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2006 June 15 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Waste and Fraud

Mustang Bobby highlights a Miami Herald article about a GAO study of the FEMA aid distributed after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

What may not be obvious from the reporting is that the GAO is talking about “worst case” when it says that up to 16% or $1.4 billion of the money may have been wasted through fraud and/or misuse. Scout of First Draft, your source for all things Katrina, notes that Facing South‘s Chris Kromm has dug deeper and notes that the estimate is based on a finding of 1,500 potential fraud cases with a total value of $16.8 million.

To put this in context on July 5, 2005 I wrote: “FEMA wants Floridians to return $27 million in aid ‘overpayments’ based on a review of the money that they handed out before the 2004 election. This does not include the money that FEMA handed out in Miami-Dade county; that Florida Senator Nelson pointed out was not actually struck by a hurricane.”

Given the devastation of Katrina and Rita, it looks like FEMA tightened up since the year before, but they are still not handling money very well.

For more context, Maru notes that Congress is going to get a cost of living pay raise of $3,300, a $1,765,500 budget increase, not counting the Judiciary increases that are tied to Congressional salaries.

June 15, 2006   2 Comments

Magna Carta

King John

John, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou in the meadow which is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June, 1215, signed the Great Charter in the presence of assorted heavily armed peers of the realm, who assured him it was the right thing to do.

The British Library has pictures of the Magna Carta available, and Wikipedia has a nice discussion of the document.

The Magna Carta of 1297 is permanently residing in the US National Archives.

The Avalon Project’s translation of the 1215 version with an index and definitions.

John abided by the charter for several months, before he returned to business as normal, but the principle was established – no one is above the law.

June 15, 2006   5 Comments