7:17 PM Found on Digg:
I’m feeling a bit unpatriotic today. I found my blood boiling inside – something that happens less than rarely with me as a reaction to news and articles – when I read this article on yet another failure of the Bush administration.
This particular article is about the Department of the Interior. It specifically addresses a branch of it called the Mineral Management Service, which deals, among other things, with collecting royalties from big-oil for drilling on federal lands.
From the article (bold mine):
Instead of negotiating tough deals with the oil companies, officials in the royalties office indulged in what an internal investigation later termed “a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity.” A third of RIK staff members, the investigation found, accepted illicit gifts from the industry. Others “used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relations with oil and gas company representatives.” One pair of government-employees-gone-wild, celebrated among oilmen as the “MMS Chicks,” partied hard during corporate snowboarding trips — one got so drunk at a ski resort that Shell had to put her up for the night in its “Dutchman Haus” chalet — and repeatedly had sex with representatives for Chevron and Shell. The “Chicks” did not recuse themselves from negotiations with the companies. Worse, they allowed Chevron and other firms to revise the terms of 118 contracts that had already been finalized — favors to the industry that cost taxpayers $4.4 million.
Separately, I watched part of a recent 60 Minutes episode about Bernie Madoff. A certain whistle-blower was onto the Madoff’s scheme as far back as 2000, and informed the SEC on five different occasions – and nothing happened. The only thing that brought Madoff down was the crumbling economy, not any regulatory enforcement from the SEC.
Tags: 60 Minutes, America, article, Bernie Madoff, Bush Administration;, Department of the Interior, Digg, freedom, Mineral Management Service, political cartoon, quotation, Rolling Stone, Securities and Exchange Commission, whistle-blower