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Oversight? Overrated.

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Small wonder Joey "short ride" Lieberman doesn’t want to campaign on his record; his war is not going so well, and his Department of Homeland Security has been such a cocked up waste of money and resources people are afraid to even start peeling that onion lest the core be more rotten than we have the stomach to handle at the moment.

But the fact remains that as Chairman of the Government Affairs Committe, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security was Lieberman’s personal pet project.  And according to a new report requested by the indespensible Henry Waxman, the "let’s just trust them" attitude toward oversight doesn’t seem to have worked all that well:

Lawmakers say that since the Homeland Security Department’s formation in 2003, an explosion of no-bid deals and a critical shortage of trained government contract managers have created a system prone to abuse. Based on a comprehensive survey of hundreds of government audits, 32 Homeland Security Department contracts worth a total of $34 billion have "experienced significant overcharges, wasteful spending, or mismanagement," according to the report, which is slated for release today and was obtained in advance by The Washington Post.

The value of contracts awarded without full competition increased 739 percent from 2003 to 2005, to $5.5 billion, more than half the $10 billion awarded by the department that year. By comparison, the agency awarded a total of $3.5 billion in contracts in 2003, the year it was created.

You would think somebody might ask Joe about this.  This is his handiwork, after all — he got a virtual blank check after 9/11 to do whatever he wanted and this is what we got.  Yet the press is consumed with just about every other aspect of this race so long as it has to do with Ned Lamont’s money, which — might I add — is no more remote to the average voter than that of millionaire Joe Lieberman.

Lieberman wholly avoids the press, and those who do manage to find him don’t press him for answers to hard questions like how he feels his war is going and whether he still supports the policies being pursued by the President.  He won’t even answer questions from the New York Times, and the dodge seems to be working — rather than admit they’re being blown off, the press dutifully prints every bit of dissembling gibberish that Lieberman’s press hound, Marion "Atilla the Hen" Steinfels, gives them.

So let’s have it, Ned.  The voters want to know.  The war is quite boring and there is no more pressing matter before us.

Boxers or briefs? 

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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