Two expenditures by the administration sure to raise hackles.
First, from Information Week:
Despite President Obama's pledge to retain more hi-tech jobs in the U.S., a federal agency run by a hand-picked Obama appointee has launched a $36 million program to train workers, including 3,000 specialists in IT and related functions, in South Asia.
Following their training, the tech workers will be placed with outsourcing vendors in the region that provide offshore IT and business services to American companies looking to take advantage of the Asian subcontinent's low labor costs.
Under [USAID] director Rajiv Shah, the United States Agency for International Development will partner with private outsourcers in Sri Lanka to teach workers there advanced IT skills like Enterprise Java (Java EE) programming, as well as skills in business process outsourcing and call center support. USAID will also help the trainees brush up on their English language proficiency.
USAID is contributing about $10 million to the effort, while its private partners are investing roughly $26 million.
Secondly, from Pajamas Media:
Our state department is financing a trip to the Middle East oil rich nations by the imam who wishes to build the 15 story Cordoba House mosque near the ruins of the WTC. It is suspected the trip is to raise money for this outrage to the memory of those who perished on 9/11.
"Next stops for Feisal Abdul Rauf, imam of the plan for a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero: Courtesy of the U.S. State Department, Rauf - a.k.a. Imam Feisal - is scheduled to spend the rest of the summer on a swing through the petro-dollar palaces of Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, and Qatar.
Rauf's summer itinerary suggests odd priorities for a man who, in the name of harmony and bridge-building, has stirred up a furious debate in the U.S. - and then quietly left the country last month, leaving many questions unanswered about such matters as where and how he plans to raise the $100 million he'll need to realize his dream of a high-rise Islamic hub right up the street from where the Twin Towers stood.
Neither Rauf nor the State Department seems eager to publicize his summer trip to Saudi Arabia and points nearby, though his tour appears imminent - as in, he'll probably be touching down in the Middle East this coming week, and he's not due back till early September.