pristine stretch between Aspen and Vail ....
Next summer: The trail of tears from Sag Harbor to Montauk! 5:56 P.M.
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
"If Obama runs, he wins"--1 out of 4 will do? So Markos Moulitsas expects Obama to lose Iowa, lose Nevada, and lose New Hampshire--the first three Dem nominating contests--but he nevertheless declares Obama the "prohibitive favorite," if he runs, because he might win South Carolina? I'm not quite following kos' logic. Does Jerome Armstrong have a new client or something? ... [Thanks to S.S. ] 4:35 P.M.
Virtual Fence = Virtual Corruption? Speaker Pelosi's post- Hastings fallback choice to head the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, voted against building the 700 mile border fence. He prefers a system of video surveillance cameras, apparently. And gee, it seems that his daughter works for a firm that won a government contract to provide such surveillance services! What's more, according to WaPo's John Mintz (who broke the story) the firm did a really bad job. TPM Muckraker summarizes:
In 1999, IMC [the firm in question] won the contract, worth over $200 million. And at the advice of the Immigration and Naturalization Service official who was managing the operation, the company hired Reyes' daughter, Rebecca Reyes, to be his liaison at the company, the Post reported.
IMC's performance on the program was so bad it verged on criminal, according to later investigations. Millions of dollars in overcharges were alleged, installation was so bad that some cameras never worked properly, and the entire exercise wasted money and "placed. . . national security at risk," according to a GSA inspector general report. [E.A.]
Those who feel that a CW-endorsed "virtual fence" will be as effective a Bush-era bureaucratic initiative as, say, training a new Iraqi police force or providing Karina relief will not be encouraged by the history of Reyes' project. ... Doesn't an actual, non-virtual fence offer sufficient opportunities for sleazy contracting? Or is it too cheap and effective? It would seem distressingly easy (from an incompetent contractor's point of view) for the press and public to look and see what portions of a non-virtual fence have actually been built (as opposed to which high-tech surveillance devices are actually working). ... P.S.: It would be nice to have some Gates-like oversight hearings at which Reyes could be grilled about this video-surveillance debacle. But of course Reyes is the overseer, not the overseen. ...[via Influence Peddler] 2:02 P.M. link
Friday, December 1, 2006
"Congrats to Donny Deutsch," who "impregnated his ex-girlfriend"! ... That's the sum and substance of a Page Six item in Rupert Murdoch's NY Post (under the headline "Expectant Dad"). ... And to think that Americans in the Heartland are suspicious of New York City values! ... P.S.: "'This was planned,' a pal of Deutsch claims. 'He wanted a kid. She wanted another kid. They said, "Let's do this."'" It's win-win! But somehow I don't think Myron Magnet and Kay Hymowitz and Dr. Dobson will be sending fruit baskets. ... Note to Democratic candidates: Deutsch, an "advertising mogul" and CNBC host, would make a perfect Murphy Brown or Sister Souljah, no? He's rich and defenseless! ... Hillary doesn't need any more Souljahs, of course (she needs whatever the opposite is). But Barack Obama might. ... 3:10 P.M. link
On Beyond Baker: Steve Clemons agreesthe Saudis may intervene in Iraq if we withdraw, in order to protect the Sunnis and to counter Iran's influence. ... He also concludes this is not a bad thing, despite the risks. ... P.S.: Will they be fighting against Al Qaeda in Anbar or alongside them? ... [via HuffPo] 12:17 A.M.