September 20, 2005

Pizza and Beer, Side of Outrage

I'm finally in my new apartment. Yeesh. The cable internet feed is live, there's a shower curtain up and enough takeout in the fridge to last until the kitchen is unpacked. That's my baseline level of civilization, so I am well contented.

My plan to have the traditional move-in supper of beer (mmm, Anchor Porter) and freezer pizza (yay, rice flour crust) was almost foiled after half an hour of searching failed to turn up the box with the silverware and with it, the bottle opener. Fortunately, there was a small lazy Susan to hand with a metal base spaced just the right width from the board to pry off a bottle cap. Cue rejoicing.

So I curl up with my computer to unwind and, lo, plenty of outrages to catch up on. I'm of the opinion that when our modern era passes into myth, Bush will be remembered as a petty tyrant who required of himself and his administration at least one mind-bending violation of good sense before an early supper. It's perhaps the cosmic balance to the story of King Arthur, whose court is said to have required that something miraculous happen before packing it in for the day. But on to the outrage ...

Another Republican party hanger-on caught with his hand in the till and was arrested for lying and obstructing investigators. Jack Safavian was also working on contracting policy for the hurricane rebuilding efforts. It would be easy to see this as a victory for open government, but I think only in the sense that it may help foster a sense of public outrage. In the short term, getting rid of Safavian raises the same questions for me that the efforts to derail Bush's SCOTUS nominations bring up, leaving the suspicion that Bush will only replace one objectionable character with another.

Millions of dollars worth of food aid for Katrina victims from Britain, in the form of NATO ration packs, is scheduled for incineration. Why? Because this government is run by a bunch of incompetent, greedy jerks who can't be bothered to care about anything that doesn't enrich them personally. In other Katrina news, Rep. Don Young of Alaska thinks that his bridges to nowhere are way more important than feeding or housing displaced Americans.

You know that $1 billion that's gone missing from Iraq on George Bush's watch? It might be as much as $2.3 billion, though it's hard to tell, what with all the looting, chaos and corruption the country has been subjected to since the invasion. As noted previously on this blog, this level of graft is either on par or in excess of the amount snapped up for Hussein's personal benefit from the Oil for Food program. I guess the fact that we've been at it for such a short time should be a credit to American efficiency.

Adding insult to injury, while the Bush administration has been making sure that contractors in Iraq get paid, Bush is considering suspending wage rules for service workers in the devastated Gulf region. The catch 22 here is that giving all the post-Katrina reconstruction contracts to the Halliburtons and the Bechtels would ensure that serious money would be spent, while simultaneously guaranteeing that vast quantities of it would be wasted to no greater purpose than enriching the already wealthy.

"Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all." - Peter Drucker

Posted by natasha at September 20, 2005 01:34 AM | Corruption & Graft | Technorati links |