Archive for July, 2010

Second Dose

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Two items on today’s agenda.

Item #1:  We’re going to revisit the governments inept accounting abilities, or as I prefer to say their extreme misappropriation of tax money.

Just when you thought 8.7 Billion Missing Dollars  was bad…   That turned out to be just a primer.   The Diane Rehm show (no, she wasn’t hosting) had great guests on today,   Stuart Bowen, and Brian Katulis.   According to their interview, the monies lost in Afghanistan are considerably less than the monies unaccounted for in Iraq.   Come to find out, on two separate audits, over 9 Billion Dollars was unaccounted for.   Let me clarify that.   Each audit had 9 Billion Dollars missing in action.   That’s over 18 Billion Dollars, just walking away unnoticed.    How does this happen you ask.   How does that much money somehow slip through the accountant hands.   Well, when you consider the manor in which money makes its way to Iraq, you’ll be less surprised.   Did you know the vast majority of the money we “spend” over there is done in cash?   Yep, it’s true.   In fact in one shipment alone, 12 Billion Dollars in CASH, was flown directly into Iraq.   That’s printed $100 bills, wrapped, packed, and shipped.   I cannot even comprehend the logistics of that arrangement without some sort of slide-rule.   So yeah, I can see where cash comes in handy, and how easy it would be to keep off the books.    Because when you are paying off that goat herder for the “use” of his daughter, you’re probably not going to want to use the credit card.

There are kids in this country, maybe even right next door to you, that go without food on a daily basis.   18 Billion Dollars, could actually feed…   ALL OF THEM!

 

Item #2:  And I have friends in the military, so this is kind of a PSA as well.   But it really pissed me off.   This story broke a couple of days ago but I’d like to touch on it a bit.   Life insurance companies are profiting off of fallen solder’s death benefits.  

Now, we all know that insurance companies are scum, and for some reason, we as a society have accepted that and looked the other way.   But this?!   This raises the level of vilany, ten fold.   David Evans brought this whole scheme to light and you can click here for the full story, but I’d like to summarize it a bit here for my blog purposes.  

It works like this;   After the death benefits have been paid out, the insurance company actually doesn’t pay the beneficiary, but instead deposits the money in an unsecured account that it has set up for itself so that the company, not the beneficiary, earns (steals) money off the interest.   The insurance company supplies the beneficiary with a checkbook, in hopes that the beneficiary will never fully understand exactly what has happened.   They might have gotten away with it more, but the checks aren’t actually viable unless written to the insurance company itself.

Here’s the kicker.   Aside from making money off the suffering of others, in order to maximize their profits from the interest paid out, the insurance companies set up risky, non-FDIC backed accounts.   So not only are they not giving the beneficiary the full benefit of the money, but they are putting the beneficiary potentially at risk of losing the money completely.    

The insurance companies never make it clear to the beneficiary of exactly what their options are, and in almost all cases the accounts are opened automatically with little to no options given.    In the cases of Metlife, they tell the beneficiary that they will open a money market account for them automatically as a “convenience” to the grieving, and NEVER disclose the true nature of the account, or even offer the choice to get a full payout check.    This is common practice among the insurance companies that handle military death benefits, but don’t be surprised if it pertains to your own life insurance policy as well.

The entire story is sickening, and the fact that the people responsible for regulating the death benefits policies didn’t even understand that it was happening, makes me want to shake a few heads off.   The evil that comes from the insurance industry reaches new lows.   I can’t even think of the words to convey my opinion of them….   Oh wait, yes I can.    They are as evil as Dick Cheney.   There.

 

List of Idiots 07/28/10

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

With WikiLeaks in the headlines as of late, there are a few thousand documents I feel the urge to thumb through.   Knowing that I’ll never get through them all is perhaps my biggest disappointment.   I hope I can get through as many as possible before the government decides to run a giant sharpie over them.   I’m sure there’s enough in there to supply me with stuff to bitch about for the next 40 years.

 

But until then, I’d like to add a couple of names to the List of Idiots.

First up; Andrew Breitbart, a right-wing blogger for some blog that I can’t remember.   Andrew is responsible for some creative editing on an old video of Shirley Sherrod (former director of Rural Development for the Department of Agriculture), that made her out to be a racist.  Andrew then distributed that edited tape to Fox (who else) News.   Thanks Andrew, for showing us your true colors.

Next on the list is Fox News, for once again, vomiting lies, and perpetuating hate and discontent.  But of course they never really leave the list do they.  So, congrats to them for staying consistent.

Next, is one of our favorites, Ann Coulter.   Ann, on an interview with Sean Hannity, insisted that Andrew Breitbart was in fact a “victim of fraud”!   Ohhh Ann, thank you.  You are always good for a chuckle.   You knucklehead.

Last on our list today:   President Obama, and his advisors.   Obama and friends are guilty of…    Actually watching Fox News!!!!   And then paying attention to it.   Obama’s TV FTL!!!   (that’s For The Loss, for anyone wondering)

Check your pockets!

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

A little more interesting news coming out of Afghanistan, and this should really piss you off.   Out of 9 Billion dollars earmarked for rebuilding Afghanistan’s infrastructure, 8.7 Billion is unaccounted for.

  

 Please reread that.   No seriously, I want you to reread what I just friggin’ typed right there.   Wh-wh-whaaat?   Are you fucking kidding me?!   8.7 of 9 Billion is…   What?   Just missing?   Lost in the shuffle?

 

Okay, now that you’re all pissed off (I would hope), let me tell you why you shouldn’t be surprised.

 

It’s easier for the government to simply say they aren’t sure where the money is, than it is for them to tell the truth.   I’ve explained many times that our government keeps the lowest of low-lifes as bedfellows, but they wouldn’t be able to do that if they divulged all the garbage we have under our employ.    The people of this country might actually get upset, and they wouldn’t want that, now would they.

 

So where is all the money going?   Well to answer that you have to realize there are many hands in the cookie jar, ranging from your big players to your gnats, and all sizes in-between.   Most notable would be the most obvious, the Karzai cartel.   It’s an expense we greatly under estimated.   Keeping him in power cost money.   Keeping the roaches at his side from assonating him, also costs money, and that’s just the ones that he considers friends.   The Karzai family opium business also costs a shitload of money to maintain a blanket on.   There’s a lot of people with loose lips around there, and there are only two ways of dealing with them, pay them off, or kill them.   The US, tends to pay off most, and Brother Karzai, tends to storm the village and kill everyone,  which in turn makes it harder on us to keep it quiet, which means…  More money.  

 

Next on our list, would be our good buddies over at Halliburton.   These guys have so many hands in the cookie jar it’s not even funny.   To many to count, really.   Halliburton has everything from catering to death squads, and they aren’t afraid to fudge the numbers with a most creative shell game (aka, find the quarter/ find the ball).   And they’ll do it right in the open!   Nobody fucks with them, and anyone that does, doesn’t usually last too long.   Politically or physically.    Our next notable dirty hand would be Pakistan.   Not the entire country mind you, just some key political/military figures.    It takes a lot of money to keep Osama bin Laden hidden out of sight.   Nobody knows this better than the Pakistan officials tasked with that job.   Confiscating numerous home videos, and keeping him well supplied with beard combs, must be an arduous task.   But seriously, it takes money to keep the lid on that situation.    On top of that, there’s money needed to keep the opium supply routes open and running cleanly and quietly through Pakistan.   Granted, by this time the money made on the opium should be filtering back to pay for most of this, but the initial start up costs must have really killed us.    And my guess is, the money is getting “stuck” somewhere toward the end, and isn’t making its way back.   Forcing us to brunt most of the cost.

 

Now, if you haven’t come up with at least 8.7 Billion Dollars, I’m not sure what cheap calculator you are using, but my guess is, it’s made by Halliburton.