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Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Saturday, May 17, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

The Department of Veterans Affairs, now under siege nationwide for redefining dysfunctional bureaucracy and government lying, has spent nearly half-a-billion dollars solely on office makeovers under the Obama administration, reports The Washington Free Beacon. That included nearly $383,000 for window shades in Pittsburgh, installed in January as the VA was embroiled in a scandal over how it handled a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. Has the VA no shame? ... Writing in Investor's Business Daily, Scott Powell says the real goal of the Obama administration's more stringent clean air regulations is to give the government more direct control of yet another part of the economy. “After successfully bringing more than 30 percent of the U.S. economy — the healthcare and financial services industries — under political control during the first term,” President Obama now wants 10.5 percent more, says Mr. Powell, a senior fellow at Seattle's Discovery Institute. It truly is the kind of behavior that foments revolutions. ... California Gov. Jerry Brown says climate-cluckers' predicted 4-foot rise in sea level would force the multibillion-dollar relocation of Los Angeles International Airport. LAX indeed is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. But given its elevation ranges from 108 feet to 126 feet above sea level, this is one bogus threat. A gubernatorial spokesman told the Los Angeles Times that Mr. Brown “misspoke.” That's one way to put it.

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