Wednesday, November 25, 2009

government contract fraud is hitting disabled veterans

McClatchy Washington Bureau

Posted on Wed, Nov. 25, 2009

Study shows government contract fraud is hitting disabled veterans

Jim Wyss | The Miami Herald

last updated: November 25, 2009 07:57:29 AM

Millions of dollars worth of government contracts designated for service-disabled veterans are being siphoned off by fraud and abuse, according to a recent government report.

In a case-study of 10 firms, including one Florida company, the Government Accountability Office found ineligible companies had won about $100 million worth of contracts earmarked for service-disabled veteran-owned companies.

The "program is vulnerable to fraud and abuse, which could result in legitimate service-disabled veterans losing contracts to ineligible firms," according to the report, which was presented to Congress last week.

Florida is home to 1,421 service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, according to the government's Central Contractor Registry. And while the government has a mandate to set aside 3 percent of all federal contracts for such firms, it often misses the mark.

During fiscal year 2008 -- the latest data available -- service-disabled small businesses won $3.3 billion worth of federal contracts, or about 1 percent. But the GAO study suggests that even those modest results are overstated.

In one case, the GAO found a full-time Department of Defense contractor, who was disabled and worked at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, was passing along a $900,000 contract to manufacture furniture to his wife's company. She, in turn, passed it along to another manufacturer that actually completed the work.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Piling on Palin

By Nance Greggs
Being the week of the official launch of Sarah Palin’s book, it is an opportune time to step back and analyze why this woman has attracted, although not unsurprisingly, the kind of scorn usually reserved for – well, for people who can’t put two coherent sentences together, but “write” books nonetheless.

Perhaps it is simply this: Sarah Palin personifies all that is wrong with a political system that allows for anyone so obviously incompetent to rise within its ranks, a political party so devoid of circumspection it would not merely allow such a person to come within a heartbeat of the presidency, but would actively support her pursuit of same, and a citizenry so bereft of insight so as to actually encourage and applaud her political aspirations.

The evidence is more than plentiful. Palin is as ill-informed as it is possible to be in today’s environment of easily-accessible information. She is an unethical hypocrite who lacks any empathy for her fellow citizens, who has often used her political clout as a means to destroy her perceived enemies and enrich herself financially, a woman who has no qualms about reducing her own children to mere props when it is politically expedient.

There is no doubt in this writer’s mind that Palin’s rise in popularity among the intellectually impaired was a natural follow-up to the G.W. Bush years, when the road to a form of political insanity was paved – a time when abject stupidity was passed off as down home charm, ignorance of world events was accepted as a sign of being just simple folk, and stubbornness and an incapacity to admit mistakes was lauded as strength of character and commitment to whatever the most recent poll results defined as
American ideals.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day
If you are able,
save them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving

Be not ashamed to say
you loved them
though you may
or may not have always

Take what they have left
and what they have taught you
with their dying
and keep it with your own.

And in that time
when men decide and feel safe
To call the war insane
take one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes
you left behind.

Major Michael David O'Donnell
Written 1 January 1970
MIA 24 March 1970
Dak To, Vietnam

Thursday, November 05, 2009


The State Legislature is considering property tax exemptions based on VA disability ratings for injuries occurring in war.
Contact your Assembly and Senate members and urge them to pass this bill.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Move over Switzerland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Move over Switzerland. The tiny state of
Delaware beats the Alpine country in a contest for the most secretive
financial jurisdiction, a tax justice rights group said on Saturday.

The United States, led by the eastern seaboard state, took in $2.6
trillion in deposits from non-resident corporations and individuals in
2007, according to a survey of financial jurisdictions analyzed by the
Tax Justice Network.

The survey of laws, practices and size of inflows in 60 jurisdictions
found Delaware coming in first, followed by Luxembourg and then
Switzerland. The Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom round out the top
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