For some reason, the GAO didn’t directly make reference to the most effective alternatives that would do an even better job than the individual mandate at decreasing the number of uninsured–single payer or a basic public plan that would enroll the uninsured by default.
|By: Jon Walker Monday March 28, 2011 2:20 pm|
|By: Jon Walker Wednesday March 2, 2011 7:15 pm|
The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has basically been a disaster since its start, and it remains one to this day. Roughly nine months ago, the Government Accountability Office examined the program, found many problems, and made several recommendations to improve it. Since then, the Treasury department has failed to make most of the needed changes.
|By: Jon Walker Wednesday February 16, 2011 1:25 pm|
During this recent debate about the deficit and cutting programs that help regular people, it is important to keep in mind that not only are the oil companies receiving massive tax subsidies directly from the government, but, thanks to lack oversight and bad lease agreements, the federal government is likely getting a far smaller share of the domestic oil revenue than it should.
|By: Jim White Friday January 28, 2011 1:00 pm|
On Thursday, the Government Accountability Office released a report (pdf) to Congress summarizing its latest analysis of the training of the Afghan National Army (ANA). The title conveys much of the sense of the report: “AFGHANISTAN SECURITY: Afghan Army Growing, but Additional Trainers Needed; Long-term Costs Not Determined”. The report documents that training of the ANA actually met an interim goal three months ahead of schedule last fall, but then indicated that the overall end goal for ANA size likely will need to be increased. Importantly, the report plants what I predict will be the seed producing a total lack of accountability for David Petraeus when the ANA eventually proves to be not up to the task of taking over full control of Afghan security (while “training” goals are currently being met, ANA units still remain far from functional on their own) by stating that the effort is suffering because of lack of staffing by those who carry out the training of ANA forces.
Both the GAO report and the only media report I have seen on it, from CNN, fail to to cite the importance of the data presented in Figure 1 of the report, where we see that despite the increased numbers of ANA forces being trained and the “surge” of ISAF forces, violence levels in Afghanistan continue in a steady upward trend. Even when factoring in the seasonal variation in violence, it can be seen in Figure 1 that the total number of monthly attacks in winter 2010-2011 is roughly twice the rate of summer 2008 attacks. When comparing identical seasons, summer 2010 attack rates are roughly three times summer 2008 attack rates and seven times summer 2005 attack rates.
|By: Jane Hamsher Thursday November 18, 2010 5:30 am|
TSA chief John Pistole went for the big lie yesterday in his testimony before the Transportation and Commerce Committee. . . .
|By: emptywheel Wednesday September 29, 2010 1:25 pm|
It remains to be seen whether this compromise will give Congress enough new oversight powers to prevent the abuses that happened under Bush (and heck–I assume the Gang of Four, if not the Gang of Eight–has signed off on assassinating US citizens solely on the President’s say so, so it’s not clear that oversight will be any use in protecting the Constitution). But Jeff Stein reports both Pelosi and DiFi declaring victory, while the White House and DOD remain silent.
|By: emptywheel Sunday August 8, 2010 11:30 am|
Steven Aftergood has an important update on the continuing saga of whether or not GAO can conduct investigations of intelligence activities. He explores the source of current restrictions on GAO review: a 1988 OLC opnion written by Douglas Kmiec. Aftergood goes on to explore the troubling current use of this 1988 opinion protecting raw intelligence to protect more function-oriented reviews of Executive Branch counter-terrorism activities. It’s troubling that this 1988 OLC opinion used to protect details inconvenient to Poppy Bush’s aspirations are now being used to hide details of Obama’s counterterrorism programs.
|By: emptywheel Tuesday July 27, 2010 6:45 am|
In a an interview with me on intelligence reform on Saturday, Speaker Pelosi suggested that the White House should either accept real reform of the oversight function–including some version of House amendments on GAO review of intelligence programs and expanded intelligence briefing beyond the Gang of Four–or accept full responsibility if anything goes wrong with [...]
|By: Jim White Thursday May 6, 2010 5:11 pm|
On Wednesday, the non-partisan Government Accounting Office released a report (pdf) on Afghanistan. The report reminds us that President Obama chose to increase troop levels in Afghanistan in response to increasing levels of violence there. Despite the increased troop levels, there has been a continued increase in violence, which is further hampering the efforts to provide conditions under which a stable Afghan government can operate.
|By: emptywheel Wednesday March 17, 2010 7:15 pm|
Obama’s two intelligence heads, Leon Panetta and Dennis Blair, supported GAO oversight of intelligence activities before–presumably–they supported yesterday’s veto threat of GAO oversight.