Breaking the Law, Breaking the Law:
Program allows Mexican trucks in U.S.No, no, I said MY safety, not mine safety:
Fri Jan 4, 6:13 PM ET
The Bush administration is going ahead with a controversial pilot program giving Mexican trucks greater access to U.S. highways despite a new law by Congress against it.
The decision to proceed with the four-month-old program, which allows participating Mexican trucking companies to send loads throughout the United States, comes despite language in the recently signed catchall spending bill aimed at blocking it.
The provision, as signed by President Bush last month, says: "None of the funds made available under this act may be used to establish a cross-border motor carrier demonstration program to allow Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the commercial zones along the international border between the United States and Mexico."
"They know what the law says," retorted Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who won a 74-24 vote to block the program. "And they're not above the law." Dorgan warned they better follow the law.
Stickler back in at MSHAGo picture yourself:
January 05, 2008
Marion County native Richard Stickler is back in as chief of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, the White House announced Friday afternoon.
President Bush has designated Stickler as acting Assistant Secretary of Labor in charge of MSHA, according to a prepared statement. The move comes after Stickler’s biographical information was removed from the MSHA Web site and after a top MSHA aide was briefly named acting assistant secretary.
Typically, the MSHA post requires Senate confirmation, but Stickler took office as a result of a “recess appointment” made by Bush in October 2006, when Congress was out of session.
“This was not what the Senate had in mind when it last revisited the Vacancies Act,” Byrd said. “I will be taking a close look at that measure to ensure this decision is consistent with the spirit and letter of the law.”
Portrait Cost Indian Museum $48,500
Senators, Trustees Question Spending By Former Director
Friday, January 4, 2008
W. Richard West Jr., the founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, spent $48,500 in museum funds to commission a portrait of himself.
[Brian Henderson, who served on the museum board from 2000 until this week ... a Merrill Lynch investment banker of Apache descent] said in his e-mail: "You must not forget the extraordinary effort made by all tribes to raise money, including lunch allowances given up by youngsters at levels of pennies/dimes, to help meet the quota for the building of the Museum itself. Rick's behavior and that of his 'superiors' smacks of insensitivity at best and arrogance at worst."
"I was pressured by then Director for Development, Elizabeth Duggal, to help subsidize the events in Venice and I contributed $5,000 of my own to in effect, pay for $1,000 a night stay for Rick West !!!!" Henderson wrote. Reflecting on all his donations over the years, he added: "I could have sent at least 25 deserving Indian students for a four year degree program anywhere in the US, or funded a wellness center or two on the Rez, or a sports program in many of the needy schools."
The museum spent $124,000 on going-away activities for West, including $30,000 to produce an eight-minute DVD biography.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak