October 27, 2009 archive

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Yet another scandal; yet another way Obama is just like Bush

You may have heard about the enormous, bigger-than-the-Vatican American Embassy that’s been under construction in Iraq for, like, forever, a temple being erected to the Balls of Bush, the man who invaded Iraq and liberated its oil.

You may have even heard about how it was built with what amounted to slave labor.   You may have heard about lots of problems with the construction, and how the contractor who built it, who wasn’t even American, skimped and cheated and lied.

Well, you probably didn’t realize what a huge scandal this actually is.   Because the media doesn’t report this stuff.   But Jeremy Scahill does.  He’s one of the only real journalists out there.    And it turns out that the cheating and corruption was so bad, from this Kuwaiti contractor, that he’s gonna have to probably pay back $130 million dollars to the U.S. government for this boondoggle.

Iraq Embassy Scandal Expands: Contractor May Have to Repay $130 Million

The Baghdad embassy-the largest of any nation on planet earth and ten times bigger than any other US embassy-is striking evidence indicating a continued US presence in the country for many years to come. The structure cost more than $700 million and is the size of 80 football fields. It is bigger than the Vatican, six times larger than the United Nations compound in New York and is about two thirds the size of the National Mall in Washington. It has space for 1,000 employees who are guarded by scores of paramilitary mercenary forces. In other words it is the perfect structure for a nation that claims to be leaving Iraq very soon.

The embassy is more like a fortress and hardly sends a message of warm diplomacy. “What kind of embassy is it when everybody lives inside and it’s blast-proof, and people are running around with helmets and crouching behind sandbags?” said Edward Peck, the former US ambassador to Iraq when the embassy was first being constructed.

Yup, it’s a grand monument to the stupidity that is George W. Bush.   It’s about as big as he is stupid.  

And you may have a WTF moment when you think “wait a minute, why was the company hired to build this monstrosity not American, but Kuwait?”   Well, Scahill answers that for you:

In 2006, David Phinney reported: “Several other contractors that competed for the embassy contracts… believe that a high-level decision at the State Department was made to favor a Kuwait-based firm in appreciation for Kuwait’s support of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. ‘It was political,’ said one contractor.”

And if you thought American slavery ended with the Civil War, you were wrong:

FKIT has been plagued by allegations from whistleblowers who worked on the embassy that say the company “brought workers, mostly South Asians and Filipinos, to Baghdad under false pretenses, then abused and threatened them while there.” The company, predictably, denies those charges.

Rory Mayberry, who first worked with First Kuwaiti in March 200 as a medic on the embassy construction site, “alleges that when he showed up at the Kuwait airport for his flight into Baghdad, there were 51 Filipino employees of First Kuwaiti also waiting for the same flight – except the Filipinos believed they were going to Dubai,” reported NBC News. “He says the Filipinos were told to proceed to “GATE 26″ at the Kuwait airport – but no Gate 26 existed. There was only a door to a staircase that led to a white plane on the tarmac:”

Mayberry says even he was given a boarding pass that was marked for Dubai, though he knew he was going to Baghdad.

“The steward was having problems keeping guys in their seats because they were so upset, wanted to get off the airplane,” says Mayberry. “They were upset they weren’t headed to Dubai where they were promised they were working.”

He says when he arrived in Baghdad he notified the State Department official in charge of the embassy project about what had happened on his flight and she replied “that’s the way they do it.”

Ah, yes, just like the good old days, when a fellow could pass out drunk on the streets of a European city and wake up in a ship bound for the New World!  

Why, you might ask, were they shipping in laborers when the Iraqi workforce was completely out of work?   Why didn’t they hire Iraqis for this job?   I mean, the unemployment rate was only in the 70 – 80% range.    Oh, come on, that’s a rhetorical question, right?   Ha!   I mean, how were the Kuwatis suposed to make any REAL money if they had to pay Baghdad workers Baghdad wages!   Everybody knows what a bunch of spoiled Union goons those guys are!

You can get more details of the contractor’s failings in the article, but what I really wanted to pass along to you was the most disheartening part of this entire sickening story.

Because you might think this was just an aberration, right?  One more of countless Bush administration scandals, and thank god we got rid of him, right?   And those days are over, right?   And this kind of stuff isn’t going to happen again, right?


Obama has decided that we’re gonna do this all over again, this time in Pakistan!   Yessir, it worked out so well in Baghdad that we need more of these Monster Embassies to carry out our friendly activities.

Iraq redux? Obama seeks funds for Pakistan super-embassy

ISLAMABAD – The U.S. is embarking on a $1 billion crash program to expand its diplomatic presence in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, another sign that the Obama administration is making a costly, long-term commitment to war-torn South Asia, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

The White House has asked Congress for – and seems likely to receive – $736 million to build a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with permanent housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space in the Pakistani capital.

The scale of the projects rivals the giant U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million.

Hm, must be part of the economic stimulus program.  Oh wait, this is in a foreign country?   How the fuck are Americans supposed to benefit from this massive government spending?   Oh wait, we’re NOT.   It’s another FUCK YOU from Team Obama.  

And here’s the really telling part:

A senior Pakistani official said the expansion has been under discussion for three years.

Three years!   Waiddaminute, three years ago ….. Bush was in power!   This is Bush’s idea, Bush’s plan, Bush’s boondoggle.  Brought to you by …. Obama!    

There really is no difference.    Bush/Obama.   Bushbama.   ObamBush.   Bush’s third term is what it should really be called.

Scahill says it better than anyone, calling it a “colonial fortress”:

Ah, good thing the US quest for violent global domination was brought to a screeching halt with the November presidential election. Without Obama’s election, we’d still have an occupation of Iraq, mercenaries on the US payroll, torture of prisoners, an unending and worsening war that kills civilians in Afghanistan, regular airstrikes in Pakistan, killing civilians and an embassy the size of Vatican city in Baghdad, which was built in part on slave labor. Not to mention those crazy “Bush/Cheney” neocons running around trying to become the “CEOs” of foreign nations. Wow, glad that’s all over. Whew! And, it’s a really good thing Bush is no longer in power or else the US would come up with some crazy idea like building a colonial fortress in Pakistan to defend “US interests” in the region.

I love this guy.

No Virginia, This is Not Health Care Reform

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the hope and change of a hope and change age. They believe except what is reality. They think that the public option is a victory, when it is not, but which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

No, VIRGINIA, this is not health care reform. Single Payer is the only answer.  That exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist in our politicians and corporate masters, and you know that they as corrupt and boundless in their greed as any humans can be.  Alas! how dreary for our politicians and corporations would be the world if there were real health care reform. It would be as dreary as if there were no BANKS or campaign funds!   There would be no childlike faith in their bonuses and corporate contributions, no mandates assuring their futures, no romance to make tolerable their existence. They would have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight, and their mansions and yachts, and reelections . The eternal light with which money and power fills their world would be extinguished for corporations and politicians everywhere.

Believe in Health Care Reform! You might as well believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch all the televisions in the land to learn about health care reform, but even if they did see Harry or the President say it’s coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees concern for the citizens from our politicians, and that is a sure sign that there will be no health care reform. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.  Because the mainstream media will not let them see.  Did you ever see the truth coming out of a politicians mouth? Of course not, and that’s proof that it isn’t now either Virgina. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the greed that permeates our great halls of Congress and Senate.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. That is corporate America Virgina.  Only faith, fancy, poetry, love and romance for a President can push aside the truth of that.  Is it all real? Are we that controlled by greed?  Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

Health Care Reform!  I’m sorry Virginia, that is not to be.  A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, we will be fighting the same battles.  

Don’t thank me….

Ok.  I have not been shy letting people know that I am ex-military and that I have been to Iraq twice during wartime.

This has prompted people to say, “thank you for your service”.


And I’m going to tell you why…

Banana-Republic Blogs

You know what I mean.  You simply can’t have opinions.  They must be THE opinion du jeur of that day.  I think many of us know which ones qualify.

Well, I’m adding another one; balloon-juice.

Yeah, I cause a row because the idiots wanted to make fun of the balloon boy story.  And, when I tried to tell them how many people, first responder’s, weren’t laughing, I hit a nerve.

Well, I sent John Cole my certs, I sent them to dougj, so the internet warriors would be embarrassed for their attacks.  Here is what I got back from John Cole:

John Cole

Jesus fucking christ, Gass. Take a picture of the god damned documents and put it on one of the 500 free image hosting sites. Or upload it to google docs. Regardless, I thought it was pretty damned clear I had seen the documents proving you are in fact Michael Gass when I said the following:

I just don’t feel comfortable publishing people’s personal shit like that, even if they ask.

Additionally, I’m sure I said something two weeks ago when this damned drama started.

At any rate. PLEASE. SEEK. HELP. I don’t know if you are still in law enforcement, but you should not be anywhere near a gun.  

I didn’t ask John to publish the documents.  I sent them to him so he could SEE the documents, read the comments, and say, “hey, he IS what he said, back off”.  And, he THINKS he said something.  Let’s find out.

Overnight Caption Contest

Common Sense Health Care; Individualism or the Commonweal


copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Democrats dance in the streets and declare success.  An ABC News-Washington Post poll released on October 18, 2009, found that only twenty percent of the population defines themselves Republican.  Progressive assert this result will work in the their favor if the public option is to pass.  However, the now ecstatic portion of the electorate discounts the “disconnect” discussed in the aforementioned study and also addressed in a Pew Research Center report published only a week earlier.  The overjoyed overlooked the Independents (42%), the leaner’s, Left and Right (39%), and the less than inspirational number who proclaim themselves proud Democrats (33%).   For these individuals, the topic of health care reform is a complex issue.  Trust in Congress is near nil.  People are engaged in the subject, albeit a bit overwhelmed.  Sixty-six percent (66%) say they do not understand the proposed policies.  Personal matters move most people, more so than Party politics does.  Possibly, that is the problem, or the predicament that precludes authentic medical insurance reform in America.

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