Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 22, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

HUD-GATE CONTINUES....Think Progress has the executive summary of the HUD Inspector General's report into Alphonso Jackson's apparent distaste for awarding federal contracts to Democrats. There's no smoking gun, but there is this:

Investigation did disclose some problematic instances involving HUD contacts and cooperative agreement grants, in particular, the cooperative agreement award issued to Abt Associates.

....Secretary JACKSONs Chief of Staff also identified other instances of Secretary JACKSON intervening with contractors whom he did not like. Reviews of political contributions indicated these contractors had Democratic political affiliations.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

Kevin Drum 11:04 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (39)

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Comments

53 of our soldier have been killed in Iraq in the first 3 weeks of September. FIFTY-THREE!
This is the bitter fruit of the greatest strategic blunder in America's history. Yet, almost incomprehensively, this insane horror has been pushed back out of the news.
Every second we don't push this story is a Victory for Rove and Co.
He understands this. Do we?
This story is interesting, but like almost everything else discussed over the past few weeks, it is an awful distraction from what we need to focus our energy and attention on.

Posted by: old gold on September 22, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

This can't be right, Kevin. How could there be contractors with Democratic political affiliations? Everyone knows that Dems are socialists who don't run businesses, but instead just run around taking other people's money.

Oh no wait, sorry, that's Republicans. My bad.

Posted by: craigie on September 22, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

it is an awful distraction from what we need to focus our energy and attention on.

do you know what the Dems are going to focus on instead ? take a guess

Posted by: cleek on September 22, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Ever heard of the saying "To the victor goes the spoils"? This means the political party who wins elections should have the right to reward its supporters with government jobs and support. When Clinton was in power, he put his supporters into cabinet positions and fired political opponents. It's the same thing here. Bush is just rewarding his supporters just as Clinton did when he was in office. It's hypocritical for liberals to start complaining now.

Posted by: Al on September 22, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

oh "Al", STFU

Posted by: cleek on September 22, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Seventy Seven more Iraqis died yesterday.

Three more of our service personnel.

I despise Wal-Mart - More cronyism at HUD, etc.

But, with apologies to James C, "IT'S THE WAR, STUPID"

Do not allow the Publicans to change the subject.

Seventy Seven more Iraqis and three more GI's died yesterday.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 22, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

al - yesterday it was a joke, now you're defending corruption.

Classy.

Posted by: mickslam on September 22, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

"Investigation found no evidence that a contract was canceled, rescinded, terminated, or not issued as a result of the encounter between Secretary Jackson and the contractor. If the eyewitness testimony is accurate, the contractor identified by the eyewitness received the contract, which has subsequently been extended."

"...Investigation did not disclose any pattern or practice of issuing contracts based on political affiliation. No evidence was found that information regarding political affiliation was routinely or generally received, maintained, or applied to the contracting process; however there were some limited instances where political affiliation may have been a factor in contract issues involving Jackson."

"...Although the audit review identified certain problematic instances, the audit review found no direct evidence that political favortism played any role in the awarding of grants or contracts by the Secretary of HUD or any of his subordinates."

The investigation found no wrongdoing, but when has that ever stopped us? Oh, and I hear from a reliable source that Rove is going to be indicted in a week for the Plame leak!

Posted by: dnc on September 22, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

elections have consequences?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 22, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter Al: I can't tell the difference between cabinet positions and contractors. Also, I can't tell the difference between policymaking and lawbreaking.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on September 22, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

I actually read this morning that beltway pundits are suffering from Iraq fatigue. They just can't come up with any more ways to tell us Iraq is an unrelenting, unmitigated fuck up.

In such circumstances it is up to the bloggers to remind everybody that Iraq is, oh, I don't know, an unrelenting, unmitgaged fuck up, and that it belongs soley to the Republicans, the same guys who gave us Katrina and torture.

Had enough?

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 22, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Ron,
Exactly so.
This ruinous blunder for the ages must be our focus from now until the first Tuesday in November.

Posted by: old gold on September 22, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

When Hannibal was tearing up Italy for 16 years during the 2nd Punic War, I wonder if Roman politicians tried to find ways of distracting people. "Look over there! A sex scandal!"

Posted by: Red on September 22, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

another headache for Democrats:

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-fbiside22.html

and yes, it is THAT Patrick Fitzgerald. He is a tenacious guy. I expect he'll pull out all the stops like he did against Libby. Only there might be an actual crime in this case.

Posted by: republicrat on September 22, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats don't count in congress. Their approval isn't necessary. Anyway, in the event, the President and his men (and women) scared us to death with WMDs they knew, or had they been competent, would have known didn't exist. Moreover, it was the President and his men who told us they knew how to conduct the invasion and it was the President and his men who told us they knew how to rebuild Iraq. They are all Republicans. They used to be Proud Republicans. Then we all realized they didn't know jack shit and incompetent to organize a 2 car parage.

If you have made no effort at all to work with the opposition, and are proud of the fact that you don't need them to advance your agenda, and if you insist on taking all of the credit, you have to be prepared to take all the blame for your mistakes.

Thomas1, you are not a serious person.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 22, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Then we all realized they didn't know jack shit and incompetent to organize a 2 car parage.

Obviously, I was distracted when I typed the sentence. I meant to say -- Then we all realized they didn't know jack shit and were so incompetent they couldn't organize a two car parade.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 22, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Aw old gold, more bad news for you.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army is ending its best recruiting year since 1997 and expecting similar success in 2007, despite the weight of grim war news from Iraq, Army Secretary Francis Harvey said Thursday.

In an Associated Press interview, Harvey said the Army will enlist its 80,000th soldier on Friday, reaching its goal for the year with eight days to spare. That is a considerable turnaround from last year when the Army missed its target for the first time since 1999 and by the widest margin in more than two decades.

Posted by: Orwell on September 22, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Those who donate to Democrat politicians clearly make bad investment decisions; they're trying to put people in the government who would surrender to terrorists. Why should we trust them to have the judgment to build good houses? They probably think we need to understand the "root causes" of termites, rather than killing them.

Posted by: American Hawk on September 22, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1,
It's no laughing matter. If the Demsand the lectoratrehave been enablers in this, it's still the Bush baby who got drunk, went behind the wheel, and killed over 100,000 people. Time to take the keys away, for sure, but who was driving?

Posted by: Kenji on September 22, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1

Wrong, the Democrats saw the intelligence the Republicans in the Administration wanted them to see. I thought we had beaten this straw argument to death.

Again, we are not going to let you share the blame. It is only fair. You guys never share the praise when things go right.

Oops, when have things ever gone right for GWB. 9/11, Tora Bora, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, Chalibi,etc. Over and over again, a record of unmitigated failure. All on your watch.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 22, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

They never succeeded at anything, except for the biggest giveaway of taxpayers' dollars un US history. That, and the corruption ("It's our due, dammit!"), should be a legacy Dems tag them with BEFORE they leave office. Oh, right, Hitler paved the Autobahn.

Posted by: Kenji on September 22, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Aw old gold, more bad news for you.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army is ending its best recruiting year since 1997 and expecting similar success in 2007, despite the weight of grim war news from Iraq, Army Secretary Francis Harvey said Thursday.
In an Associated Press interview, Harvey said the Army will enlist its 80,000th soldier on Friday, reaching its goal for the year with eight days to spare. That is a considerable turnaround from last year when the Army missed its target for the first time since 1999 and by the widest margin in more than two decades.
Posted by: Orwell on September 22, 2006 at 12:25 PM

Dropping enlistment standards to include criminals,retards and 42 year olds probably helped out.But they draw the line at teh gay.

Posted by: shakes on September 22, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

...electorate (see above)

Posted by: Kenji on September 22, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Um Kenji, didn't the Clinton administration see the same intelligence that Bush received?
If I am not mistaken, the previous presidents still see intelligence reports for a little while after they leave office. I think Bill would probably have spoke up about what he saw, dont you?

Brain Cramp Liberal Argument The Democrats only saw what Bush wanted them to see because Bush controls everything! I guess the UN only believed what Bush told them too.


Posted by: Orwell on September 22, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1 (and others):
That ruling does not mean Libby is innocent.
It only means:
We can't prove he outed Valerie Plame because he lied.
We can't prove he lied because the evidence that proves it can't be admitted in court because it's secret.

How conveeeeenient.

Yes, he's innocent until proven guilty.
Too bad that Canadian guy who was abducted, sent to Syria, and tortured, and later proven not to be even remotely associated with terrorists wasn't given the same benefit of the doubt our Constitution supposedly guarantees, and our founding fathers designed.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 22, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell

The general public seems to know who fucked up in Iraq. All the spinning in the world isn't going to change reality. Just take it like a man.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 22, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

I think I may have to remove this blog from my regular reading. Lack of serious debate fu here has resulted in a VRWCj (Vast Right Wing Circle jerk).Fark posters mix it up better and they are all buffoons.

Posted by: shakes on September 22, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

For more on Jackson and the partisan uses of the Bush cabinet, see:
"The Bush Cabinet's Cult of Personality."

Posted by: AvengingAngel on September 22, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, Thomas1 is not proud of our fight for democracy and against al Qaeda in Iraq. He thinks the blame should be shared. I bet Al thinks Bush should get ALL the credit for Iraq. Me too; it's entirely his fuck-up, and he claims it daily.

Posted by: Ace Franze on September 22, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK
Well, one thing's for sure then, as a Democrat who voted for Gore and Kerry, I am not sharing in any blame.

Posted by: Thomas1 on September 22, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, could you repeat that? I was distracted by the flying pigs and the snowball fights in hell.

Posted by: Warren Terra on September 22, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

do you know what the Dems are going to focus on instead ? take a guess

Among other things, this is one reason why I am not a Democrat and will not donate this time to the Democratic party, even though I would rather have them in power and will vote for them in November.

Meanwhile, the AP reports today: "House-Senate negotiators Thursday approved a new $70 billion infusion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as they wrapped up talks on a $447 billion Pentagon funding bill. The additional war funds would bring the total approved by Congress for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001, to more than $500 billion, with another installment likely to come next spring."

I think I may have to remove this blog from my regular reading.

I often feel the same way, but then the blog terrorists will have won.

Posted by: asdf on September 22, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon.

Jackson hasn't done anything the rest of the Bush cabinet hasn't done.

Well, except for shoot his mouth off about it.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on September 22, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman was defeated in a legal primary, not thrown overboard, by voters representing the more-than-60% of the electorate (it's called democracy) who have woken up to the fact that the Iraq debacle has nothing to do with the so-called war on terrorismexcept to make it ten times more unwinnable.

The idiot-in-chief has created the perfect condition for failure: if one angry nutjob anywhere pulls off one violent act against us (we're all opposed to that, by the way) we can't say we've won. Meanwhile, money and lives tick away in Baghdad. But at least you have your talking points to keep you warm at night.

Posted by: Kenji on September 22, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

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