September 30th, 2005

Avenging Angel

So much for the expertise excuse.

In awarding no-bid contracts to politically connected companies, the Bush administration generally cited, as justifications, a) the urgency of getting started right away, and b) the fact that very few companies have the size, connections, and experience to take on massive projects that may involve subcontracting.

We already know that (a) was a crock: Paul Bremer's pseudogovernment was unable to spend most of the money that came into it, and a lot of the remaining money just vanished -- nobody's sure who was given checks or other payments. Whether this was the result of malice or incompetence is a question for the ages, as is almost everything else about the administration.

Now comes T. Christian Miller of the Los Angeles times, to drive a stake through the heart of excuse (b) in his long, exhaustively detailed article Missteps Hamper Iraqi Oil Recovery.

QARMAT ALI, Iraq — The failure to rebuild key components of Iraq's petroleum industry has impeded oil production and may have permanently damaged the largest of the country's vast oil fields, American and Iraqi experts say.

The deficiencies have deprived Iraq of hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue needed for national rebuilding efforts and kept millions of barrels of oil off the world market at a time of growing demand.

Are people who vote for Republicans living inside individually-wrapped cocoons, cut off from any source of information about reality?

PS: I hear that the GOP standard of proof for holding a politician (such as DeLay or Frist) accountable for misdeeds is actual conviction by a jury of his peers. (Though of course, if a Republican pol's jury was composed of his peers, he'd be able to bribe them and get off.) I'm sure Bill Clinton will be pleased to hear that his impeachment was all a big mistake.
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    annoyed annoyed
Not Left-Handed

Serenity is fantastic, and you should go see it this weekend.

Title says it all, or at least mostly.

Thrilling, shocking, at a few moments rather upsetting... And the villain is much less of a sock-puppet than he seemed in the preview. (It turns out almost all of the preview came from the first 5-10 minutes -- very sneaky, how little it gave away.)

If we pump up those opening-weekend numbers, maybe they'll give Joss an even better budget next time.
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    enthralled enthralled