Thursday, December 29, 2005

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Think about these stories the next time some GOP asshole throws a hissy fit over financing storm recovery here in the Gret Stet (hat tips to Hullabaloo, Susie Madrak, and AmericaBlog:

IT WAS astounding enough for Washington’s political elite: last month they discovered that the man at the heart of a scandal over the planting of US propaganda in Iraqi newspapers was a dapper but unknown 30-year-old Oxford graduate who had somehow managed to land a $100 million Pentagon contract.

What is even more remarkable however, after an investigation by The Times, is that just ten years ago Christian Bailey, whose US company is under investigation for planting fake news stories in Iraqi newspapers, was a nerdy, socially awkward English school-leaver called Jozefowicz.

____________________________________________________________________

In a program to help businesses after Sept. 11, a high percentage of government-backed loans went to recipients who appeared to be unqualified — some of them unaware they were receiving terrorism-recovery money, investigators report.

The Small Business Administration's inspector general said Wednesday that agency officials were at fault for telling lenders in the program that their determinations would not be questioned.

The inspector general concluded that only nine loan recipients in the 59 cases sampled appeared to be qualified for disaster loans.

Lenders who handed out billions of dollars in loans failed — 85 percent of the time — to document that recipients were actually hurt by the terrorism attacks and therefore eligible for the aid under the law, the report found.

The investigative report substantiates key findings of an Associated Press story in September that found similar problems with the SBA's Supplementary Terrorist Activity Relief (STAR) program.

The AP found that terrorism recovery loans went to a South Dakota radio station, a Virgin Islands perfume shop, a Utah dog boutique and more than 100 Dunkin' Donuts and Subway sandwich shops in various locations.

Meanwhile, small businesses near Ground Zero in New York couldn't get the assistance they desperately sought.


Let's see--we've got corruption, cronyism, and incompetence--a REAL trifecta.

The only real question is why anyone would be surprised--it's not like Shrub doesn't have a history of fuck-ups. The difference this time is that instead of rich friends bailing him out, it'll be us taxpayers--and we're also gonna be left holding the bag.

Goddamn.

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