The New York Times report about Dennis Montgomery, who allegedly defrauded the Pentagon and CIA out of $20 million over almost a decade, and whose software caused multiple false alarms while doing nothing to fight terrorism, contains this interesting fact:
Hints of fraud by Mr. Montgomery, previously raised by Bloomberg Markets and Playboy, provide a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of government contracting. A Pentagon study in January found that it had paid $285 billion in three years to more than 120 contractors accused of fraud or wrongdoing.
That’s $285 billion
of spend on contractors who have committed real fraud, versus $1 billion of imaginary fraud. Perhaps some serious DC player will explain why the “math demands” we cut entitlements, yet we’re not even discussing shaving a few hundred billion dollars of waste from the Pentagon budget. And maybe when they’re done telling us why those dollars don’t count, they can also explain why we can’t just let the Bush tax cuts expire, which would cut the deficit to 3% of GDP in one fell swoop.
Bipartisanship: House Republicans stand with their Democratic colleagues as led by Dan Boren (“D”-OK) to defend the 2nd Amendment rights of Mexican narco-paramilitaries.
Whatever happened to that line-item veto gimmick that Reagan so loved? Could it come into play here?
ETA: This is in response to El Cid’s comment.
well after reading that, it states that we paid contractors accused of fraud, not that all of that billing for those contractors was found to be fraudulent, correct? The article mentions the study but I can’t tell if the 20M example used in the Times piece is just like the rest of the alledged 285 Billion mentioned.
I’m all in when it comes to holding military and government contractors to a higher standard but that “intuitive” jump there doesn’t work. I know that the vetting process is intensive (my brother in law bid for a contract as a building inspector in Colorado has attested to THAT) but it sounds like with most other problems (i.e. with regulation), if you don’t have someone knowledgeable doing the vetting, its all just so much crap.
@El Cid: What usefulness could possibly come from such reporting of sales? This law really seems to do nothing but burden law-abiding citizens and retailers like the NRA says. Oh wait! It would also flood law-enforcement agencies with useless information that they should do what with exactly? This is an example of some Democrats trying to sabotage gun retailers in the same way Republicans are trying to sabotage abortion docs. Just a backdoor to eliminate peoples rights.
Line item veto legislation was passed in the Clinton years but was ruled unconstiutional by the Supremes.
My question is If Dan Boren gets any DCCC support and if he does, then pressure be applied to disown him from the party.
Also, we can’t afford the irresponsible expansion of LIHEAP assistance for fuel to heat homes for the poor and elderly, since its doubling since 2008 doesn’t account for the lowering of fuel prices.
Certainly local organizations and states will learn that their expansions of the numbers receiving the aid was just not something fiscally sensible, and to stop their over-the-top hype.
After all, why would there be that many additional recipients since 2008?
And from the Asheville, NC’s Citizen-Times (no link due to moderation danger), further lack of understanding of the reduction of high fuel prices.
And someone had to do something about all the fraud and waste in the program. The now bloated $5 billion program once gave almost $1,000 to a postal employee who was actually earning $80K.
The Heritage Foundation stands up for the responsible trimming back of the unjustified expansion of the program.
Since states are required to aid the poor with heating oil, why would anyone worry, given the strong financial positions of states?
What’s more, if people really want to help those in need better afford heating oil, Heritage points out a much better solution.
Even if you trim the bloat to LIHEAP, you’re still looking at over $2 billion in funds which may be going to several people who don’t deserve it, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars across the nation.
@D. Mason: Not to mention that narco-paramilitaries are an important portion of gun shops in such areas, and given that those who purchased guns & ammo en masse to defend against Obama coming to get their guns in the middle of the night with his ACORN thugs pretty much saturated demand from that segment, someone had to make up the difference.
Remember Bunnydean(I think that was her name), who tried to blow the whistle on fraud & was asked to leave. I may have garbled some of the facts, but it has been awhile.
mistermix a.k.a. mastermix
I tweaked the post a bit based on this analysis of the Pentagon report:
@El Cid: Apparently this and other fraud was discovered, or we wouldn’t know about it*. There are always going to be folks who try to ‘get over’, no matter what the program.
*A Rumsfield known known unknown? Also, too
@El Cid: And what is the reporting of sales you mentioned going to do about that problem? I think we both know the answer to my question. What it surely will do is place an undue burden on local retailers, damaging their little slice of the economy and providing a backdoor for infringement of rights. Just like the law that declares open season on abortion docs. I mean, if there was some kind of solution to the rampant narco violence here then I would look more seriously at it, but since it provides only tools to chase legal gun buyers, it’s a joke. Want to stop the war at the border? Stop the war on drugs.
@mistermix a.k.a. mastermix: ty sir, I suspected that there were extra dots alluded to in your post, I just couldn’t see them to continue to connect them.
El Cid, assuming I swallow the Heritage Foundation estimates (and as they are pimps for the Koch brothers and the oil industry so forgive my skepticism) your response seems to be “end heating assistance because fraud exists” not “properly means test and address the fraud”.
Obama has been aggressive in cracking down on overseas tax cheats and wasteful military and domestic spending. Why not give Obama the funds and manpower to fight the fraud rather than shuttering the whole program and crying big crocodile tears about not wanting to deprive poverty stricken northern state residents of fuel assistance?
@D. Mason: How the fuck hard is reporting sales of multiple assault weapons to a single person so “burdensome”?
Jesus fucking Christ, I’ve never heard such incredible whining about poor local retailers.
What, do you think they’re getting 400 customers a day buying five AR-15’s? And that they have to immediately close down shop and drive to the local ATF office to report such a sale?
What a bunch of pathetic whiners. ‘Oh, my God, I’m a small, tiny business, and suddenly I have to report to the fedrul gubmit as much as businesses using a variety of hazardous materials in bulk amounts!”
It provides no tools to “chase” legal gun buyers. If you have a pattern of the same people making such purchases repeatedly, or in certain time periods, or in other such patterns, then federal agencies can investigate links between them.
Boo hoo hoo hoo hoooooo! How can a small business owner survive if he has to note certain purchases and fax them to the bullying ATF on occasion?
The oppressive ATF regulations on nearly all aspects of the explosives industry has resulted in the collapse of this entire economic segment of our economy!
Man, if I ran a small business and had to keep photocopies of a couple of particular sales each week, I’d have to burn the place down for the insurance funds!
What, are gun shops exclusively run by blind paraplegics with chronic fatigue syndrome and who do not own telephones?
Burdensome my ass.
These asshats can’t explain any of their positions. That’s why they go on Fox to lie/yell/divert attention.
@El Cid: Awesome.
Really, with all that whining, I’m amazed these poor, beleaguered business owners can even manage to fill out the order form to get more guns in their shops.
“Papers, oh mahy go-ud, I haz to fill outs a form to stay in bidniess. I like to have died it wuz so haaaard.”
@El Cid: So you’re arguing that it would be no more burdensome than it would be useful? I guess that makes it OK then. Also, sorry you failed to pick up on what I considered obvious, but when I said “chase” I was referencing the process often called “investigation”. In other words, thanks for agreeing about a real purpose of this law, to chase legal gun buyers.
Look, it doesn’t matter if the burden is extreme or mild, this law is nothing but a tool to add further hurdles to buying and selling guns. It’s a mechanism for backdoor rights infringement even if you don’t respect the rights being infringed. Maybe you support similar attacks on abortion rights, but I doubt it. If you support backdoor attacks on abortion or not, it’s no more duplicitous than backdoor attacks on other rights that the people hold, like the right to keep and bear arms.
Edit: Don’t forget the burden on Law enforcement who must process all of these useless filings. Sort of like the wide net of surveillance cast during the Bush years that actually lessened the ability of the FBI to monitor possible criminals due.
@D. Mason: No, there’s no value whatsoever to analyzing data and establishing patterns that could indicate concentrations of purchases of certain kinds of firearms, which could in turn signal the law-enforcement personnel in those locales to keep a closer eye out for gun runners in their areas. No value at all.
The Second Amendment is a law, not a religion.
Here is a section of the astoundingly oppressive state of Nevada regulation on the sales of dynamite and other explosives with regard to unusual purchases.
When this was passed, clearly every business dealing in such materials had to flee to Guam to survive, because all of them are just as lazy and bitter as gun shop owners.
Anyone else incapable of running a business where you’d have to send an occasional customer’s or two’s name and purchase info to some federal office?
If so, how do you expect to run a small business when you are also burdened with the need to do bookkeeping? I mean, you may have to go so far as entering stuff into Quickbooks. And that’s not even required by the fedrul gubmit!
This is why we must cut entitlements immediately!
Just Some Fuckhead
I have defense contractor friends that rely on sweet Pentagon graft to survive.
Can’t we cut grandma’s medicare first?
The military is an easy target for fraud since any loss is no big deal. The Pentagon is almost as awash in other people’s money as Wall Street, maybe even more so. That’s one reason why Andrews AFB has not one, but three state-of-the-art 18-hole championship golf courses. That’s just one tiny example. Our fear of phantom enemies, love of big toys, and a “support our troops at any cost” mentality pay for a lot of revolving door lobbyists, luxuries, perks, and plain old rip-offs* which few actual troops ever benefit from, and which don’t protect us a bit.
*This one isn’t defense-budget related but it typically flew under the radar of public notice, and is yet another example of how “exploit the troops” is more like it when it comes to private profit.
Slightly OT: Any fraud in Pigford is strictly amateurish compared to this.
@D. Mason: I am arguing that, yes, it’s absolutely and utterly pathetic to describe this as burdensome, and it makes gun store owners out as the biggest cowardly yahoos who ever ran a busines.
And, yes, it’s potentially quite helpful to track narco-paramilitaries who may be purchasing high volumes of serious weaponry at one or multiple businesses.
And given that there’s absolutely no “burden” to a small business to, I dunno, e-mail a couple of customers’ info to the ATF, it’s certainly worth the “cost” to aid investigation.
Given that the vast majority of narco-paramilitary weaponry is purchased in the USA.
Of course, gun “rights” idiots would rather portray gun shop owners as brainless slugs than do anything to cut down the massive US gun export industry to paramilitaries who have slaughtered over 30,000 people in 2010 alone.
Again, if you think such a tiny bit of paperwork would be some sort of burden, get the fuck out of business altogether.
$285 billion in three years
and what year into the war on terror are we entering into…
@D. Mason: And PS, yes, using gun purchase data as a tool for tracking gun runners is exactly like denying us women our reproductive rights.
Ditch the false equivalency. It’s bloody fucking insulting.
@Ash Can: As if drug cartels are walking into gun shops and buying guns legally with legitimate paperwork and addresses. The stupid. It really does burn.
I have no doubt that these gun shops make a lot of their money from these cartels(indirectly through illegal straw purchases) but to think you could catch them by requiring an extra filling(all gun purchases are called in, with full info of the purchaser) with the ATF is just naive.
Useless extra paperwork intended to stifle legitimate business is all this law contains. What they want to track could be tracked with existing information and databases but it’s not important enough to use that existing information to do so.
I look on this law and its supporters with the same disgust as I view people trying to hamstring abortion providers trying to engage in their own legal business. I wonder what you think of these practices when they’re aimed at rights you actually value.
Davis X. Machina
DoD procurement fraud is almost a pure example of the only two legitimate reasons for the existence of the glibertarian state: blowing up brown people who worship the wrong God, and providing
perpsentrepreneurs with police escorts for their getaway cars en route to the Caymans.
It’s elegant in its simplicity.
@D. Mason: What do you mean “useless extra paperwork”?
And how is it known how narco-paramilitaries are purchasing their weapons?
Your expert hypothesis?
You need to drop this shit about a few notes sent in to the ATF as some sort of “burden”.
And how does this “stifle legitimate business”?
What a bunch of pathetic ass whiners.
it’s scary that buying a semi-automatic weapon from these gun show vendors requires less documentation than it takes from me to buy something online from Amazon.com, unreal.
What part of the clause A well-regulated Militia do you not understand?
@El Cid: My expert hypothesis? No, just a little common sense. Anyone who has ever filled out the paperwork to buy a gun from a gun shop knows that Mexican drug cartel members don’t qualify for legal gun purchases in the U.S. That means they’re either having citizens buy them as straw purchases, purchases which will already be recorded, and are already illegal or they would be using false paperwork, making any tracking effort useless. The other option is that they’re buying them “legally” at gun shows without such rigorous paperwork or illegally without any paperwork which would both circumvent this law. The only thing this law provides above and beyond existing practices is redundant paperwork. My initial question was how this would help yet you still haven’t answered it. As for this being a false equivalency to tactics used against abortion providers, how so? Mind you I’m not saying gun rights and abortion rights are equivalent, only the slimy tactics being employed by their opponents.
Davis X. Machina
@piratedan: If you’re buying a book from Amazon, it makes sense — after all, in the long run books have caused far more trouble.
(NB James Patterson novels are not included in this sweeping generalization.)
This caught my eye:
Are all purchases of semi-automatic weapons really reported to the ATF as a matter of course? If so, seems to me it would be trivially easy for the ATF to collate the data.
I dunno, Government forms tend to expand beyond all reason. I had to fill out 8 pages of state forms the other day to get a $50.00 honorarium for a library gig I’d agreed to do.
I am a retired federal employee. I used to work for the Dept. of the Army at an agency that designed logistics software. The agency cost the army about $50 million a year. Like many agencies it was decided that it would be to the government’s advantage to privatize it, so in about the year 2000 most of our people were let go or retired or moved to other agencies. The Army signed a contract with a private corporation for $4 billion, and two years ago the contract was updated to $8 billion for the next four years. So, that is about $2 billion a year vs. the 100 million our agency would probably cost with today’s dollars.
The year after signing the contract the Army person who signed it went to work for the private company now doing the Army’s logistics software. He earns a much higher salary now.
So how are the existing databases going to show unusual patterns of assault weapons purchases if the information in them is bogus? This does nothing but prove the point this law is trying to make.
Seriously, this hair-on-fire won’t-someone-think-of-the-gun-dealers/owners hysteria that gets trotted out for the least little fucking thing is beyond ridiculous. And you can get back to me on the abortion-rights bit when gun dealers start getting directly legislated out of existence, harassed every hour of the day and night by organized groups of fanatics, and murdered in cold blood.
@patrick II: That makes me sick. And I’m sure it is happening or has happened to many other agencies.
@D. Mason: Here’s your expert common sense.
So, you’re right: narco-paramilitaries did not buy their weapons from legal gun dealers directly from stores.
Instead, they got a dude to buy the guns for them from stores. And that’s illegal, but, you know, no one could know, except if the guns happen to be intercepted before they got to their buyers in Mexico.
It would be so repressive on a legitimate gun dealer to notice that he sold 64 fucking AK-47’s to one guy from late March to mid-August. ‘Cause who would think there might be something funny about that?
Shit, there are more gas station attendants paying attention to people buying lots of Sudafed than this asshole dealer protecting his patriotic 2nd Amendment rights.
But we all know, ha ha ha, that Mexican drug dealers don’t purchase legal weapons in the United States! Stupid libtard! You hate abortion too!
The Founding Fathers would weep if some dude who bought almost 70 combat rifles at a time were looked at sideways.
@J.D. Rhoades: Every gun purchase, in a shop(this excludes gun shows which the law in question also excludes) must be recorded and pre approved(the background check done each time a gun is bought, for pistols and long guns alike) by the federal government. I am only a legal and responsible gun owner, and not a gun retailer so I do not know the full extent of what they get but I have filled it out and I know it includes all of my personal information as well as the gun serial number. I believe this is done through the FBI which is a different agency but the information is there in a database already(trivially easy to collate) so I do consider it an unnecessary burden on shop keepers to maintain their own database of this type. Regardless of what a person thinks of the amount of labor that requires, it does require labor which is an undue burden given the stated targets being foreign criminals unlikely to enter the system anyway.
@El Cid: As I said upthread, this practice is already illegal and there are mechanisms in place for stopping it. Thanks again for helping me prove my point.
I find that disgusting but probably not for the same reasons you do.
@Ash Can: And how would the fillings this law would create show a pattern if the info is bogus? It wouldn’t and that’s my point. This is an unnecessary burden, with no actual upside, on legal businesses and I consider that an effort to legislate them out of existence. An effort no less despicable than it is when the right tries to do it to abortion providers.
I worked as a waiter in restaurants to help pay for college.
My bosses had to report our tips. Meaning they had to actually ask us each day what our tips were. And then they had to write that down.
And when it came time to file their taxes, they had to add all that up and fill it in for those forms.
I have no idea how those small business restaurants survived that sort of oppression given the crushing weight of all that conversation and writing and math.
@El Cid: I disagree with that practice as well, so you’re barking up the wrong tree.
@D. Mason: Yeah. This practice is already illegal.
But no one fucking could know because these asshole lazy fucking gun dealers don’t give the slightest fuck.
What a fucking dumbass — “yeah, it’s already illegal”. So law enforcement authorities need to use their telepathic and clairvoyant powers to detect these criminal purchases.
And you think you’ve replied to the points. That’s just fucking sad.
What a bunch of pathetic losers. Yeah, filling in a form when one guy bus 70 AK-47’s, but he’s so clever that he didn’t tell the seller that he would be illegally transferring them to someone else.
Yeah. Standing up for the 2nd Amendment. And avoiding crushing paperwork and legal business transactions.
Fuck, there should be more straw-purchasing dudes buying hundreds or thousands of weapons from a single gun dealer, and then crossing into Mexico, because as long as no one catches them, it’s not like anyone would tell.
The real problem, though, is this un-Constitutional law making it illegal to transfer weapons.
This guy Patino has his 2nd Amendment rights violated when he’s unable to legally re-sell guns to anyone he wants. He shouldn’t have to pay any attention to what the people buying them from him might do, or where they might take them.
I think we need to sign petitions here to remove this sort of oppressive regulation on illegal transfers from US and state laws, and march in solidarity with Uriel Patino.
What kind of freedom is it when I can’t buy 100 guns and sell them to other people and have to worry about what they’re going to do with it?
Okay, so why can’t the ATF computers be set to pick up on patterns like “hey, we got seventeen reports of one guy buying AR-15s, maybe we should take a look”?
@El Cid: Yeah, their telepathic powers and their existing logs of information.
@J.D. Rhoades: I know nothing about the systems the ATF uses but I suspect they can do exactly that. If I were the ATF I would have systems that did that.
@D. Mason: I don’t give a shit whether you agree with it or not. I don’t believe in criminalizing narcotics either. In fact, decriminalization / legalization is the only way that the gigantic death squad Mexican narco-armies would be taken down.
So I don’t see why Sudafed’s manufacturers don’t set up mass shipments of the raw chemical to meth labs, given my opposition to the criminalization of narcotics. Illegal or not, this is about freedom.
Likewise, pharmacists shouldn’t have to require prescriptions to sell any drug whatsoever. If you want to buy heart medicine or codeine or morphine or whatever or ritalin or whatever, it would expand their sales and remove all sorts of burdensome regulations and paperwork.
@D. Mason: No, the stated targets are the Uriel Patinos of the world, domestic criminals who do, and this is a fact, who do enter the system anyway. El Cid has empirically disproven your assertion.
Seems to me it would be easier, cheaper and more reliable to do it that way.
Because it’s not the same information, and it’s not the same source. It’s the gun seller, not the purchaser, flagging the number of a specific armament sold during a specific amount of time, regardless of who the purchaser is.
Seriously, this isn’t that fucking difficult.
@Alan: While simultaneously proving the mechanism for enforcement is already in place making such a filing unnecessary, which is my only point. If this filling would add anything to the ability of law-enforcement regarding eliminating gun violence at the border I would be for it but since this information is already available to them I see it as useless. The only new outcome is extra responsibility for retailers who have to do extra bookkeeping and can then be shut-down for oversights if someone buys too many guns. Just like I don’t think bar owners should be responsible for drunk drivers, I don’t think gun retailers should be held responsible for gun nuts.
See “Security Theater.”
@J.D. Rhoades: Isn’t the FBI, or whoever does the back ground check for the legal purchase of a gun at a gun shop, LEGALLY required to get rd of that information after three days? I vaguely remember the NRA were up in arms that the Feds kept the info for even that long. So D Mason, I’m asking you, how do you think it would be possible for the FBI or ATF to follow the Patino pattern of 4 months of massive gun purchases, if that is the case?
I’m with El Cid, these poor shop owners are a bunch of whiny little girls.
Mike in NC
The real surprise here isn’t that the Boren Amendment is another big wet kiss directed at the NRA, from the spineless politicians who collect welfare checks from the NRA.
Why aren’t these freedom-loving Real Americans defunding the dastardly BATF altogether? Or does that have to wait a couple more weeks until all the important anti-abortion bills get passed? Part of a package to abolish the IRS? Didn’t Senator Rand Paul propose cutting the FBI in half?
Remember: it’s all about job, jobs, jobs!
@Dee Loralei: I don’t have any firsthand knowledge of that system, and never claimed I did, I only know that this type of data is reported to the federal government once. I don’t see how redundancy would allow for a change in laws relating to length of record keeping. Anyway I have to leave so I’m done with this off topic topic. Good day to all.
To calculate the burden borne by someone subject to regulation we need to take into account more than a single factor. This is where El Cid goes wrong. To be sure, filling out a few forms would count as a very light burden if the person charged with the task were, say, a local optician, the owner of a furniture shop, clothing store, beauty parlor or the like. But the sale of arms is an entirely different matter. Those selling them are engaged in one of the noblest and finest undertakings there is, and one that is the very heart and soul of our precious God-given freedom. Anything that might tend in the slightest to impede the free sale of arms to all and sundry or, failing that, might hint at ‘back-door’ regulation should rightly be viewed with suspicion as a grave threat to our liberty.
Chad N Freude
Clearly, you are an experienced information systems professional. I think you ought to approach the FBI with a multibillion dollar contract proposal to analyze the trivial database record structure and write the trivial software to aggregate the relevant data.
And, yes, I am trying to tie the two themes on this thread together.
@El Cid – Why are you wasting your time attempting to convince D. Mason with logic and a realistic perspective?
Although you seem to have missed the overwhelming burden placed on gun dealers in requiring them to keep financial records for tax purposes, and the incredible burden of gun dealers having to pay taxes, which the Founding Fathers would have found objectionable, if not treasonous. And the unfair burden of filling out the paperwork for leasing the space for their shops and paying the landlord, and the unconscionable burden of submitting purchase orders to their suppliers.
Chad N Freude
@Mike in NC: I think that restricting ATF funding has actually been broached.
Bob In Pacifica
The reason why fraud (i.e., helping out friends) in the Pentagon is not a political issue is pretty much why fraud in their military-industrial complex wasn’t a political issue in Egypt for the last thirty years. The Pentagon is above politics in the U.S. Not above as in morally superior but above as in not under control of politics (or, more broadly, the democratic rule of law). When, for example, was the last time the U.S. actually declared war on someone, as required by the Constitution? When was the last time that Congress voted to end a war not based on what was coming out of Pentagon’s estimates for victory?
We peons wring our hands over this waste and corruption, but quite honestly, the Pentagon and its various branch offices(CIA, NSA et al)and its friends in business and banking are all pretty much above the law. When JFK wrote up a National Security Action Memorandum for withdrawing from Vietnam he was dead in a month. When Congress blocked funding for the contras the war was funded through less savory means and the big guys behind it never sniffed jailtime. Instead of Colin Powell being in solitary for lying to Americans and the world he’s on national television, in solidarity with Jerry Jones, hawking patriotism pregame for the Super Bowl.
It’s worse than you think, and it has been for a long time. Shit rolls downhill, and the lamentations around you just mean it reached your neighborhood. There’s more coming.
You wrote an interesting post and have insightful things to say about it. However, wtf don’t you write it somewhere else without hijacking mistermix’s thread?
@patrick II: OK. I’ll be careful about bring up topics not on posts, and being careful to make sure no one else does either.
I like veiled threats very much, especially from someone who just egregiously took over someone else’s thread.
It is not that OT comments are never ok. Sometimes things are timely, or sometimes they are short but perhaps with a link somewhere else that the commenter feels is only slightly OT or is important enough to barge in. That is not what you did. The very first comment here is a very long one by you in which took the thread nearly entirely off topic followed with enough comments by you to assure it did. That seemed to be planned. Really, get a blog, or if it important and well written enough see if John will let you front page it. You certainly write well and are informed enough that he might let you.
Nothing is more American than defrauding the Pentagon. Why, the acme of patriotism that is reached through mindless support of the Pentagon is only topped by fleecing the same people.
Is it really fair to bitch about contracts being given to companies that have only been “accused” of fraud or wrongdoing, without knowing (a) what the fraud or wrongdoing even was, or (b) whether the companies were actually guilty?
FWIW let me just suggest that the $285 billion number is a typo. It comes to over $20 billion per fraudulent contractor which, although not implausible for the pentagon, would probably have to cover a lot of activity that is not utterly and flagrantly fraudulent and is therefore outside the scope of the article.
My reaction to the NYT piece was along the lines of “you can’t cheat an honest man”. If all it takes is a few powerpoint presentations about coded messages in arabic news broadcasts to squeeze $millions out of our leaders, then we really have a problem.
@Robertdsc-iPhone: Although I agree with you, isn’t this exactly the kind of Democrat the DCCC funds? While denying funds to any real centrist? Much less anyone who might be a little center-left?
@patrick II: It’s not a “veiled threat”, doofus. Nothing was planned, and I don’t give a fuck if others occasionally ‘derail’ (i.e., post a comment and then get into it with someone) a blog post too.
I just threw in an article I thought was interesting. Hell, I thought it was pretty related to the subtext of the original post on how fraudulent the so-called concerns for ‘the deficit’ are when when massive scale Pentagon-related fraud is dismissed for its budgetary impacts and Bush Jr. tax cuts ignored as a revenue loss.
“Veiled threat.” What a douche. I think it was pretty clear that I was simply expressing the non-seriousness with which I regarded the tone of your complaint.
I have never understood the seriousness with which so many people regard the comments section of a blog called Balloon-Juice. But, sure, okay.
‘Get your own blog.’ Its true, I didn’t think about the hurtfulness which would be prompted by a comment which was too long and at the wrong place and which seemed to me to be on the topic of deficit fetishism and the political choices made by our political establishment about which parts of spending & revenue they care about.
I will admit — until now I hadn’t imagined that this would make other commenters feel crowded out or perhaps make mistermix feel his groove had gotten stolen. I kind of thought that people in comments followed whatever amused or interested them.
I didn’t even think anyone would pay that much attention. I do usually try to format nicely, mainly because it really annoys me to not have neat blockquotes and such, but I guess it looks much more rude & intimidating for its length. And for the most part, no one did pay much attention. Mainly that D. Mason guy. A few did later on. I never thought much about it. Typing shit with morning coffee and waiting ’til work’s cold hand wrapped around my heart.
I know that there were some who managed to stumble through the wreckage and keep posting about the original $285 billion point. I know that as comments threads get longer and longer, the likelihood of staying on the topic of the original post shrinks. So timing is an issue.
Not everybody thinks it’s a major coup to acquire prominence in a Balloon-Juice thread. I don’t. I don’t recall doing so to be thrilled by my anarchic sense of disruption.
“Veiled threat.” ? I don’t even have an idea what I could possibly do on a fucking comments thread that might be a ‘threat’ except some actually stalkerrific activity intersecting the real world. I’m pretty sure no comment by any commenter would register as a ‘threat’ to me.
I’ll bear more closely in mind the spirit of a BJ comments thread. I’m never going to take Balloon-Juice comments sections seriously as a thing in itself. If I want that, or someone else does, go to an academic or professional or specialized study blog, one not necessarily characterized by posts tagged with things like “Bring on the Brawndo”.
‘Twas a mighty threatening note of yours, mio Cid. My knees shook as I did read it. NOT.
Mind you, I think you treated the petulant response with a bit more seriousness than it deserved.
By “veiled threat” I meant the “being careful to make sure no one else does either.”
Veiled threat is an overstatment, but it seemed retaliatory (in the mild way anonymous comments are) and hypocritical.
And yes you can add that threads change as they get longer to the list of OT that are expected and ok. But that’s not what you did.
And your first comment seemed long and complicated enough that you had prepared it earlier and just posted it to the first thread that came along. Maybe you just happened to be reading about 2nd amendment issues at that time and somehow thought 2nd amendment gun running was related somehow to the CIA/DOD contractor fraud mistermix was talking about. If so, congratulations on your imagination if not your logic.
If hijacking a thread to you really is no big deal to you then don’t do it. I may be a rigid old doofus who gets overwrought about what I perceive to be common courtesy, but your intemperate response to being called on it says something about you as well.
Have a good night.
Because if we cut all the waste and fraud out of America’s military budget, our military budget would drop to zero.
Essentially 100% of America’s military budget is waste and fraud. The leadership of the U.S. military is a group of incompetent cowards, so paying generals like Petraeus or McChrystal even one dime is massive fraud. The U.S. military is manned by rapists and gang members, so paying any of the enlisted men even a dollar is gross outright fraud. None of the U.S. weapons systems work — our F22s fall apart in the hangar and must be systematically stripped to provide spare parts for the increasingly few F22s still airworthy; the M1A1 Abrams tank must be followed throughout battle by a gigantic highly vulnerable fuel truck, which, if damaged, leaves the M1A1 tank helpless and out of gas. American anti-ballistic missile systems don’t work, the rotors on our helicopters delaminate and must be held together with mil-spec duct tape, our M16s jam, nothing works.
This is why America can’t even defeat a bunch of teenage kids who are armed with bolt-action rifles. The population of Afghanistan is kicking our collective asses militarily, and this is why — because all the money spent for the U.S. military today is fraud and waste. All of it. 100%.