Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2011 02:58 pm
Doublethink is, according to Orwell, "the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them … To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient …"

That definitely is h2oman, Okie, Gob, Finn, Cy, ... , geeze, that describes a huge portion of the American public.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2011 03:25 pm
Ooooo, I don't think Perry will win at all, now. According to poll I just saw, he's in 3rd place following Romney 1st, Cain 2nd. This article appeared in today's Austin American Statesman. More troubles he'll have to defend.


The state of Texas has quietly outsourced the management of more than $1 billion in federal disaster recovery funds to an engineering firm with close ties to Gov. Rick Perry's administration, paying the Kansas City, Mo. -based firm HNTB $45 million so far to process infrastructure grants for communities damaged by Hurricanes Dolly and Ike.

The company's billings threaten to exhaust the amount budgeted for administrative and planning costs, while only 20 percent of the first round of money released to Texas to aid disaster recovery grants has been spent three years after the storms. Based on the state's original timeline, at least half those projects should have been completed by now, federal officials say.

The problems have caused officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to voice alarm and begin quarterly reviews in an attempt to get the program back on track.

Hiring a private firm to handle what has been termed the largest public works project in the state's history is unusual, federal officials say.

Weeks ago, the Texas General Land Office cancelled HNTB's contract, which had ballooned from $69 million to $144 million as the firm assumed more responsibility for disaster grants during a downsizing of state government. But HNTB continues to run the infrastructure program on a temporary basis at its downtown Austin offices, where about a dozen state employees also working on the program have been relocated.

Congress appropriated $3.1 billion to help Texans recover from the hurricanes that struck the Gulf coast in 2008. Fifty-five percent of the money ($1.7 billion) is for housing, and 45 percent ($1.4 billion) for nonhousing projects — everything from emergency generators to new water and sewage treatment facilities. Of the total $3.1 billion, $1.3 billion was released in the first round of funding.

Most media attention has focused on problems with post-hurricane housing assistance, which has been managed by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

In Houston, the first new homes to replace those destroyed by Hurricane Ike were only recently completed. In Galveston, where 75 percent of the island's structures were damaged in the 2008 storm, the initial $259 million phase of rebuilding has been plagued with local delays, dissent and complaints about padded costs and inadequate inspections of rebuilt homes.

The role played by HNTB in managing grants for nonhousing infrastructure — originally the responsibility of the now-defunct Texas Department of Rural Affairs — has largely escaped public attention, but not the federal government's.

In a May letter to state officials obtained by the American-Statesman, Stanley Gimont , director of block grant assistance for the U.S. Housing and Urban Development, said that using HNTB "to administer virtually all aspects" of the state agency's work on the community development block grants "presents significant cause for concern." Gimont said that as an engineering firm, HNTB lacked experience with community development block grant programs — the funding vehicle for Ike and Dolly disaster relief.

"There are fundamental responsibilities that must not be ceded by the state to a third-party contractor," he wrote. Those responsibilities include "proper monitoring" of local grants and policy and program guidance on the proper use of community development funds, he wrote.

The letter, which also cited a half-dozen deficiencies in the housing portion of the disaster program, raised questions about the state's oversight of HNTB, including:

• The department of rural affairs was in disarray, its disaster recovery staff had been reduced from 42 employees to 10, and it had "no procedures or policies in place to oversee" HNTB's work.

• The state's contract with HNTB lacked performance measures and carried the potential for "considerable cost increases."

In June, HUD warned that the rate of spending on administrative expenses, which as of Aug. 31 totaled 92 percent of what's been budgeted, could jeopardize the processing of construction projects in the second round of funding.

On July 1, Perry moved oversight of disaster recovery to an elected official, General Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, "to provide more accountability." About a dozen employees of the department of rural affairs, which the Legislature abolished at Perry's request, and 51 from the department of housing and community affairs — all working on disaster recovery projects for those agencies — were transferred to the land office's payroll.

0 Replies
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2011 08:41 pm
Hello Rick Perry. The voting age is 18 not 21. And it's o.k. keep encouraging your followers to vote Nov. 12, 2012. What a dolt!
Reply Wed 30 Nov, 2011 08:34 am
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 06:02 pm
I was curious when I heard Rick Perry refer to the country of Solyndra. Is that the small solar planet right next to Alcoa?
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 06:31 pm

Nope, it's one of the 57 states Obama has campaigned in.
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