AND YET...
In Texas and in Central America, officials viewed the situation with greater alarm.
In April 2012, the first ladies of Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala voiced their concerns at a conference in Washington on unaccompanied minors. “The statistics are worrisome,” said Guatemala’s Rosa María Leal de Pérez.
* SO... GUATEMALA'S ROSA MARIE LEAL DE PEREZ KNEW MORE THAN... er... BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA... AND... THEN-SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON?
A week later, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) wrote a blistering letter to Obama, citing a 90% increase over the previous year in the number unaccompanied minors arriving from Central America.
* RICK PERRY KNEW ABOUT IT... BUT BARACK OBAMA DIDN'T... HILLARY CLINTON DIDN'T?
If the president failed “to take immediate action to return these minors to their countries of origin and prevent and discourage others from coming here, the federal government is perpetuating the problem,” Perry wrote.
* THIS IS THE SPRING OF 2012... MORE THAN TWO YEARS AGO...
“Every day of delay risks more lives. Every child allowed to remain encourages hundreds more to attempt the journey.”
Inside the Obama administration, officials at the Department of Homeland Security were focusing most of their efforts on adults. Janet Napolitano, then secretary of homeland security, implored her counterparts in Mexico to increase border security to reduce the flow. U.S. immigration and border patrol officials created new processing centers, according to current officials and others familiar with the issue.
* FOLKS... THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT WANTS THESE PEOPLE TO GET ACROSS OUR BORDER! THEY ASSIST THESE PEOPLE IN GETTING ACROSS OUR BORDER! DOES ANYONE BELIEVE NAPOLITANO WASN'T AWARE OF THIS...?!?! (DOES ANYONE BELIEVE THE WASHINGTON POST REPORTERS AND EDITORS AREN'T AWARE OF THIS...?!?!)
The agency responsible for the children’s well-being was the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Before the Homeland Security Department was created in 2002, the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service had overseen the handling of minors caught at the border. But under an agreement brokered after immigration rights groups pushed to transfer the responsibility to a non-law-enforcement agency, the 2002 law gave the job to HHS, starting the following year.
* FUCKIN' BUSH...
Furthermore, the 2008 anti-trafficking law required Homeland Security to turn over unaccompanied minors from Central America to HHS within 72 hours. That agency would attempt to place the children with family members in the United States — or in temporary shelters — until they were summoned to appear before an immigration judge.
Numerous people familiar with the operations said HHS struggled to fulfill its role as the number of children began to rise in 2012.
* SURPRISE, SURPRISE!
The agency rushed to set up temporary shelters at YMCAs, churches and other community centers. In April 2012, a plan to house 200 children at unused dormitories at Lackland Air Force Base drew denunciations from immigrant rights groups.
* FOLKS... THINK ABOUT HOW INSANE THIS IS! CHILDREN... ADULTS... WHY WERE THEY ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTRY TO BEGIN WITH? WHY WERE THEY NOT DEEMED MEXICO'S PROBLEM!? AFTER ALL... WE'RE TALKING EITHER MEXICANS OR CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICANS WHOM THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT ALLOWED TO TRANSVERSE THEIR TERRITORY!
HHS officials defended their performance in 2012...
* OF COURSE THEY DID...
(*ROLLING MY EYES*)
...and as the crisis has escalated in recent months.
* NEVER LET A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE. (FOLKS... HHS LOOKS UPON THIS WHO HUMAN TRAGEDY AS AN ENHANCED FUNDING OPPORTUNITY! WHAT DO YOU SUPPOSE THEIR SHARE OF THE $3.7 BILLION OBAMA HAS REQUESTED COMES TO?)
Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, said the agency has responded by expanding shelter capacity and reducing the amount of time children spend in HHS-funded shelters before being matched with families or sponsors while their cases are pending. “We have made progress in both areas, though significant work remains,” Wolfe said.
* SO "PROGRESS" IS DELAYING DEPORTATION AND INCREASING DEFICIT SPENDING...
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
In 2011, HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement had a budget of $149 million to shelter and care for the foreign children. By 2013, it had grown to $376 million, and the Obama administration requested $495 million in its fiscal 2014 budget proposal.
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) said Democrats recognized the urgency but feared that if they raised too much of a public outcry, it would create political blowback for the Obama administration’s push to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul.
House Republicans had refused to move forward on a broader overhaul bill, which would include giving millions of illegal immigrants a chance to gain legal status, arguing that Obama had failed to secure the border.
* OBAMA HAS FAILED TO SECURE THE BORDER...!!!
Democrats worried that the escalating border crisis would help Republicans make a case that the administration’s policies had failed, Roybal-Allard said.
* OBAMA'S POLICIES HAVE SUCCEEDED... IN HELPING TO FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE AMERICA, THAT IS. WHAT DEMOCRATS "FEAR" IS THAT MORE AND MORE AMERICANS ARE STARTING TO "GET" THAT OPEN BORDERS IS WHAT OBAMA WANTS... THAT THIS IS NOT SIMPLY IDEOLOGICAL, BUT IT'S POLITICAL IN THE SENSE THAT THE DEMOCRATS ARE BETTING THE MORE BROWN FUTURE CITIZENS... THE MORE BROWN FUTURE VOTERS... THE BETTER FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND SCREW THE COST... SCREW POOR BLACK AND BROWN AMERICAN CITIZENS... SCREW POOR WHITE, YELLOW, AND RED AMERICAN CITIZENS TOO IF THAT'S WHAT IT TAKE TO CREATE A HIGHLY EXPLOITABLE AND SUBMISSIVE "WORKER BEE" POPULATION!
Obama, meanwhile, has ended his push for comprehensive immigration legislation in Congress, announcing that he intends to use his executive authority to amend the nation’s border laws.
* IN ENGLISH: OBAMA IS THREATENING TO ONCE AGAIN ACT AS DICTATOR... ONCE AGAIN TRAMPLE UPON OUR CONSTITUTION... ONCE AGAIN BREAK THE LAW SIMPLY BECAUSE WITH A DEMOCRATIC SENATE... HE CAN.
But the crisis in Texas has complicated that political calculation, with Republicans contending that Obama’s weak enforcement helped create the crisis in the first place.
* "REPUBLICANS CONTENDING..."
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)