Multimillion dollar government contracts don’t just happen. Ask the companies with the big government contracts to supply Body-scanning machines to U.S. airports how much more they had to spend on lobbying on the Hill. Not only have they increased their lobbying efforts over the last 5 years, they’re doing it with some very familiar names.
USA Today reports that the companies with the biggest government contracts for body-scanners doubled their lobbying cash over the last five years, and advanced their agenda with lobbyists Linda Daschle, a former FAA official and wife of former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, and former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
L-3 Communications, and lobbyist Linda Daschle, “reported lobbying on nearly two dozen bills, ranging from homeland security appropriations to military construction. Among the bills targeted by L-3 lobbyists: legislation proposed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, that would limit the use of the scanners at airports as a backup measure only.”
After passing in the House in 2009, Chaffetz’s legislation languished in the Senate after an alleged failed attempt to ignite an explosive powder during a Christmas-time flight to Detroit.
Chaffetz acknowledges that the attempted bombing contributed to the bill’s failure, but added “But I also routinely heard that ‘Secretary Chertoff believes this is the right thing to do. Who are you to challenge him?’ ”
Also amid the tensions over the invasive body scanners, and the TSA ‘pat-downs,’ Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole warned against boycotting the airport scans. Citing holiday travelers being delayed by protests during such busy, stressful air travel days, and reminding us of bombers past he pleaded for understanding.
A report adds that despite internet rumors of protest, “There was little if any indication of a passenger revolt Monday at many major U.S. airports, with very few people declining the X-ray scan that can peer through their clothes. Those who refuse are subject to a pat-down search that includes the crotch and chest.”
“Many travelers said that the scans and the pat-down were not much of an inconvenience, and that the stepped-up measures made them feel safer and were, in any case, unavoidable.”
The latest poll of Americans regarding the body-scanners shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans support the new, full-body screening machines, with most adding that they place a “higher priority on combating terrorism than protecting personal privacy, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.”
However, half of all of those polled agreed that those TSA pat-down searches are going just too far.
Women are making Trump ‘melt down’ — or turn tail and run: columnist
President Donald Trump doesn’t like being challenged by any media figures, even if they are conservative white males like Fox News’ Chris Wallace or The Bulwark’s Bill Kristol. But female reporters, in particular, seem to rattle Trump, as journalist Jack Shafer argues in an op-ed published in Politico this week.
Shafer describes a pattern, explaining, “It starts with a reporter, usually a female reporter, asking President Donald Trump hard, tenacious questions at a news conference. Trump’s jaw seizes up, rattled and dumbfounded by the questions that he can’t or won’t answer. He abruptly ends the presser by saying, ‘Thank you very much’ and stalking out of the room.”
‘Silence is complicity’: GOP condemned for doing nothing as Trump openly touts sabotage of postal service
"Donald Trump knows that if the people are heard in November, he and Republicans up and down the ballot will lose," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren. "This is what we're up against—and this is why we have to fight back with all we've got."
Voting rights advocates on Thursday took aim at Republicans in Congress for remaining silent in the face of President Donald Trump's open admission that he is blocking funding for the U.S. Postal Service with the express purpose of stopping an expansion of mail-in ballot access ahead of the November elections.
Mitch McConnell continues to be haunted by this Confederate flag photo – but he says he has no regrets
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell explained the origins of an infamous photograph of himself standing in front of a Confederate flag.
The photo has circulated for years, and it's believed to have originated in the early 1990s at an event held at Big Spring Country Club by the Louisville-based John Hunt Morgan Camp 1342 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, reported the Courier-Journal.