$100 Million of American Tax Money Heading to Haiti

The world is cringing looking at pictures of the terrible earthquake in Haiti. No one knows for sure, but the death toll could top 100,000. And right now lives are in the balance, as there are folks alive in the rubble.

Already, thousands of American military are going to Haiti trying to save lives and impose some kind of order there. Thursday, President Obama pledged an enormous amount of money.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I'm also announcing an immediate investment of $100 million to support our relief efforts. This will mean more of the life-saving equipment, food, water and medicine that will be needed. This investment will grow over the coming year as we embark on the long-term recovery from this unimaginable tragedy.


Since 1992, the beginning of the Clinton administration, the USA has given Haiti close to $3 billion in assistance. And billions more have been donated by other countries. President Clinton took a personal interest in improving life for the Haitian people, but he failed. And today, his wife knows the pitfalls of the Haitian situation.


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: We have systems in place now to be able to track the money, to hold it accountable, to look for results. We're doing that across the board. I'm revamping our aid system so that I can look you in the eye and the American taxpayer in the eye and say, look, you know, I'm not going to spend a penny unless I have some confidence that it's going to go to the right place.


So why did Bill Clinton and everyone else fail in Haiti? The reason is fairly simple.

There is no central authority there. The police are corrupt. There's no army, and many politicians are thieves. In slums like City Soleil, neighborhoods are run by drug dealers, voodoo priests or common extortionists.

Say relief workers give food and clothing directly to Haitians in need. Odds are as soon as the relief person leaves, a thug will steal the charity from the poor person. Block by block in Haiti, gangsters rule, and the people are powerless to do anything about it. If you fight the criminals, you and your family will be brutalized.

So with the world now focused on a true humanitarian disaster, perhaps it is time to really help the good people of Haiti and have the United Nations impose some discipline there. Yes, we should send aid immediately, but President Obama should not just promise $100 million with no accountability. Every dollar needs to be managed. And if that means the USA calls the shots, "Talking Points" says good. And I believe the Haitian people would say good as well.

The earthquake in Haiti rated 7.0 on the Richter scale, the same as the San Francisco earthquake of 1989 when 62 people died. The death toll in Haiti, as we said, may be hundreds of thousands. Infrastructure is the difference, and money can buy that. But not in Haiti, where billions of dollars have gone right down the drain.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

The tabloid duo of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt seem to be way overexposed. For some reason, Americans love hearing about them. And now the couple has donated $1 million to help the poor people of Haiti in their time of need. Obviously, that is very impressive, so Ms. Jolie and Mr. Pitt are patriots.

Click here to watch "Pinheads & Patriots"!

On the pinhead front, another "you make the call" situation. The star of "24," Kiefer Sutherland, showed up on Letterman Wednesday night in some interesting attire.



LETTERMAN: Lost a bet.

SUTHERLAND: ...over the weekend. I was so sure New England was going to win that I told a guy who used to be my friend that if New England lost, I would wear a dress on "Letterman."

LETTERMAN: Thank you very much.

SUTHERLAND: Yes. Here I am. Quite slimming.


Pinhead? Up to you.