One more good find from Rational Enquirer -- and this one, from MSNBC, might be the most infuriating:
A $20 million budget shortfall is forcing cuts at U.S. ports of entry that could impact security, MSNBC.com has learned. The deficit has led officials to make a series of security compromises that include replacing INS inspectors with their less-qualified, lower-paid Customs counterparts on heavily trafficked Sundays and holidays....
“It is imperative that we react quickly at all our locations and that we do not spend money we do not have,” says the July 2 memo written by Denise Crawford, who oversees U.S. Customs and Border Protection field operations in North Florida. Crawford’s memo also notes that, although it’s possible additional money could be found, “any supplemental money that could be allocated will likely fall far short of what we would need based on our current spending levels.”
...In some cases, INS inspectors are simply removed from all overtime work and the port operates short-staffed. In other instances, Customs inspectors are used to fill the jobs typically done by INS personnel.
The sense you get from this story is that some of what's being done is intended, at least in part, to undermine Depression-era pay rules for INS workers -- because, I guess, union-busting is way more important than, you know, preventing another 9/11. Of course, the real question is why we're not committed to paying whatever price is necessary to have the best security we can. But of course we aren't -- this is the Bush administration, after all.
Please read this one.