Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Misplaced Priorities

From the wingnuts

MOVE OVER, RECKLESS CONSUMERS. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has outdone your irresponsible spending by racking up a debit card bill so outrageous it could have been created using Mad Libs. Sex-change operations, vacations to the Dominican Republic and wild nights at strip clubs were all bought on the government's dime by both con artists and legitimate victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Emergency aid was used to pay for
-- football tickets-- the bill at a Hooters in San Antonio-- a $200 bottle of Dom Perignon-- "Girls Gone Wild" videos-- an all-inclusive weeklong Caribbean vacation. ....
More than $5 million went to people who had provided cemeteries or post office boxes as the addresses of their damaged property. .....Another person collected 26 payments using 13 different Social Security numbers a total of $139,000 even though public records show the individual did not live at any of the addresses reported as damaged."

OK. Is this a bad thing or not a big deal? Well certainly it's a big deal. It falls under waste, fraud and abuse! Let's seeeeee.....who's in charge of all this?
And the wingnut response?

...although FEMA's oversight was lacking, wasted money is an inevitable byproduct of providing rapid emergency assistance.

Rapid?????? I guess if we would have just let some more people die we wouldn't have had all these problems.

These people should be found and prosecuted......Oh wait, they are.

Forty-nine people have been indicted in a scam to pocket Red Cross hurricane relief funds and more indictments are expected, according to Justice Department officials.
Feburary up to 150 and the beat goes on. Credit where credit is due. Nail the bastards.

Now when you are done with the bottle of Dom and Girls Gone Wild videos can we get to these guys:

Well, there is a lot of money to follow in the current scandal that can be best described as the Bush/Cheney administration, and so far, nobody's doing it.
My bet for the place that needs the most following is the more than $9 billion that has gone missing without a trace in Iraq--as well as $12 billion in cash that the Pentagon flew into Iraq straight from Federal Reserve vaults via military transports, and for which there has been little or no accounting. ........

When the Boston Globe, this past April, broke the story that President Bush has been quietly setting aside over 750 acts passed by Congress, claiming he has the authority as "unitary executive" and as commander in chief to ignore such laws, it turned out that one of the laws the president chose to ignore was the one establishing the inspector general post for Iraq. What the president did was write a so-called signing statement on the side (unpublicized of course--though it was quietly posted on the White House website), saying that the new inspector general would have no authority to investigate any contracts or corruption issues involving the Pentagon. .......
If this seems far-fetched to anyone, remember that this administration has included a number of people who were linked to the Reagan-era Iran-Contra scandal, when the creative--and criminal--idea was conceived of secretly selling Pentagon stocks of shoulder-fired Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, and using the proceeds to secretly fund the U.S.-trained and organized Contra fighters who were fighting to topple the Sandinista government in Nicaragua (Congress had inconveniently banned any U.S. aid to the Contras).

Oh, while we are at it how about this:

A new report claims that a "shadow government" of federal contractors has exploded in size over the last five years.
The
document, compiled at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and distributed to RAW STORY, indicates that procurement spending increased by over $175 billion between 2000 and 2005, making federal contracts the fastest growing component of federal discretionary spending. ......Waxman claims that overcharging -- by mistake or outright fraud -- has been a frequent occurrence. In all, the report identifies 118 federal contracts worth $745.5 billion that have been found by government officials to include significant waste, fraud, abuse or mismanagement. .....Spending is categorized in the report as highly concentrated on a few large contractors, with the five largest contractors receiving over 20 percent of contract dollars awarded in 2005. Last year, the largest federal contractor, Lockheed Martin, received contracts worth more than the total combined budgets of the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior, the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Congress.
But the fastest growing contractor under the Bush Administration has been Halliburton. Federal spending on Halliburton contracts shot up an astonishing 600% between 2000 and 2005.


Wasn't this the stuff the Republicans were suppose to be so good at taking care of. Fiscal conservatives my tailpipe! More like robber barons. This is the primary reason we are at war in Iraq. I guarantee it. The rich get richer by taking your money.
We properly find and prosecute citizens that stole 1.4 million but the 10s or possibly 100s of billions stole by the fat cats is ignored.
Let's see now, why is it that so many people hate this administration? Oh ya, they're a bunch of CROOKS and they are robbing you and me and our children.

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