Monthly Archives: March 2008

Bipartisan House o’ Fail

I must take a break from chronicling the suck that is bAdmin, to bring you this failure by design (via Architectural inDigestion):

Above: J. Carville & M. Maitlin’s Cauchemar en Rose.

The exuberant living room was designed with the couple’s frequent entertaining in mind. “By turning a chair [and your stomach – ed.], anyone can join another conversation,” says Yeck. [Marion Yeck is one of the home wreckers who perpetrated this horror. The only way her last name could be more fitting is if it were Puke – ed.] A work by Chagall [one of my favorite artists, fuck you very much – ed.], bottom center, is beneath one of two Jamali lithographs. A Schumacher paper is on the ceiling.

“Exuberant”? Try “Freakin’ out so hard it takes five vials of Thorazine just to get your ass off the ceiling.”

It’s all very well to say that by turning a chair anyone can join another conversation (“Hey! Do you know how the hell do I get out of this giant, pulsating polyp of a room?!”) but I think people trapped in Jimmy & Mary’s Barbie Dungeon would be more interested to know that by lifting a chair and throwing it at the window they can make a break for the sane, non-pink world.

Does a career in politics drive you crazy or do you have to be crazy to want a career in politics? Whatever the answer, massive amounts of pink must exacerbate the symptoms.

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Filed under Mental Health

Private sector ahoy!*

Which great sage uttered this memorable quote?

“Why should I reward someone who doesn’t like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don’t get the contract. That’s the way I believe.”

I know, under bAdmin. it could be anyone, but it was in fact soon-to-be-former Housing Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson (via The Wall Street Journal):

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson is expected to announce his resignation Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, a decision that will deal a blow to the Bush administration’s efforts to tackle the housing crisis. [Or at least deal with it in the way bAdmin. wants to, which is a way that would further screw the average homeowner. So if you’re a homeowner, make with the rejoicing already – ed.]

Some time ago Steve Benen of The Carpetbagger Report noted that bAdmin. liked to announce resignations late on a Friday so by the time people were ready to pay attention to the news again it was buried. The fact that this is coming out first thing Monday morning gives me high hopes that there is a lot more bad news in store for Mr. Jackson.

Here, by the way is his “apology,” for the above comment:

“I deeply regret the anecdotal remarks I made at a recent Texas small-business forum and would like to reassure the public that all HUD contracts are awarded solely on a stringent merit-based process.”

I deeply regret the fact that my tax dollars go towards the salaries of crooks who don’t know what anecdotal means.

11.40: As I had hoped, Carpetbagger has documented more of the infamy.

* Alternate title: Do not allow the portal sealing device to strike thee where the domestic canine should have made dental contact

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Filed under Fail Watch, Greed, We're from the government

Moar fear plz!

Calling all cars! Calling all cars! Please be on the look out for men dressed as cowboys! They are believed to be armed and dangerous.

Nah, that couldn’t be what CIA Director Michael Hayden meant when he delivered the following reminder to be afraid. Very afraid (via The AFP):

CIA director Michael Hayden warned Sunday that Al-Qaeda was training operatives who “look western” and could enter the United States undetected to conduct terrorist attacks.

“They are bringing operatives into that region for training — operatives that, a phrase I would use, wouldn’t attract your attention if they were going through the customs line at Dulles [airport near Washington DC]* with you,” Hayden told NBC Television.

The new recruits “look western” and “would be able to come into this country … without attracting the kind of attention that others might,” he said.

A translation for those of you who don’t speak bAdminababble:

“We’ve spent years trying to train real Americans to jump every time they see a guy who is darker than Michael Jackson and piss their pants at the thought of actually getting on a plane with one of these Sambos of Arabia. But we’ve just figured out that wily enemy comes in a variety of hues, including plain old normal folks like you and me. Sorry, we would have done it sooner by we were wrestling with the whole Sunnite/Shiite thing. But now we’ve got to make a big deal about this like it’s an amazing discovery so we can keep our cushy jobs. Therefore, as of now it is very important that everyone piss their pants at the sight of guys who look like … er … um … Heh. You’re not gonna believe this …”

I believe you Mike. Though I wish you hadn’t gone the “Western” route and instead said “Caucasian” or “White.” A white guy telling everyone to be a afraid of white guys would have made for one of those Jon Stewart mind-is-boggling moments that I love so much.

However, I appreciate the fact that you’ve got the stones to admit the spooks have been profiling the “attention attracting” people all of this time. There sure are a lot of the buggers, aren’t there?

As with all the warbling from bAdmin’s Seirenes of Security, this raises the issue of what, if anything Hayden thinks we should do about the Pale Menace. Nothin’ that’s what. The point isn’t to do anything about the threat, the point is to remind people that some sort of threat exists. People who aren’t frightened have a distressing tendency to think rationally and maybe get annoyed because they can’t make their house payments, buy gas and eat. And then the terrists win.

A side note. Remember Bush’s Bestest Friend & Ally in The War Against Terror, Pervez Musharraf?

Turns out he totally sucks, it just took the bright sparks at Langley a while to figure it out:

But much of the improvement was merely regaining ground that was lost through what Hayden described as an “absolutely disastrous” hands-off policy in the region by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in 2006 that led to Al-Qaeda’s increased organizational ability there.

Another translation for those of you who don’t speak bAdminababble:

“It was all his fault! He did it! We had nothing to do with it! And if you try to point out we were propping him up and calling him a defender of freedom even as he was throwing judges in jail we’ll stick our fingers in our ears and chant “La la la, I can’t heeear yooooo!”

295 days seems like a long ass time.

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Filed under Fail Watch, The War Against Terror

Sunday project – I think I found what the “F” stands for

ICF International is in the news again for screwing up the payouts to people whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Again.

Last night I started wondering how ICF got the contract to administer The Road Home, which of course meant wondering if anyone at ICF has a connection to the pResident.

Tsk, tsk. How cynical can one man be?

I’m sure Mr. Michael Byrne, former Senior Director for Response & Recovery, Office of Homeland Security, current Senior Vice President of ICF’s Business & Development Team would be shocked and disgusted. I should have been too ashamed to wonder if he did any work on The Road Home program.* I should have never looked at this November 2006 article (via The Times-Picayune):

ICF International, hired to run the $7.5 billion relief program, is counting the preliminary calculations in its tally of awards released to state officials and to the public. The company’s Road Home project director, Mike Byrne, conceded the letters respond in part to demands in recent days for faster processing of awards.

“We’re definitely responding to appropriate direction and guidance of the people that we work for,” he said, referring to the Office of Community Development in Blanco’s administration. “The general principle is that they (homeowners) should know whatever we know, whenever we know it.”

Probably a completely different Michael Byrne who just happened to work for the same company. It could happen. Still, it is nice to know that ICF couldn’t have possibly foreseen the recently-revealed math problems that may result in homeowners getting calls from a collection agency … the minute they get phone service:

Officials acknowledged that, among more than 4,400 “preliminary” notices sent out to applicants, about a quarter contained erroneous information and had to be corrected and sent again, officials said.

Um … Well … If you’re talking geological time November 2006 to March 2008 is .0000001 of a picosecond (.003 if you believe g-time began 6,000 years ago). And it doesn’t negate the fact that it was very, very wrong to suspect that the F in ICF stands for Friends of the Chimperor.

As a side note, Mr. Byrne is no longer on that project. It is now being headed by Dr. Frank Abramcheck† who probably isn’t a complete wank just because he’s one of those Ph.Ds who sticks Dr. in front of his name and thinks anyone is impressed. Wankery is probably better judged by a man’s adherence to the bAdmin. “What about the painted schools?” principle of addressing fuck ups (via The Times-Picayune):

ICF administrator Frank Abramcheck preferred to focus on what the Road Home is doing right, rather than explain why so many applicants spend months in a process called dispute resolution and why some of them are never informed when their problems are resolved inside the bureaucracy.

That’s the ticket! If you look at what you did wrong you might discover screw ups that will bite you in the ass at a later date and that would embolden the … er … hurricanes.

Other wrong things:

Raising an eyebrow over the fact Maryland resident Ellen Glover – Executive Vice President of Technology & Leadership Solutions, ICF International gave $1000 to the campaign of Tom Davis (R-Va) in 2004.

Pointing out that Gerald Croan was last seen flogging the dead, maggot riddled, won’t-get-up-and-run-no-matter-how-much-you-hit-it horse of abstinence education which increases the likelihood that he’s an idiot.‡

There are a lot more people I could research but I should probably just stop right now. It isn’t like ICF will get any more business from this government.

And by no more business I mean “No more than $5.6 million” (via The Washington Post):

When a disaster strikes, the Department of Homeland Security’s agencies need to be ready immediately to assist state and local officials. ICF International, a Fairfax-based consulting and technology company, has a $5.6 million contract to help make that happen.

Under the contract, ICF consultants will work alongside DHS officials in examining the department’s emergency preparedness as well as with its ability to deliver services and maintain internal business functions during a disaster. Lockstep Consulting of Leesburg is ICF’s partner on the project.

Good thing we’ve already established there’s no more than a coincidental link between ICF & DHS.

*How dare you! Mr. Rug Byrne does not look like the sort of chap who’d fight Larry Craig for the best stall!

†Only perverts, commies and terrists would wonder if Frank and Brownie ever discussed horses.

‡Oh, stop it. Just because Jerry Croan is involved in trying to prove a failed “sex ed” policy can be made to work if we clap harder does not mean he has a fine collection of wetsuits. I don’t care if he does remind you of that one creepy teacher who always used the boy’s room instead of the toilet in the teacher’s lounge.

Just remember, these people are all patriots who are looking out for your tax dollars.

Safety! I mean safety.

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Filed under Back scratchin', We're from the government

Wonder what the “F” stands for

Dear residents of New Orleans and surrounding parishes,

If you decide to rise up and [ahem] cull the local population of bureaucrats, I won’t stand in your way (via the AssPress):

Imagine that your home was reduced to mold-covered wood framing by Hurricane Katrina. Desperate for money to rebuild, you engage in a frustrating bureaucratic process, and after months of living in a government provided-trailer that gives off formaldehyde fumes you finally win a federal grant.

Then a collector announces that you have to pay back thousands of dollars.

You might consider storming the Department of Homeland Security and giving Skeletor Chertoff a couple right in his famous gut. Not that I’m suggesting violence solves anything.

A private contractor under investigation for the compensation it received to run the Road Home grant program for Katrina victims says that in the rush to deliver aid to homeowners [Yes, they were helping the poor, unfortunate homeowners. Really. No one was wallpapering their sixth bathroom with $100 bills – ed.] in need some people got too much [“Some people” means the homeowners. Not the CEO of Incomprehensible Careless Fuckup International. He was giving presents to orphans the entire time. – ed]. Now it wants to hire a separate company to collect millions in grant overpayments.

The contractor, ICF International of Fairfax, Va., revealed the extent of the overpayments when it issued a March 11 request for bids from companies willing to handle “approximately 1,000 to 5,000 cases that will necessitate collection effort.” [Only communists and perverts would wonder if ICF has a collections branch – ed.]

OK, I’m approaching overdose on this bullshit. More later, but first a word from the caring, sharing folks of Inbred Crapstains Fail, International:

ICF spokeswoman Gentry Brann said in an e-mail Friday that the overpayment recovery effort was made inevitable when insurance and other aid to Katrina victims was eventually measured against what an applicant received from the Road Home program.

Brann said there was a sense of urgency in paying Road Home applicants, and ICF knew applicants might eventually have to return some money.

Anything else Ms. Spawn of Deranged Parents?

“The choice was either to process grants immediately or wait until the March 2008 deadline (for submitting Road Home applications) before disbursing any funds,” Brann said in her e-mail.

O rly?

One-third of qualified applicants for Road Home help had yet to receive any rebuilding check as of this past week. The program, which has come to symbolize the lurching Katrina recovery effort, has $11 billion in federal funds.

Don’t worry Ms. Cereal. Just keep saying you hate kw33rs and Roe v. Wade and the pResident will give you a position in his cabinet.

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Filed under 'Sponsitility, Fail Watch, We're from the government

Two in the brainpan (296)

The most difficult thing about documenting the last days of bAdmin. isn’t keeping up with the deluge of Fail. The most difficult part is being forced to think about and even look at the Creature from Crawford (via Ron Edmonds – AP):

R. Edmonds (AP)
L: Australian P.M. Rudd. R: Chimperor Codpiece.

Oh. How I suffer for my art. But Rudd’s probably thinking the same thing and I’ve never had to shake hands with President Codlings, so I’ll stop whining and get on with it. Fail

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Filed under Economy, Fail Watch, We're from the government

Announcing the grand opening of the 1st Bank of Jake

I’ve got an expensive suit, conservative ties, a firm handshake and a warm smile. Yep, I’m good. Now to get filthy stinking rich without any of that hard work and dedication crap my elders always blabbed about (via the AssPress):

The Federal Reserve announced Friday it will auction an additional $100 billion in April to cash-strapped banks as it continues to combat the effects of a credit crisis.

The central bank said it would make $50 billion available at each of two auctions, on April 7 and April 21.

Ca. Ching. The beauty part is, I don’t want much so I figure that for a bid of $1,000 on the 7th, the Fed will give me $1 million. Then I’ll take what I didn’t blow on booze and other pleasures of the flesh after the 7th and go back for a second helping on the 21st. Continue reading

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Filed under Fail Watch, Federal Reserve, Greed