Contractors

For various reasons I don’t automatically think that contracting government work is a bad idea. If a reasonably empirical analysis suggests that we would benefit from transferring a job to the lowest bidder then I’m all for it. So that’s not why it concerns me that the GOP has shunted government jobs to a record-breaking swarm of private contractors.

The problem is that Republicans believe in privatizing but they don’t believe in oversight. In the grand feeding trough of Iraq the only oversight figure of any import was Inspector General Stuart Bowen. Most others, whistleblowers and inspectors who lacked Bowen’s personal Bush connections, had a tendency to find other work. It’s hard to understate the how important Bowen’s recent report to Congress would have been for ending the pointless waste of US resources, if the 109th Congress had bothered to listen to him. Instead, surprise, they tried to fire him. While Congress slept one unsupervised company managed to wreck a prison, a network of health clinics and the Baghdad Police Academy.

You find the same phenomenon everywhere you look. Read Steve Benen describe what happened when data showed that Republicans’ cherished voucher programs don’t work. Rather than change a whit, supporters ignored the data and canceled the studies. FEMA outsourced important jobs (cronies, natch) without making sure the contractors were up to the task. The near-pathological need that drives our vice president to classify everything up to and including his staff roster is nothing more than the modern right wing mentality taken to its disturbing extreme. Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay disgraced their party as a result of earlier decisions to stifle departmental Inspectors General and shutter Congressional Ethics Committees. Internal mechanisms failed to discourage or check the criminal instincts of DeLay, Bob Ney, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, David Safavian and a long list of others (including William Jefferson) so the Depart of Justice had to do it instead.

This is the central failure of our modern Republican movement. It’s the basic reason why even preferred policies like rebuilding Iraq, charter schools and the war itself devolve into embarrassing failures. Piss and fecal matter drip from the ceiling of “the most important security project in the country” while contractors, paid in full, sit back and shrug.

Stipulated that legitimate policy issues will keep me from supporting most Republican governments. As a supporter of the environment, social safety nets and universal healthcare, legitimate science, science education and reproductive choice the GOP seems to get everything wrong. It is pretty much a given that I will not vote for a GOP majority. What baffles me, looking over the hash the GOP makes of even its favored policies, is why anybody would.






26 replies
  1. 1

    Stipulated that legitimate policy issues will keep me from supporting most Republican governments, functional or not.

    There are not bad Democarts.

    There are no good Republicans.

    The Rpeublicans are evil,even if some are less evil than others. Work with the Hagel’s when you have to than be as vicious in campaigning as you can to replace them with Democrats.

    Consign this Christian Taliban cult of dolts to the dustbin where all of them belong from Olympia Snowe to Sam Brownback. Fuck them all.

  2. 2
    ThymeZone says:

    Fuck them all.

    A sentiment many here share with you.

    For the next two years, our main goal has got to be to keep these idiots from starting a war with Iran.

    If you think things are bad now, just remember, they can get a lot worse.

  3. 3
    Barrasso says:

    I expect the republicants to be lying scumbags who steal govewrnment money and funnel it to private companies, it’s almost the definition of the party. I really am pissed that the dems aren’t pushing for independant offices of ethics investigatrors while they have the attention of the country.

  4. 4
    Barrasso says:

    Stupid typos manke me loo0k badn.

  5. 5
    CaseyL says:

    Once again I’m mystified why the Republicans ever win elections.

    I’m not mystified why anyone votes for Republicans. There are always people who will vote for fear and ignorance.

    But why does the country’s most fearful, most ignorant 30% keep deciding our political fate? Where is everyone else?

  6. 6
    Rome Again says:

    If you think things are bad now, just remember, they can get a lot worse.

    They always do, and I need a distraction from this madness. I can’t take it anymore. I think I told you I’m fairly prescient. All I see at the end of the road is a Mad Max movie.

  7. 7
    Andrew says:

    All I see at the end of the road is a Mad Max movie.

    Throw in zombies and I’m in!

  8. 8
    tBone says:

    While COngress slept just one unsupervised company managed to wreck a prison, a network of health clinics and the Baghdad Police Academy.

    Tim, Tim, Tim. That only happened because Parsons relied too heavily on Iraqi subcontractors. If only we hadn’t gone out of our way to employ Iraqis, everything would be fine.

    This has been today’s presentation of Darrell Theatre. Sponsored by Darrellade – is it in you?

  9. 9
    Tsulagi says:

    From the Kevin Drum link…

    The most serious problem was substandard plumbing that caused waste from toilets on the second and third floors to cascade throughout the building. A light fixture in one room stopped working because it was filled with urine and fecal matter. The waste threatened the integrity of load-bearing slabs, federal investigators concluded.

    LOL. If that doesn’t just epitomize this administration in all things. Feces and urine flowing from the top screwing up everything below.

  10. 10
    jake says:

    FEMA outsourced employed a man who spent a lot of time with horses for the important jobs of heading the agency without making sure the contractors were was up to the task he knew what the fuck he was doing.

    Fixed.

    The most serious problem was substandard plumbing that caused waste from toilets on the second and third floors to cascade throughout the building.

    Don’t call it liquid waste, call it the dark rich waters of democracy. And anyway, it’s the Iraqis fault. Or Clinton. Not ours anyway.

  11. 11
    El Cruzado says:

    Well, it’s worth repeating “Republicans are the party of those who don’t believe that government works and, when elected, prove it”.

  12. 12
    Richard 23 says:

    I expect the republicants to be lying scumbags who steal govewrnment money and funnel it to private companies, it’s almost the definition of the party.

    It’s called privatization, moonbat. I suppose you’d rather nationalize everything like your buddy Hugo Chavez, you socialist.

    The most serious problem was substandard plumbing that caused waste from toilets on the second and third floors to cascade throughout the building.

    Sometimes liberty is messy. Smells like…freedom.

    Er, I’ll take a third floor office, please. In a different building, now that I think about it.

  13. 13

    Republicans believe in privatization, because it allows them to give political patronage jobs without having to deal with civil service exams and other oversight for qualifications.

    As I said before the gOP is corrupt and immoral

  14. 14
    Thomas says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that people think there’s any major difference between Republicans and Democrats. What makes you think a Democratic administration would be any better? If you think everything was all rosy under Clinton, you’re just fooling yourself.

    In general, all politicians do the same things. It’s just that the media, etc, tending liberal, tend to ingore more Democratic crap.

  15. 15
    TenguPhule says:

    What makes you think a Democratic administration would be any better?

    Shorter Thomas: I have been in a Coma for the last six years.

    In general, all politicians do the same things. It’s just that the media, etc, tending liberal, tend to ingore more Democratic crap.

    Shorter Thomas II: I am also a fucking retard who needs to crib from Republican talking points.

  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    There are not bad Democarts.

    Untrue. The Difference is that when they’re identified, their party tries to kick them out.

  17. 17
    stickler says:

    Wow. The undead corpse of Ralph Nader can type!

    It never ceases to amaze me that people think there’s any major difference between Republicans and Democrats. What makes you think a Democratic administration would be any better?

    What makes me think that? Well, I reached adulthood in time to live through the period 1993-2001. That administration managed to function a damned sight better than what we’ve seen since. You know, like the Onion said, the “long national nightmare of peace and prosperity…”

  18. 18
    celcus says:

    It is simply amazing how the modern Republican Party has chosen to model itself on the Louisiana Political system of the mid 20th century i.e. Huey Long et al.

  19. 19
    Tsulagi says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that people think there’s any major difference between Republicans and Democrats. What makes you think a Democratic administration would be any better? If you think everything was all rosy under Clinton, you’re just fooling yourself.

    In general, all politicians do the same things. It’s just that the media, etc, tending liberal, tend to ingore more Democratic crap.

    Now that’s funny. Apparently even Thomas now realizes Bush and his admin sucks. But he just keeps clinging to that “The Democrats are worse” teddy bear and can’t resist sucking on the victimhood tit. That evil MSM fails to nurture. A teddy bear and a tit, no Bill Bennett Republican manly man fails to leave home without them.

  20. 20

    “What baffles me, looking over the hash the GOP makes of even its favored policies, is why anybody would.”

    They claim that they will cut taxes.

  21. 21

    Untrue. The Difference is that when they’re identified, their party tries to kick them out.

    What I mean by that is, never attempt to replace a bad Democrat in a way that gets a Republican elected.

    >The Democrats are worse

    The public has finally seen through that bullshit in numbers sufficient for us to take power.

    Democrats are never worse than Republicans. And in that rare case where they are (Joe Liberman), there is never a situation where electing a Republican is a good idea.

    Fuck all Republicans, everywhere, always.

  22. 22

    But these fuckers do love the troops:

    In response to continuing financial strains, U.S. Army Europe has canceled all welcome home celebrations for units returning from deployment through this fiscal year, halting the tradition of free food, rides and other community festivities for returning soldiers and their families.

    “There is no money for welcome homes,” Rubalcava said Thursday, adding that even a potluck at the Rhinelander Club on Smith Barracks might have monetary issues attached. “[Garrison leaders] want to do something for the unit.”

    Welcome Home

  23. 23

    […] If this story proves accurate it will mostly be remarkable for how unremarkable it is. Literally everywhere you look in today’s government you see management that’s not up to the job. I have talked about this before. The main issue isn’t privatization, or at least not in isolation. The problem is that the administration is so rigidly fixed on the idea of privatizing literally everything that even the idea of competitive bidding is often tossed aside. Even in cases where the private competitors can’t manage to turn in a credible bid, managers simply change the rules until the private sector wins. Then they leave out any mechanism to make sure that the job is done right. Lift the hood on any Bush disaster and you’ll find more or less the same thing. […]

  24. 24

    […] Find my earlier posts on this topic here and here. […]

  25. 25

    […] Smartly, Iraq boosters gave up the tired cliche about painted schools and women’s clinics a long time ago. The work got too dangerous for us, contracting with Americans became a near death sentence and because government’s pathological hatred of oversight guaranteed that money spent largely disappeared to shoddy work and unaccountable fraud. These days the only thing we build is walls. […]

  26. 26

    […] One would expect Republicans to take it worse than anybody that managers of the embassy project handed the project to a firm that never did embassy work before, mismanaged the proceedings and then buried evidence of major safety issues. They won’t, of course. A central theme of modern Republicanism is that appearing to do something is more important than doing it well. The mentality isn’t limited to the embassy, of course. It pervades contracting throughout Iraq. When Stuart Bowen, the Inpector General responsible for Iraq, uncovered evidence that America’s contracting money was largely disappearing down a fraud hole the White House reponded by trying to sack him. If any right-wing voices complained about that I don’t remember hearing about it. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] One would expect Republicans to take it worse than anybody that managers of the embassy project handed the project to a firm that never did embassy work before, mismanaged the proceedings and then buried evidence of major safety issues. They won’t, of course. A central theme of modern Republicanism is that appearing to do something is more important than doing it well. The mentality isn’t limited to the embassy, of course. It pervades contracting throughout Iraq. When Stuart Bowen, the Inpector General responsible for Iraq, uncovered evidence that America’s contracting money was largely disappearing down a fraud hole the White House reponded by trying to sack him. If any right-wing voices complained about that I don’t remember hearing about it. […]

  2. […] Smartly, Iraq boosters gave up the tired cliche about painted schools and women’s clinics a long time ago. The work got too dangerous for us, contracting with Americans became a near death sentence and because government’s pathological hatred of oversight guaranteed that money spent largely disappeared to shoddy work and unaccountable fraud. These days the only thing we build is walls. […]

  3. […] Find my earlier posts on this topic here and here. […]

  4. […] If this story proves accurate it will mostly be remarkable for how unremarkable it is. Literally everywhere you look in today’s government you see management that’s not up to the job. I have talked about this before. The main issue isn’t privatization, or at least not in isolation. The problem is that the administration is so rigidly fixed on the idea of privatizing literally everything that even the idea of competitive bidding is often tossed aside. Even in cases where the private competitors can’t manage to turn in a credible bid, managers simply change the rules until the private sector wins. Then they leave out any mechanism to make sure that the job is done right. Lift the hood on any Bush disaster and you’ll find more or less the same thing. […]

Comments are closed.