Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes writes that Bush needs a staff shakeup. His suggestions: Condi as VP, Lieberman as Secretary of State, Cheney as Sec Def, Dan Senor as White House Press Secretary, Zalmay Khalilzad as National Security Adviser, and switching Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove’s jobs.
97. Number of days the House of Representatives is scheduled to be in session this year. USA Today notes that’s “fewer days than the Congress Harry Truman labeled as ‘do-nothing’ during his 1948 re-election campaign.”
The San Diego Tribune digs into the fundraising activities of Rep. John Doolittle’s (R-CA) wife. Julie Doolittle’s Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions, launched in March 2001, right after her husband got his seat on the Appropriations Committee. Doolittle had only three clients: Jack Abramoff’s law firm, Abramoff’s restaurant, and the Korean-U.S. Exchange Council, founded by Tom DeLay’s (R-TX) former chief of staff.
How many contractors does it take to cleanup after Katrina? Four, sometimes five or six, according to Reuters. The burgeoning bureaucracy of contractors explains why cleanup costs continue to swell.
Outsourcing our intelligence services. The Washington Post writes that the U.S. government is increasingly relying on contractors to carry out intelligence duties. As a result, government agencies lose control over those doing this sensitive work and instill profit-making motives into the work being done.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a blow to the Bush administration last Friday when it said that the Environmental Protection Agency unlawfully exempted power plants from the Clean Air Act. In striking down the “new source review” rules, the court required industrial sites to upgrade their facilities.
State-owned Dubai International Capital’s $1.2 billion takeover of a U.K. company with U.S. plants that make military equipment is delayed while the Committee on Foreign Investment undertakes a 45-day investigation to review security concerns.
A Guardian investigation of the $23 billion “Development Fund for Iraq,” which consisted of “the proceeds of oil sales, frozen Iraqi bank accounts and seized Iraqi assets,” found that much of the money was “wasted, stolen or frittered away. The paper labeled it a “tragedy” for the Iraqi people and “one of the greatest financial scandals of all time.”
$35 Billion: The amount in fines corporations and individuals currently owe the federal government. Many of these fines are part of “large, highly publicized penalties for wrongdoing.” “White-collar crime cases account for the largest amount of uncollected debt.”
And finally: A subject dear to our hearts — Why older workers are paid way too much, and younger workers way too little.
What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section.