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The 'virtual fence' between Mexico and the United States is done….there will be no more work done on it…..

capt1d35d1605e1643e2843.jpg

Napolitano said the freeze on work beyond two pilot projects in Arizona was pending a broader reassessment. But the move signals a likely death knell for a troubled five-year plan to drape a chain of tower-mounted sensors and other surveillance gear across most of the 2,000-mile southern border.

border-fence.jpg

That vision, initiated in 2006 by President George W. Bush, called for a series of networked cameras, radar and communications gear to help speed the response of U.S. Border Patrol officers to catch illegal immigrants and smugglers over the vast border area. However, the effort has been plagued by technical problems and delays with prime contractor Boeing Corp.

Obama officials embraced the program, known as SBInet, on taking office in 2009, setting out a new five-year timetable for completion. However, the administration last month proposed cutting funding to finish SBInet’s first phase by roughly 30 percent to $574 million, under new congressional questioning about the plan’s feasibility.

In a four-sentence statement, Napolitano said the department will immediately redeploy $50 million of stimulus funds to other technology, including mobile surveillance devices, sensors, radios and laptop computers.

“Not only do we have an obligation to secure our borders, we have a responsibility to do so in the most cost-effective way possible,” Napolitano said. “The system of sensors and cameras along the Southwest border known as SBInet has been plagued with cost overruns and missed deadlines.”

In a statement, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) called SBInet “a grave and expensive disappointment.”

The project which was put into effect by President Bush was over cost and not found to be very effective….

DHS has spent $3.4 billion on border fencing in recent years, completing 640 of a planned 652 miles of fencing and vehicle barriers as part of the Secure Border Initiative. Block 1 of SBInet, the technology portion of the plan, was budgeted to spend $700 million to erect about 50 camera and radio towers on a 28-mile segment south of Tucson and a 30-mile stretch near Ajo, Ariz.

Last year, DHS officials predicted SBInet would cost $6.7 billion to secure the full border, minus a 200-mile span in southwestern Texas that is difficult to cross and expensive to monitor.

The Government Accountability Office, Congress’s audit arm, has found the government rushed to use off-the-shelf equipment without adequate testing. Boeing initially relied on police dispatching software that was not able to process the vast flow of information streaming from the desert, and other technical problems plagued cameras and radar.

SBInet is the federal government’s third attempt to secure the border with technology. Between 1998 and 2005, it spent $429 million on earlier surveillance initiatives that were so unreliable that only 1 percent of alarms led to arrests.

Analysts say technology remains a vital component of efforts to secure the border, a goal that includes combating terrorism, organized crime, drug cartels and illegal immigration. Tightened border security has also been viewed as a prerequisite for winning Senate approval of legislation that would extend legal status to some of an estimated 10.8 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

Federal officials have said their goal was to enable the Border Patrol to detect 70 to 85 percent of incursions with as few as 22,000 to 25,000 officers. The agency has doubled in size over the past decade, to 20,000 officers.

The news will play well for Obama for a very short while …..

But the Bush project was a waste of money …but good political theatre for the right……

The Border patrol numbers are right behind the New York City Police Deapartmenet as the second largest law-eforcemenet agency in the country…….

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Crime, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, Politics, Travel, Updates | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The ‘virtual fence’ between Mexico and the United States is done….there will be no more work done on it…..

capt1d35d1605e1643e2843.jpg

Napolitano said the freeze on work beyond two pilot projects in Arizona was pending a broader reassessment. But the move signals a likely death knell for a troubled five-year plan to drape a chain of tower-mounted sensors and other surveillance gear across most of the 2,000-mile southern border.

border-fence.jpg

That vision, initiated in 2006 by President George W. Bush, called for a series of networked cameras, radar and communications gear to help speed the response of U.S. Border Patrol officers to catch illegal immigrants and smugglers over the vast border area. However, the effort has been plagued by technical problems and delays with prime contractor Boeing Corp.

Obama officials embraced the program, known as SBInet, on taking office in 2009, setting out a new five-year timetable for completion. However, the administration last month proposed cutting funding to finish SBInet’s first phase by roughly 30 percent to $574 million, under new congressional questioning about the plan’s feasibility.

In a four-sentence statement, Napolitano said the department will immediately redeploy $50 million of stimulus funds to other technology, including mobile surveillance devices, sensors, radios and laptop computers.

“Not only do we have an obligation to secure our borders, we have a responsibility to do so in the most cost-effective way possible,” Napolitano said. “The system of sensors and cameras along the Southwest border known as SBInet has been plagued with cost overruns and missed deadlines.”

In a statement, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) called SBInet “a grave and expensive disappointment.”

The project which was put into effect by President Bush was over cost and not found to be very effective….

DHS has spent $3.4 billion on border fencing in recent years, completing 640 of a planned 652 miles of fencing and vehicle barriers as part of the Secure Border Initiative. Block 1 of SBInet, the technology portion of the plan, was budgeted to spend $700 million to erect about 50 camera and radio towers on a 28-mile segment south of Tucson and a 30-mile stretch near Ajo, Ariz.

Last year, DHS officials predicted SBInet would cost $6.7 billion to secure the full border, minus a 200-mile span in southwestern Texas that is difficult to cross and expensive to monitor.

The Government Accountability Office, Congress’s audit arm, has found the government rushed to use off-the-shelf equipment without adequate testing. Boeing initially relied on police dispatching software that was not able to process the vast flow of information streaming from the desert, and other technical problems plagued cameras and radar.

SBInet is the federal government’s third attempt to secure the border with technology. Between 1998 and 2005, it spent $429 million on earlier surveillance initiatives that were so unreliable that only 1 percent of alarms led to arrests.

Analysts say technology remains a vital component of efforts to secure the border, a goal that includes combating terrorism, organized crime, drug cartels and illegal immigration. Tightened border security has also been viewed as a prerequisite for winning Senate approval of legislation that would extend legal status to some of an estimated 10.8 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

Federal officials have said their goal was to enable the Border Patrol to detect 70 to 85 percent of incursions with as few as 22,000 to 25,000 officers. The agency has doubled in size over the past decade, to 20,000 officers.

The news will play well for Obama for a very short while …..

But the Bush project was a waste of money …but good political theatre for the right……

The Border patrol numbers are right behind the New York City Police Deapartmenet as the second largest law-eforcemenet agency in the country…….

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Crime, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, Politics, Travel, Updates | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The White House makes a run at improving “No Child Left Behind”…….

The Obama administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of President Bush’s signature education law, No Child Left Behind, and will call for broad changes in how schools are judged to be succeeding or failing, as well as for the elimination of the law’s 2014 deadline for bringing every American child to academic proficiency.

The Dog is happy to see the Adminstartion try to affect change to this law……

While they will need Congress’s ok to do so something must be done…….The current law has set up a sysytem where children are taught for half of the semester …and ‘teaching to the test’ is the norm for second half of the semester…..where teacher’s, principal’s and school board’s fight feercly to ‘make the grade’ in the Federal School report card numbers…..least they be branded a ‘failing school’…while states and local disrtricts receive no funds to help them correct problems…….

Educators who have been briefed by administration officials said the proposals for changes in the main law governing the federal role in public schools would eliminate or rework many of the provisions that teachers’ unions, associations of principals, school boards and other groups have found most objectionable.

Currently the education law requires the nation’s 98,000 public schools to make “adequate yearly progress” as measured by student test scores. Schools that miss their targets in reading and math must offer students the opportunity to transfer to other schools and free after-school tutoring. Schools that repeatedly miss targets face harsher sanctions, which can include staff dismissals and closings. All students are required to be proficient by 2014.

Educators have complained loudly in the eight years since the law was signed that it was branding tens of thousands of schools as failing but not forcing them to change.

In recent meetings with representatives of education groups, Department of Education officials have said they also want to eliminate the school ratings system built on making “adequate yearly progress” on student test scores.

Amen….This is much welcomed change…and Congress should go along……

February 2, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Education, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

The White House makes a run at improving "No Child Left Behind"…….

The Obama administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of President Bush’s signature education law, No Child Left Behind, and will call for broad changes in how schools are judged to be succeeding or failing, as well as for the elimination of the law’s 2014 deadline for bringing every American child to academic proficiency.

The Dog is happy to see the Adminstartion try to affect change to this law……

While they will need Congress’s ok to do so something must be done…….The current law has set up a sysytem where children are taught for half of the semester …and ‘teaching to the test’ is the norm for second half of the semester…..where teacher’s, principal’s and school board’s fight feercly to ‘make the grade’ in the Federal School report card numbers…..least they be branded a ‘failing school’…while states and local disrtricts receive no funds to help them correct problems…….

Educators who have been briefed by administration officials said the proposals for changes in the main law governing the federal role in public schools would eliminate or rework many of the provisions that teachers’ unions, associations of principals, school boards and other groups have found most objectionable.

Currently the education law requires the nation’s 98,000 public schools to make “adequate yearly progress” as measured by student test scores. Schools that miss their targets in reading and math must offer students the opportunity to transfer to other schools and free after-school tutoring. Schools that repeatedly miss targets face harsher sanctions, which can include staff dismissals and closings. All students are required to be proficient by 2014.

Educators have complained loudly in the eight years since the law was signed that it was branding tens of thousands of schools as failing but not forcing them to change.

In recent meetings with representatives of education groups, Department of Education officials have said they also want to eliminate the school ratings system built on making “adequate yearly progress” on student test scores.

Amen….This is much welcomed change…and Congress should go along……

February 2, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Education, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

The person behind the name Neel Kashkari, who handled $700 Billion for Paul Volker and the United States of America….

The is a behind the scenes piece about Neel Kashkari, the bail-out whiz, appointed to work with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in the waning days of the Bush Administration (he later worked breifly in the Obama administration at  Treasury)….

While we have all trashed the Bush administration’s handling of the economic downfall…Kashkari was there ….deer in the headlights….scared and under huge pressure to produce and thrown in front congress to the heat……

The piece mainly focuses  on Kashari decompressing, back in California after watching a fellow worker experience a heart attack working all nighters to help deal with the financial crisis……

He is portrayed as a real human being who had a job to do and is suffering for it…..along the way he admits…he bad judgements …but it the thanklessness of those days that haunt him…which is why he has tried to get away by living a simple life with his wife back in the boonies in California…

….it hasn’t worked….he still dreams of D.C…..and the pain……

Even though the economy is slowly getting better…….

Note:  He isn’t that detached…while he’s not working now…he is helping Paul Volker write a book…..got to get his fix…anyway he can….

December 6, 2009 Posted by | Government, Politics, The Economy, Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment