Archive for September 1st, 2011
Republican US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has made his position absolutely clear on aid to the stricken victims of Hurricane Irene; any funds spent on disaster relief will have to be offset by cuts from other areas of federal spending.
In an absolutely alien way, Mr. Cantor has claimed that the current budget and debt “crisis” requires that any monies spent for disaster relief must be offset by cuts in the budget elsewhere. I suggest any aid to Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, which spawned Mr. Cantor, be moved to the top of that list. Just because the media in Virginia’s 7th have described the disaster as the worst ever to hit the area is no reason to have any sympathy for any of Mr. Cantor’s constituents, eh? Oops, that would make me a heartless bastard like Cantor! Even the banksters that have screwed the economic pooch with their sub-prime mortgage greed have more of a heart than Mr. Cantor and are waiving some fees and charges after Irene. And see here and here.
Now Mr. Cantor says he never suggested that disaster relief funds be delayed because of any debt or budget concerns! NJ Republican Governor Chris Christie is having none of that; “Our people are suffering now and they need help now. And they can all go back down there and get back to work and figure out budget cuts later.”
Clearly, for a small minority of the US House Republican majority, the political goals of long term deficit reduction outweigh any other concerns, even life threatening concerns. There will not be an end to the political gridlock and conflict in Washington until those elected officials in Washington who are more dedicated to narrow ideology than the well being of all Americans are gone.
I received this mass-email today from Alan Grayson. Within this email you will find numbers that are staggering, numbers that make a compelling argument that the U.S. military presence in the Middle East is utterly immoral:
Yesterday, the Commission on Wartime Contracting released itsfinal report.
The Commission reported that between $31 billion and $62 billion of the tax money spent on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan has been wasted. It also said that between $10 billion and $19 billion of what contractors billed and received was fraudulent. In fact, $360 million of our tax dollars went straight to . . . the Taliban.
Wow. Who could have imagined that?
Well . . . me.
When I saw that the Bush Administration was doing nothing about fraud in Iraq, I revived a law going back to the Civil War that allowed whistleblowers to bring lawsuits in the name of the U.S. Government. I filed case after case, which were promptly greeted by the Bush Administration with gag orders – gag orders that they kept in place for years. They didn’t want any more bad news coming out of Iraq.
So I went on CNN, spoke to the New York Times and the Washington Post, and told America whatever I could say without violating those gag orders. And when the Bush Administration finally let one case out from under those gag orders – and declined to prosecute it – I took that case to trial, and won a $14 million judgment. It was the third-largest judgment for whistleblowers in the 143-year history of that law.
Those contractors built bases without hooking up the plumbing. A general testified that when he went there, he felt like throwing up.
The Wall Street Journal reported in a front-page article that I was “waging a one-man war against contractor fraud in Iraq.” The national organization Taxpayers Against Fraud named me “Lawyer of the Year.” And people started to think, “what is going on over there?”
[More . . . ]