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The technical part of the border war isn't cheap and some of it isn't working……

With the administrations latest suspension of the building along the border…..People have begun to take a look at all the high-tech stuff that has been thrown against the problem….

With the GAO in the lead there has been a realization that only thing that the government can count on…

Is Border Patrol officers ‘boots on the ground’….

The Secure Border Initiative Program has been spotty at best……..

The Obama administration’s recent surprise decision to suspend new work on a multibillion-dollar high-tech border control system — the third attempted since 1997 — raises further questions about the government’s use of computer networks and sensors in an effort to seal the border with Mexico.

As part of a broad illegal immigration crackdown called the Secure Border Initiative, a seamless “virtual fence” launched in 2005 was supposed to be up and running by last year. Among other things, the project known as SBInet called for a vast surveillance system along the 2,000-mile Southwestern border capable of detecting immigrants, drug traffickers, and potential terrorists as they attempted to cross into the United States.

But at the current slow pace of construction, SBInet would take decades to complete. Only a 28-mile-long prototype is fully up and running in Arizona, to mixed reviews.

In March, shortly before the House Homeland Security Committee met to discuss SBInet, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that $50 million in planned stimulus spending on the project had been diverted to other border protection initiatives. That marked a sharp turnabout for the Obama administration, which had professed strong support for the effort.

Napolitano, a former Arizona governor who backed using such technological solutions on the border during her nomination process, saidthat SBInet “has been plagued with cost overruns and missed deadlines.” It also has been marked by technical problems and poor government planning, according to congressional testimony and independentinvestigations by watchdogs like the Government Accountability Office.

The lead contractor on the project, Boeing Co., has earned $615 million so far. Company officials declined requests from the Center for Investigative Reporting to comment on SBInet. Officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection also would not answer questions about the project.

The problems with SBInet represent what critics call the federal government’s history of overreliance on speculative technology sold at great cost to taxpayers. Washington has spent some $800 million on SBInet. When earlier failed border technology projects are included, the price tag jumps to $1.1 billion, according to figures released during congressional hearings.

Some lawmakers now are questioning whether SBInet should be abandoned.

“At least $800 million so far has been wasted,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) fumed in an Aprilhearing. “Think of how that money could have been spent to try to improve our border security. There’s been a lack of oversight; there’s been a lack of accountability, and by most reports, this virtual fence has been a complete failure.”

Backers say that bugs in SBInet technology are being ironed out and the prototype is beginning to produce results, including the apprehension of intruders. Still, the continued march of illegal immigrants into the United States, despite the Secure Border Initiative, has undoubtedly set back efforts at comprehensive immigration reform and perhaps will lead other states to follow the example of Arizona, where a tough new immigration law has triggered protests across the country.

Years in the Making

High-tech border surveillance took on a new sense of urgency in the wake of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Concerns about immigration and national security merged in a campaign for an array of cameras, sensors, and computer technology that would alert border protection officials when intruders were detected.

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May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Computers, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Travel | , , , , | 5 Comments

The technical part of the border war isn’t cheap and some of it isn’t working……

With the administrations latest suspension of the building along the border…..People have begun to take a look at all the high-tech stuff that has been thrown against the problem….

With the GAO in the lead there has been a realization that only thing that the government can count on…

Is Border Patrol officers ‘boots on the ground’….

The Secure Border Initiative Program has been spotty at best……..

The Obama administration’s recent surprise decision to suspend new work on a multibillion-dollar high-tech border control system — the third attempted since 1997 — raises further questions about the government’s use of computer networks and sensors in an effort to seal the border with Mexico.

As part of a broad illegal immigration crackdown called the Secure Border Initiative, a seamless “virtual fence” launched in 2005 was supposed to be up and running by last year. Among other things, the project known as SBInet called for a vast surveillance system along the 2,000-mile Southwestern border capable of detecting immigrants, drug traffickers, and potential terrorists as they attempted to cross into the United States.

But at the current slow pace of construction, SBInet would take decades to complete. Only a 28-mile-long prototype is fully up and running in Arizona, to mixed reviews.

In March, shortly before the House Homeland Security Committee met to discuss SBInet, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that $50 million in planned stimulus spending on the project had been diverted to other border protection initiatives. That marked a sharp turnabout for the Obama administration, which had professed strong support for the effort.

Napolitano, a former Arizona governor who backed using such technological solutions on the border during her nomination process, saidthat SBInet “has been plagued with cost overruns and missed deadlines.” It also has been marked by technical problems and poor government planning, according to congressional testimony and independentinvestigations by watchdogs like the Government Accountability Office.

The lead contractor on the project, Boeing Co., has earned $615 million so far. Company officials declined requests from the Center for Investigative Reporting to comment on SBInet. Officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection also would not answer questions about the project.

The problems with SBInet represent what critics call the federal government’s history of overreliance on speculative technology sold at great cost to taxpayers. Washington has spent some $800 million on SBInet. When earlier failed border technology projects are included, the price tag jumps to $1.1 billion, according to figures released during congressional hearings.

Some lawmakers now are questioning whether SBInet should be abandoned.

“At least $800 million so far has been wasted,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) fumed in an Aprilhearing. “Think of how that money could have been spent to try to improve our border security. There’s been a lack of oversight; there’s been a lack of accountability, and by most reports, this virtual fence has been a complete failure.”

Backers say that bugs in SBInet technology are being ironed out and the prototype is beginning to produce results, including the apprehension of intruders. Still, the continued march of illegal immigrants into the United States, despite the Secure Border Initiative, has undoubtedly set back efforts at comprehensive immigration reform and perhaps will lead other states to follow the example of Arizona, where a tough new immigration law has triggered protests across the country.

Years in the Making

High-tech border surveillance took on a new sense of urgency in the wake of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Concerns about immigration and national security merged in a campaign for an array of cameras, sensors, and computer technology that would alert border protection officials when intruders were detected.

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Computers, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Travel | , , , , | 5 Comments

Rand Paul news: Embraced by Mitch McConnell ….TalkandPolitcs……

While Republican Chairman Michael Steele clashed this weekend – Senate Minory Leader Mitch McConnell (who endorsed Pauls opponent Trey Greyson for the primary may 18th) now endorses last weeks statements by Kentucky Teaparty candidate for Senator Rand Paul.

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who had endorsed Grayson in the primary race, called for Republicans to unify behind Paul in the general election and to reach out to Democrats.

“Dr. Rand Paul’s message can win this election,” McConnell said.

From the DailyKos

In the few days since Paul became Kentucky’s Republican senatorial nominee, his message has been … before he went into hiding from the national media, that is …  that businesses should be able to discriminate based on skin color, that making buildings accessible to the disabled is too much of a hardship, that the minimum wage could cause unemployment, and of course that the government should leave poor British Petroleum alone.

Which message does Mitch McConnell think is a winner?

More……..

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Other Things | , , | 4 Comments

Obama wishes for more control over the budget….Congress not likely to give it……

All President’s get to that point where they would like to wrestle more control over the budget from the Congressmen over at the Hill…

Don’t hold your breath Mr. President…

As Defense Secretary Gates knows well….

When congress wants something…

They usually get it…..

And that’s the way the framers of this country laid it out…..

President Obama wants more control over the country’s budget, and plans to ask Congress for it this week.

Obama will be requesting an alternative to the line-item veto known as rescission, which would give him — and future presidents — the power to submit a package of changes to spending bills that Congress would be required to vote on, up or down.

The Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act of 2010 would be the latest attempt by a president for more spending control since the line item veto was struck down as unconstitutional in 1998. Since then, presidents have urged Congress to give them what most governors have.

But members of Congress in both parties are reticent to give away what they see as one of their most prized responsibilities — control over the spending. That makes the Obama proposal a tough climb on Capitol Hill…..

More……..



May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Projections, The Economy, Updates | , | 2 Comments

Bill Clinton joins the effort to get an American World Cup Soccer Championship in America in 2012 or 2018….

Mr. Clinton

And the former president can still kick a soccer ball……

When President Bill Clinton came onto the field at the Children’s Aid Society on 118th Street in Harlem on Monday, May 17, Juan Pablo Angel, the star of the New York Red Bulls, rolled toward him one of the soccer balls that he had just been using in a clinic for 30 local schoolchildren. Instead of picking the ball up and carrying it to the podium to convey that Mr. Clinton had accepted an invitation to join the USA Bid Committee, as honorary chairman, to bring the FIFA World Cup to the United States in 2018 or 2012, the former president adjusted his stride and struck the ball back to the center of the field. Mr. Angel kicked it back again, and Mr. Clinton returned it, this time with more oomph.

“His first touch wasn’t so good, so I gave him another chance,” Mr. Angel joked.

Mr. Clinton huddled away from the media with the some of the other Red Bulls before going over to shake the hands of the kids. He could be seen lifting his knee repeatedly in the air, looking like an excited but debonair flamingo.

“He was saying that Pele years ago had shown him how to stand on one leg and kind of juggle the ball with his thigh,” Chris Albright, a Red Bulls defender, explained later. He said Pele was shocked at how well he did, and the president responded, ‘Hey, I’m not that old. I’ve still got some left in me.'”

Although Mr. Clinton did not play soccer growing up in Arkansas, his daughter, Chelsea, was on a team by the age of 5. At the podium, he expressed his many emotional connections to the beautiful game and made the case for why the World Cup should come back to the United States and what it could do for the culture and economy……..

More……..

Note….It will be tough getting a American venue…..Soccer is a game unto itself and American politics is opposite the game which embraces a large amount countries whose political leans are 180 degrees from this country….

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Entertainment, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Projections, Sports, Travel, Updates | , , | 2 Comments

This week in Congress…The Line up……

From the Hill…….

Monday, May 24

— The House Rules Committee is scheduled to pick up the tax extenders bill. House floor action could begin as early as Tuesday, and the Senate would take up the bill after that.

— At 3 p.m. the Senate will proceed to H.R. 4899, the $58.8 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act.

— At 5:30 p.m. the Senate will vote on two Republican motions to instruct conferees in advance of bicameral talks on Wall Street reform. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) hopes to finish the supplemental spending bill early next week and then move on to a package of expiring tax provisions expected to cost nearly $200 billion. Reid said both items need to pass the Senate by Memorial Day.

— The Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan holds a hearing at 9:30 a.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on preventing contract fraud and waste.

Tuesday, May 25

— The Senate Armed Services Committee begins marking up its version of the fiscal year 2011 Defense authorization bill. House authorizers last weekapproved hundreds of millions of dollars in spending the White House and Pentagon say is unnecessary and unaffordable, setting up what could be a protracted standoff.

— The Joint Economic Committee meets at 10:30 a.m. for a hearing on the recession’s impact on young workers.

— The Senate Energy and Natural Resources and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees hold hearings on issues related to the Gulf oil spill at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.

— Obama will be in California for a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in San Francisco. Obama headlined three fundraisers for Boxer in Los Angeles on April 19.

— Only one primary tonight after last week’s madness. In Idaho, several Republicans are fighting for the right to face Rep. Walter Minnick (D-Idaho), who’s a top GOP target. This race has seen some interesting dynamics. The favored Republican candidate, Vaughn Ward, has seen his momentum slowed after several campaign errors while Minnick is the only Democrat endorsed by the Tea Party.

Wednesday, May 26

— The House Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on the Gulf oil spill at 10 a.m. (A second is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m.)

— The Senate Health, Education, and Pensions (HELP) Committee meets at 10 a.m. to mark up Rosa’s Law, Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s (D-Md.) bill to eliminate the use of the word “retarded” in federal law.

Thursday, May 27

— The House is expected to take up the 2011 defense authorization bill.

— The House Judiciary Committee meets at 10 a.m. for a hearing on legal liability issues and the Gulf spill.

— Obama also welcomes the NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion Duke Blue Devils to the White House.

— Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) will be signing copies of his memoirTeaching the Pig to Dance: A Memoir of Growing Up and Second Chances at the Barnes and Noble at Tyson’s Corner.

More……..…. Non-Congressional functions have been omitted…..Except for the Duke shout out………Check the link for the FULL list…


May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , | Leave a comment

Who do want to replace Megan Fox in the Transformers 3?

Now that Director Michael Bay has revealed that she won’t be back…..check this New York Daily News collage out and run thru their choices and pick yours……

Megan Fox from Transformers Wallpapers

Now that Fox is no longer the flavor of the week, who should replace her as Shia LeBeouf’s love interest? The News takes a look at the list of actresses up for the coveted role, according to TheWrap.com

Check this link out…..if you go Here…………. there are 9 different choices that superimposed on the picture above….Make your Choice!

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Entertainment, Fiction, Media, Movies, PoliticalDog Calls, Projections, Updates, Women | , | 3 Comments

Andrew Cuomo Reader…..

Morning Read: Cuomo Aims at Albany

Keep up with the stories about Newly announced Democratic nominee for New York State Governor!

From the Observer….

Day 1 is too late to change Albany, Andrew Cuomo campaign aides say.

Ed Koch predicts Sheldon Silver will help Andrew Cuomo, or there’ll be “war.”

Gershman: “Despite Mr. Cuomo’s blistering attacks on their performance and ethics, Democratic state lawmakers have rallied behind the attorney general’s candidacy.”

Seifman: “Andrew Cuomo spent his first day on the campaign trail yesterday warning that legislators who won’t embrace sweeping reforms in Albany had better start thinking of new careers.”

Ravitch: “I’m not getting involved in the campaign. I’ve got a budget to get done.”

The headline on Fred Dicker’s column about Cuomo refers to “destiny’s child.”

Cuomo’s inner circle includes Jennifer Cunningham.

Odato: “Teacher and public employee union officials said they are not jumping to endorse Cuomo.”

Cuomo “declined to say whether Sheldon Silver, the powerful Assembly speaker, should remain in his job.”

New York Post: Please, Andrew: Take great care with your lieutenant-governor selection.”

Daily News: Cuomo’s “biggest opponents” are “the 139 fellow Democrats” in Albany. Also, Cuomo “must reject” the WFP’s endorsement.

New York Times: Democrats should add every AG candidate to the ballot.

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Entertainment, Family, Government, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Projections, Travel, Updates | , | 5 Comments

Celebrities are dealing with their weight……on Cable TV……

Kirstie Alley

[ Actress Kirstie Alley weighs in with her assistant Kyle, right, and friend Jim in a scene from the reality series “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life. ]

Yep…..

Make money on your problems…..

But the best thing is that they ARE putting it out there……

On the A&E show ” Kirstie Alley’s Big Life,” the star sits in bed, working on her laptop and talking to her kids about her weight. “Does it upset you that I’m fat?” she asks them. “No,” they both reply, the end of the word going up slightly the way it does in uncomfortable situations.

“Slightly?” she says. “It’s never embarrassing?”

The kids — 17-year-old son True and 15-year-old daughter Lillie — look down and say no again.

“You’re not — ” True begins, and Alley finishes his sentence: ” — circus fat?”


Welcome to the era of the fat celebrity. No longer is it shameful, shocking or a career killer for the famous to make weight struggles the centerpiece of their lives. In fact, they’re making money off of it.

And we can’t get enough.

In addition to Alley’s show, we have:

• ” Carnie Wilson: Unstapled,” in which cameras follow the singer/performer/author as she goes about her life. They chronicle, among other things, her efforts to lose the weight she gained after bariatric surgery and after giving birth to two children. She complains to her trainer that stretching hurts, frets to her sex therapist that she doesn’t feel desirable and worries that her young daughter Lola is becoming a little too fond of sugar.

• “Celebrity Fit Club,” a reality show that pits a bottomless pool of chubby D-list notables against each one another to see who can drop the most pounds through rigorous diet and exercise. Put through their paces by tough-but-lovable trainer Harvey Walden IV, some lose weight, some maintain and a few actually gain weight during the show.

• “My Footprint,” a new book by actor and comedian Jeff Garlin, who plays Larry David’s portly friend and manager on ” Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

More……..

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Entertainment, Food, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Updates, Women | , , | Leave a comment

Don't Ask…Don't Tell…..This week….Or Gates gets his hold till December?

In another tug of war with Defense Secretary Gates….

Congress has to decide whether it will overrule Gates request to put the policy issue off until December…when Gates gets a policy assessment back…

Or…

Move ahead and attach a repeal of the policy in a Defense spending authorization bill by the end of this week…..

The White House…as in the beginning of the Healthcare battle is mum on the subject….

Stay tuned for more……

The Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to vote by the end of the week on an amendment to the annual defense spending bill that would end “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which Congress passed in 1993. Chairman Carl M. Levin(D-Mich.) favors a repeal, but it is unclear whether he has enough votes, with six senators on the panel considered undecided, legislative sources said.

The House is expected to vote on a similar measure this week, based on a repeal proposal sponsored by Rep. Patrick J. Murphy (D-Pa.), an Iraq war veteran. The House Armed Services Committee declined to act on Murphy’s bill in passing its version of the defense spending measure last week, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has told gay advocacy groups that she will allow a floor vote if there is enough support in favor of a repeal.

“This is our ‘all hands on deck’ moment,” said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which represents gays who have been drummed out of the armed forces. “For repeal to succeed, it is critical that all proponents for full repeal weigh in now, including the White House. We are only a few days away from this historic vote.”

In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama called on Congress to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have subsequently told Congress that they support allowing gays to serve openly, raising hopes among advocates who have fought against the law for years.

Since then, however, momentum has stalled, with Congress slow to act amid conflicting signals from the White House on how to proceed.

In his January speech, Obama said he would work with Congress to repeal the law “this year.” But the White House has also lent support to an April 30 letter from Gates and Mullen to Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, urging lawmakers not to lift the ban until after the Defense Department has finished a study on how to integrate gays in the military. That study is scheduled to be completed by December.

“They’re not pushing now,” said J. Alexander Nicholson III, executive director of Servicemembers United, an association of gay active-duty troops and veterans. “Every shred of evidence we have about what the White House wants is that they are going to wait until next year.”

Supporters of ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” say they are lining up behind a measure that would repeal the law but not take effect until late next year, after the military finishes its integration study. Some lawmakers had called for a moratorium on the expulsion of gay service members until then, but that effort has fizzled, Nicholson said.

More……..




May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Updates, Women | , , | Leave a comment