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Wednesday, January 10

New Congress' New Bill Faces Scrutiny

Vill zee new bill protect zee homeland?

The new congress passed their first bill, a security bill, yesterday which most likely will be stalled in the senate. There are concerns that requiring cargo inspections would be too costly and unfeasible.
The measure would provide better communications equipment for emergency workers, more money for high-risk areas, strengthen the sharing of U.S. intelligence information with local authorities and seek to reduce radicalism with efforts overseas to promote development and education.

The House also approved a resolution to create an intelligence oversight panel, in line with the commission's call for greater congressional oversight.
On this morning's cover of Newsday, there is Bloomberg, NYC Mayor, complaining to legislators that NYC is the greatest terrorist target and that anti-terrorism funding is "spread across the country like peanut butter." Indeed.
"One town spent some of its share on a custom-built trailer for its October mushroom festival," Bloomberg told the Senate Homeland Security Committee in its first hearing under Democratic control. "Al-Qaida must be laughing all the way to their tents. Meanwhile New York City -- which has enormous needs, which has been attacked before, has been targeted many times since and will most likely be targeted again -- goes wanting."
The bill does however give more money to NYC and Long Island this time. As you may recall, NYC was shunned the last time homeland security doled out money to various country fairs across the nation and little to NY claiming that NYC had no monuments.

No offense to Minnesota, and I love Minnesotans, but Norm Coleman needs a reality check:
"There are a lot of areas of great risk, you know, throughout the heartland," said Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.). "In Minnesota, we have the Mall of America. ... Minnesota Wild [hockey team] play at the Xcel Energy Center, a symbol of America."

Joe Lieberman, trying to be friends with both sides suggested that rather than talking about how to divide the pot, ought to argue about the size of the pot. The 9/11 Commission did not suggest that every single state get anti-terrorist funding however.

One of the problems that plagued the overcrowded and dense NYC on 9/11 was the communication problem between rescue workers. Congress aimed to fix that, BUT
Bloomberg also asked Congress to scrap rules that bar the city from reimbursement for a new wireless emergency communications system because it does not operate on specified frequencies.

"This restriction punishes us for our aggressiveness in protecting our city," he said. " ... We're building it on a frequency that works best in the subways, skyscrapers and density of our urban environment. For Congress to move forward on their plan without making sure New York City is part of it is just the height of foolishness."
Yeah, really. Come on.

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