Looking Back: About That Canadian Softwood Settlement Money...
Sometimes we're as bad as the mainstream media we criticize, jumping from one Scandal du Jour to the next and then forgetting the one we were so outraged about last week.
Remember back last summer, just before the election in fact (October '06) there was a settlement in the big trade dispute over lumber products between the US and Canada? And the upshot was that a big chunk of $Cn were to be handed out to three groups: Habitat for Humanity, something called the American Forest Foundation, and a newly-to-be-created group called "United States Endowment for Forestry and Communities Inc"?
We were still a tad suspicious but snooping around seemed to indicate that the USEfFaCI (you will I trust forgive me for acronymizing that rather unwieldy name) was to be run by a Mississippi fellow who not only had extensive experience in lumber but was, or at least had been at one point, enough of a Democrat to run for governor of the state on that party's ticket?
So today I ran across an old bookmark of the story released at the time from the US Trade Representative's office and decided to see how the USEfFaCI was coming along.
They aren't. At least not that I can find. Not only does no website exist, they apparently haven't even bought the name to use as a placeholder until they get a site built. (Yeah, just for the record, I know how to both register a URL and build a website. I also work cheap. They should give me a call.) But anyway...
A check of Guidestar.org, the top site for checking up on nonprofit organizations, returns nada. No contributions, no expenditures...again, they appear not to exist.
Now it was made clear at the time of the agreement that there would most likely be a delay until the $Cn was paid out. But it's been six fucking months now and they (we) don't even have the outline of a structure in place to accept the dough when a UPS truck shows up with a few dozen bags of nice freshly minted Loonies and the guy in the cute brown shorts wants somebody to sign for it?
Just askin'. Maybe somebody with a bit more in the way of resources could call up the announced head of the USEfFaCI--that would be, according to the press release linked above, one Dick Molpus, President, (601) 948-8733--and after the usual introductory pleasantries ask just WTF is up and where this dough might presently be located? It's only a one-third share of $450 million, admittedly, but that's spare change under the couch cushions for the administration that managed to misplace $9 billion across another national border.
Like I said, just askin'. Be a shame if somebody took their eye off the ball long enough for this loot to wind up in, oh, say, the pocketbook of Mary Matalin at the Scooter Libby Legal Defense Fund or anything like that.