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Gender: Female
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member since: Mon Dec 13, 2004, 02:55 AM
Number of posts: 12,232

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TSA and Border Patrol both received funding increases

This at a time when so many areas face local, state and federal cutbacks.

With the money increasingly being diverted to this security economy comes the continued branching out of these agencies actions in order to justify the money.

TSA Funding Up in 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act

By: Mickey McCarter

12/29/2011 ( 4:00am)

Although overall appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are down slightly this year from Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) remains a consistent winner in the battle of the budget.

In the FY 2012 consolidated spending act (Public Law 112-074) signed by President Barack Obama last Friday, TSA received about $7.85 billion, up $153 million from 2011. TSA and US Customs and Border Protection, perhaps two of the three most visible DHS agencies along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, both received increases although the total DHS budget dropped to $39.6 billion in base discretionary funding in FY 2012, down about $111 million from last year.

We've seen it up in WA state with the Border Patrol expanding their territory, stops and even branching out to areas such as 911 dispatching. This even as a whistle blower noted they are having to create work to spend the $$$.



edited to add:

Think Arizona is bad for immigrants? Try our Olympic Peninsula
"Do you have your papers?" As if Forks were in Eastern Europe 60 years ago.

Yes, a total Shock Doctrine set up with Issa a central player

Some other key points from the Democracy Now article:

AMY GOODMAN: What about the role of unions? And do you think there is a role being played here, and the push for privatization?

CHUCK ZLATKIN: Well, the unions are an important factor, because part of the reason that it looks so good to privatize is, as they see this business and they’re saying, "Look at this, we’re paying close to 600,000 workers a living wage, benefits and retirement package. Well, if we could break the union and eliminate that, we could bring in people, at-will workers for an hourly wage with no benefits, and that money could go to, not the American people or costs in government, that would go to profits. This is another situation where working-class people and poor people are being asked to suffer and sacrifice to benefit the rich.


AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly, if the Post Office goes the route of privatization, will the—private companies will be asking for subsidies to deal with, for example, rural areas in this country. And in the end, the U.S. taxpayers will continue to foot the bill, but this will be for private gain.

CHUCK ZLATKIN: Well, yeah, they’ll either ask for subsidies, or they’ll refuse to do it. Universal service will be doomed. They’ll pick and choose the profitable areas to service, and the rest of the people will have to fend for themselves. And I would just ask the people who are concerned about this to come out today to rally in every congressional district in the country. You can go to "Save America’s Postal Service," saveamericaspostalservice.org and find out the location near you. This is about saving an institution for the people who depend upon it.

The info about Donahoe's predecessor, John E.Potter, receiving a huge golden parachute at retirement is also very important, especially in contrast with the cuts the workers are facing and in contrast with the claims about lack of performance of the USPS, given that would have occurred under his leadership.

Add to that, it looks like the changes that were made that led to the enormous pay and retirement package for him (and likely any "CEO of the USPS coming after him) was part of the same onerous 2006 legislation that is crippling the USPS now. And that is a pattern similar to the outsized, unfair and ever increasing corporate differential between CEOs and workers that has been increasing for years now.

See the paragraph about Potter in the Democracy Now piece and then read this article - more at link:


Postmaster General John E. Potter could earn about $5.5 million in deferred compensation, retirement benefits and accrued annual leave for the rest of his life when he leaves the U.S. Postal Service next month, according to financial statements.


A 2006 postal reform law permitted the Postal Service to compensate top executives with more generous pay and benefits packages to help recruit talented outsiders.

But critics note that Potter and other postal executives are career insiders who have seen their salaries rise through the years despite the Postal Service's poor financial performance.

Postal unions also argue that workers are being unfairly asked to make financial concessions while top executives earn six-figure salaries and retirement payouts.

You may want to look at this as well


Again, great job pulling this together.

It's all about killing the union and the idea of secure retirement/pensions for working people and

privatizing public services.

A greedy 3-fer, if you will.

Great job of pulling the pertinent pieces together in your OP and this post.

Kafkaesque ordeal: Innocent Canadian arrested at U.S. border

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - A city bus driver from Vancouver, B.C., who tried to enter the U.S. at the Blaine crossing was arrested and thrown into jail after border officials mistook him for an international fugitive with the same name.

Several days later, the case against the bus driver was dismissed - but not before he spent a "horrendous" night in jail at Bellingham and spent thousands of dollars posting bail and on lawyer's fees to get out of the Kafkaesque jam.

Bus driver Richard Brandow's ordeal began on a trip with a friend to scope out motor homes for sale in Washington state for his pending early retirement.

When he drove up to the checkpoint at Blaine on Feb. 11, he was arrested on a 20-year-old warrant when border officials took him for a man with the same name who is more than a decade his junior.

Much more at link, including info about the computer virus the alleged hacker (the other Richard Brandow) made 20 years ago. Apparently it placed a "peace symbol or peace message" and the hacker's name on the screen - and for that there was a 20 year warrant?

Spanish protest against spending cuts and changes to labour rights


Spain's conservative government faced its first mass protests on Sunday as hundreds of thousands took to the streets to demonstrate against austerity, spending cuts and radical changes to labour rights.

Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square filled for the first time since the "indignant" protesters camped there last May, as people gathered to protest against reforms introduced by prime minister Mariano Rajoy's government.


Unions complained that labour reform would lead to a fresh surge in lay-offs. Rajoy himself has said he expects them to call a general strike soon.

"There has to be a general strike," said Alberto Carrillo, a teacher who protested in Madrid. "They've cut rights, but not said how they plan to create jobs."

Actually, Obama has directly linked Social Security to the deficit

You stated:
Still, it's unlikely that the President has cuts to benefits in mind because he has always stressed that he will protect benefits and that Social Security doesn't contribute to the deficit.

Yet here (I have bolded the sentences for ease of viewing):

June 27, 2010
Remarks by President Obama at G-20 Press Conference in Toronto, Canada

And we have set up this fiscal commission who will provide reports starting in November -- and one of the encouraging things, although there was resistance, ironically, on the part of some of the Republicans who originally had been co-sponsors of legislation to create the fiscal commission and they, in fact, ended up voting against it -- what’s been encouraging, based on what I’m hearing both from Democrats and Republicans, is that there’s been a serious conversation there. People are looking at a whole spectrum of issues to get at what is basically a structural deficit that preceded this financial crisis.

Even if -- the financial crisis made it much worse, but even if we had not gone through this financial crisis, we’d still have to be dealing with these long-term deficit problems. They have to do with Medicaid; they have to do with Medicare; they have to do with Social Security. They have to do with a series of structural problems that are not unique to America. Some of it has to do with an aging population. And we’ve got to look at a tax system that is messy and unfair in a whole range of ways.

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