In July 2008, the Army said a new dining facility was badly needed at the Camp Delta forward operating base because the existing one was too small, had a saggy ceiling, poor lighting and an unsanitary wooden floor.
But during an April visit to Camp Delta, the commission learned that the existing mess hall had just been renovated. The $3.36 million job was done by KBR and completed in June 2008.
This $30 million unneeded dining facility is to be completed on Christmas Day, 2009.
“With American forces scheduled to be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, the U.S. will use the new facility for two years at most.” In other words, in the waning months of the Bush Administration, when the American economy was “cratering,” the Bush Administration gives a $30 million contract to KBR to build an unneeded and unnecessary dining facility.
How many other multi-million dollar projects Bush gave away in his waning days as President has yet to be seen…
I’ved poked around Washington today, talking with friends on the Hill who confirm the worst: Big Pharma and Big Insurance are gaining ground in their campaign to kill the public option in the emerging health care bill.
You know why, of course. They don’t want a public option that would compete with private insurers and use its bargaining power to negotiate better rates with drug companies. They argue that would be unfair. Unfair? Unfair to give more people better health care at lower cost? To Pharma and Insurance, “unfair” is anything that undermines their profits.
So they’re pulling out all the stops — pushing Democrats and a handful of so-called “moderate” Republicans who say they’re in favor of a public option to support legislation that would include it in name only. One of their proposals is to break up the public option into small pieces under multiple regional third-party administrators that would have little or no bargaining leverage. A second is to give the public option to the states where Big Pharma and Big Insurance can easily buy off legislators and officials, as they’ve been doing for years. A third is bind the public plan to the same rules private insurers have already wangled, thereby making it impossible for the public plan to put competitive pressure on the insurers.
Max Baucus, Chair of Senate Finance (now exactly why does the Senate Finance Committee have so much say over health care?) hasn’t shown his cards but staffers tell me he’s more than happy to sign on to any one of these. But Baucus is waiting for more support from his colleagues, and none of the three proposals has emerged as the leading candidate for those who want to kill the public option without showing they’re killing it. Meanwhile, Ted Kennedy and his staff are still pushing for a full public option, but with Kennedy ailing, he might not be able to round up the votes. (Kennedy’s health committee released a draft of a bill today, which contains the full public option.)
Enter Olympia Snowe. Her move is important, not because she’s Republican (the Senate needs only 51 votes to pass this) but because she’s well-respected and considered non-partisan, and therefore offers some cover to Democrats who may need it. Last night Snowe hosted a private meeting between members and staffers about a new proposal Pharma and Insurance are floating, and apparently she’s already gained the tentative support of several Democrats (including Ron Wyden and Thomas Carper). Under Snowe’s proposal, the public option would kick in years from now, but it would be triggered only if insurance companies fail to bring down healthcare costs and expand coverage in he meantime.
Hartmann: Will Obama behave like Roosevelt or will he create a moment of opportunity for the right?
Paul Jay of The Real News Network interviews Progressive radio talk show host Thom Hartmann while at the conference of America’s Future Now, getting his thoughts on what and how President Obama has been doing since he came to office, on a range of issues, and what Progressives can do now.
Why the big push to bailout the banking industry? the automobile industry?
One word: PENSIONS
Pension funds are invested in stocks. Bankrupcy wipes out those stocks, leaving pension funds unfunded. If it’s a private fund, retirees will suddenly stop getting their checks. If it’s a public fund, taxpayers will have to make up the difference.
Mainstream media, even non-mainstream media, has not reported on this, but it’s out there, the unheard, unseen elephant in the room. To my knowledge, this is the first report that mentions this looming economic disaster:
The Indiana State Police Pension Fund, the Indiana Teacher’s Retirement Fund and the state’s Major Moves Construction Fund claim the deal unfairly favors the interests of Chrysler’s unsecured stakeholders ahead of those of secured debtholders such as the funds.
Flagship of Vice-Admiral Nagumo - the Akagi (It sank)
On June 7th 1942. the Battle of Midway ended as the United States soundly defeated an armada from the previously invincible Japanese navy.
A thousand miles northwest of Honolulu, the strategic island of Midway was a target for Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s Japanese fleet. Yamamoto planned a surprise assault, but U.S. naval intelligence had decoded Japanese messages and the United States was prepared for the attack.
An outnumbered squadron of American fighter aircraft deflected Japanese aircraft attacking Midway, and two U.S. attack fleets overwhelmed the Japanese armada, destroying all four of Yamamoto’s aircraft carriers, which marked the end of Japanese naval supremacy in the Pacific. The loss of ships, naval personnel and aviators set back the Japanese naval war effort by over a year.
Only a single US Navy capital ship, the carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5), suffered serious damage and ultimately sank. The USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-10, then under construction) was renamed, the USS Yorktown in her honor.
Ths is an open thread. Please offer comments here on any subject or in any following threads as appropiate.