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The Washington Post has a 97,000 word investigation on how Beltway government contractors have used front corporations based in Alaska to land $29 billion in no-bid contract by exploiting a federal program intended to steer business towards impoverished indigenous Alaskans. (Lisa Murkoswki is described as one of the program’s “most adamant boosters”!) The story focuses on the relationship between an Alaska company called Eyak Tech and a long-entrenched NoVa technology contractor called GTSI that ultimately got so greedy an Eyak executive wrote an angry email to GTSI about how he didn’t want to put Eyak at risk of landing “on the front pages of the Washington Post.” Seems to me that programs designed to steer no-bid contracts to “small” and “disadvantaged” always wind up steering all their profits to the “big” and “entrenched”! That is what happened to Eyak anyway, which apparently made no profits on $229 million in contracts it received between 2004 and 2006. The weird thing that the story does not mention until the very last sentence is that GTSI is currently fending off a hostile takeover offer attempt by the Eyaks, who are offering $67 million to acquire their former master company, so there must be a little profit in those no-bid government contracts, or else where would they come up with $67 million? Unless one of them got hold of a Willow Palin sex tape, or something…
There is a reason Rouse has a reputation as a fixer. At a White House dinner Obama held for his top female advisers last fall, several of them shared stories about their colleagues, particularly Emanuel and economic adviser Lawrence H. Summers. The tales all had the same punch line, according to a person familiar with the dinner: “Either Rahm or Larry would do something horrible, and at the end of the day, Pete would come in to fix it.”
By the end of the night, Obama was finishing the women’s stories himself, saying, “Let me guess – Pete fixed it.”
The S.E.C. solved the mystery of the “flash crash.” It was started by this Kansas City-based firm Waddell & Reed Financial, which had earlier blamed Greece. The market (which is always right) thinks the publicity is great for the brand.