Thursday, March 30, 2006

Congress wastes another pay day....

Gawd, I hate to even re-enter this issue since my teeth and gums are raw from all the gritting in the weeks before!

But, as usual, it's another wasted pay day for our elected officials as they work to tie the hands of the shipping industry to appease their hysteria and Arab-phobias. Now we can brace ourselves for the cascade of economic repercussions from their ill-thought out nonsense. And how appropriate this appears in Yahoo News... news about yahoos.

Both House and Senate committees have approved bills INRE port security and CFIUS, and will be sent to the respective floors for further mutilation. Also as usual, the Senate bill seeks to give the power-hungry, monolithic egotist electees more control over future purchases between private business.

Under the bill, the president could suspend or block a transaction if it is deemed to threaten or impair national security. And the review panel would have to notify congressional committees and the House and Senate leadership of proposed deals and its investigations of them.

Similar legislation is expected to be discussed in the House Financial Services Committee in the next few weeks. Several industry groups, including Wall Street investment houses, banks and insurers, have lobbied against the Senate bill, contending it could lead to harmful barriers to foreign investment in the United States.

The House ports security bill, similar to a measure pending in the Senate, would require the Homeland Security Department to lay out a timetable — and meet its targets — for putting radiation portal monitors at U.S. seaports that don't have them.

Overseas, the bill would require the Homeland Security Department to assess the security implications associated with foreign ports that want to participate in a U.S. program designed to allow the agency to examine high-risk cargo before it reaches the United States.

First of all... duh wuh. President already has power to nix a sale that would negatively affect our national security. However Congress doesn't, and that's part of their beef. So they've fixed that by including themselves in the process for the future. I haven't seen the language, but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't grant themselves veto power.

Something else that's fascinating. They want to spend beaucoup bucks putting in radiation portal monitors in the US ports. Hummm... isn't that for outbound cargo needs? And if they're concerned a terrorist can plant an explosive devise on the ship prior to it's departure, wouldn't it be "tough and smart" to improve tighter port entry IDs and access instead??

It might also be noted that we already have security/terminal agreements to inspect "high risk" cargo in ports of origin. Many of these places - alot of them DP World - already have the radiation monitoring systems that we are usuing. Fact is, had DP World secured the US ports, radiation monitoring equipment would have been provided to the US ports on their nickel, and not the taxpayers'.

Allow me to be the first to say, "thank you, Congress... you putzes. Do me a favor... DON'T HELP!"

Considering our highest risk is not the outbound traffic, but the inbound, what exactly is it that Congress is doing besides trying to bring shipping efficiency to a halt by suggesting 100% of cargo is examined in foreign ports?

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