• No Sweat
  • Sunday, February 18, 2007

    Cronyism and Rewarding the Incompetent

    One of the most striking aspects of the Halliburton Republican Party under Bush is the way completely incompetent people are rewarded if they are cronies of Bush or another high ranking Republican. The most blatant and tragic example of this was Mike Brown who was in charge of FEMA during the Katrina disaster and whose incompetence led to the deaths of thousands of Americans. Brown (whose incompetence during Katrina was praised with a "Good job Brownie," by Bush) already had a history of failure when Bush appointed him head of FEMA. Brown had been forced to resign as Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association due to incompetence. Wonderful qualifications for running FEMA, right? But Brown was part of the crony network surrounding Bush, so he got a cushy job...and thousands of Americans paid the ultimate price.

    Well, it seems those thousands of American lives didn't teach the Bush administration any lessons at all. Incompetence is still being rewarded. And it sometimes seems that the grosser the incompetence the bigger the reward. Chris Oynes was regional director of Minerals Management Service’s Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Region for the past 13 years. During that time he messed up enforcing the law and thus allowed oil companies to escape an estimated $10-60 BILLION in taxes. How much body armor for our troops would that buy? How many levees in New Orleans could have been repaired with that amount? How many schools could be repaired? I don't know. Why did he fail to charge oil companies the proper taxes? He claims, I kid you not, he "forgot."

    Now, what if you cost your employer let's say a mere $10-60 thousand dollars due to a simple lapse in memory. Would you be promoted? Probably not.

    Under the Bush Administration, Chris Oynes, despite these memory problems that are costing our country $10-60 billion, got a big fat promotion this month. Minerals Management Service Director, Johnnie Burton, chose Chris "I Forgot" Oynes as the new associate director of the agency’s Offshore Minerals Management Program.

    You can read more about it here.

    This is the exact kind of mismanagement that has defined the Bush Administration and which led to the tragedy of Katrina. Write the media and your Congress Critters to complain about the rewarding of incompetence in the Bush administration. Tell them you don't want any more Katrinas and you don't want any more corruption.

    Friday, February 16, 2007

    FBI Investigates Nevada's Republican Governor

    Missouri, Kentucky and Ohio have had Republican Governors who were the by-word for corruption. Ohio can be proud that in November 2006 they rejected the corruption of their state's Republican party. In New York State we just saw the end of a less blatant form of Republican corruption as Pataki left office.

    Nevada seems to be the latest place where a Republican Governor is taking the path of corruption...and even the FBI is taking an interest. Nevada Republican Governor Jim Gibbons is being investigated corruption he engaged in while in Congress as a buddy of the corrupt Republicans Tom DeLay (indicted) and Bob Ney (in jail). In fact, Gibbons seems to have engaged in almost exactly the kind of corruption that brought down California Republican Congresman Randy Cunningham (in jail). From

    The FBI is investigating whether Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons failed to properly report gifts or payments from a software company that was awarded secret military contracts when he was in Congress.

    A federal law enforcement official confirmed the FBI probe Thursday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said the inquiry is focusing on what role Gibbons played in awarding contracts to eTreppid Technologies LLC...

    The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that new evidence had emerged in a lawsuit in Reno, including e-mails to Trepp discussing a payment or gifts to then-Rep. Gibbons. The e-mails also show Gibbons using his congressional office to help the company seek classified military and civilian contracts, the newspaper said.

    "Please don't forget to bring the money you promised Jim and Dawn," Trepp's wife, Jale Trepp, said in a March 22, 2005, e-mail days before Trepp and his wife embarked on the Caribbean cruise with Jim Gibbons and his wife, Dawn, a former Nevada state assemblywoman.

    According to the Journal, Trepp responded minutes later saying: "Don't you ever send this kind of message to me! Erase this message from your computer right now!"

    Gibbons, who served on the House Intelligence and Armed Services committees, did not disclose the cruise and travel on Trepp's leased private jet, as required by House ethics rules. He later asked the House Ethics Committee for an exemption, but left office before any action was taken....

    Trepp, a former chief trader for convicted junk-bond dealer Michael Milken, also has denied any wrongdoing. He did not immediately return calls Thursday to his office in Reno.

    Is there room in Randy Cunningham's jail cell for another corrupt Halliburton Republican?