Pigs at the trough. No-bid contracts, cost overruns, shoddy work

New Orleans

More than 80 percent of the $1.5 billion in contracts signed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency alone were awarded without bidding or with limited competition, government records show, provoking concerns among auditors and government officials about the potential for favoritism or abuse.

Already, questions have been raised about the political connections of two major contractors – the Shaw Group and Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton – that have been represented by the lobbyist Joe M. Allbaugh, President Bush’s former campaign manager and a former leader of FEMA.

Bungled Iraq oil recovery. More no-bid contracts

The failure to rebuild key components of Iraq’s petroleum industry has impeded oil production and may have permanently damaged the largest of the country’s vast oil fields, American and Iraqi experts say.

The troubles have been compounded in some cases by security issues, poor maintenance and disputes between the U.S. and its main contractor, Houston-based KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp.

The article then details three no-bid contracts that KBR has botched, making obscene profits all the way, no doubt. We are seeing a gigantic shift of money with little or no oversight from public funds to a tiny number of already wealthy elites who apparently can’t be bothered to even pretend to do a competent job. This is a kleptocracy, pure and simple.