FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Our government is broken. The Department of Homeland Security still has not installed a single airport scanner paid for by Pres. Obama's economic stimulus bill more than one year ago.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/23/art.tsa.jpg caption="Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA)"]
$25 million was set aside to buy the kind of screening machines that would be able to detect the explosives that the Christmas Day bomber carried on him.
Politico reports it took Homeland Security seven months just to order the 150 screening machines. Seven months. The company that builds the scanners says they've since delivered more than 100 of them to the transportation security administration - and now they're sitting somewhere in storage.
By way of an explanation, Homeland Security spokeswoman Amy Kudwa says they're "very actively working on a deployment plan." A deployment plan? Like put them at the airports?
TSA spokesman James Fotenos says it is "In the process of accepting delivery of the initial 150 units purchased," and that it is "staging for their deployment," whatever the hell that means. He also says they're "working closely with airports to install these units."
Some of the nation's busiest airports still don't have these scanners, including New York's JFK and LaGuardia, Chicago's O'Hare and Washington's Dulles. The machines are in storage.
Here's the height of government arrogance and dysfunction. To mark the anniversary of the stimulus bill, Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano inspected a scanner at Washington's national airport. They've been in use there for more than a year.
She also trumpeted the $25 million spent on the 150 additional scanners - but failed to mention of course that not a single one of them is in use yet.
Late this afternoon, in response to the embarrassing nature of this story, a Homeland Security official said they think they can get these scanners installed by the end of June.
Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if the government hasn't installed a single airport scanner paid for more than one year ago with stimulus money?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Edward in Maine writes:
It means no one is serious about security. They can do laughable things like make little old ladies take off their shoes but real security takes effort. The real problem is apathy brought on by the fact no one will be fired if it doesn't get done.
Parker in West Hartford, Connecticut writes:
Jack, Our country is in shambles. If we had a terror attack, all they would do is point fingers… I'm sick of it. This is not the kind of government that I wanted. Hopefully we'll see some change after the election.
Just another example of why we don't want the government to run health care. Each government entity is so quick to commit to spend America's money but there seems to be no follow through. In this case, Janet Napolitano should be terminated. The buck has to stop somewhere.
What does it mean? It means nothing has changed, regardless of the word "Change" being shouted from the mountaintops of Washington throughout 2008 and 2009. It's gotten to the point where I'm actually considering Ron Paul as a viable option, which speaks volumes for our situation.
Julia in Dallas writes:
It means business as usual in Washington. Never finish anything and what’s worse, not care whether it is finished or not. The only one coming out ahead on this deal is the storage company getting rental payments.
This is the same administration that wants us to trust the national health care system and job creation programs in their hands. Simply astounding.
Yesterday you asked if the government was broken beyond repair. This story is your answer.