Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Expenses, expenses

During the season premiere of Mad Men, one Pete Campbell remarks that if a publicity stunt the ad agency were to hire hookers instead of actors, he could charge the cost to his expense account. Laughs abound. A humorous juxtaposition of the way things used to be when compared with contemporary social mores. Oh Mad Men, you've done it again.

But surely that was just how they did thing in the sixties, right? Well... unless you're a modern defense contractor.
DHB, which specialized in making body armor used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, paid for more than $6 million in personal expenses on behalf of Mr. Brooks, covering items as expensive as luxury cars and as prosaic as party invitations, Ms. Schlegel testified.

Also included were university textbooks for his daughter, pornographic videos for his son, plastic surgery for his wife, a burial plot for his mother, prostitutes for his employees, and, for him, a $100,000 American-flag belt buckle encrusted with rubies, sapphires and diamonds.
There's so much win and so much "AMERICA.... FUCK YEAH!" that it's hard to contain in one paragraph. That's just part on one man's story of fraud, insider trading, company-financed extremely tacky personal extravagance, and a weird obsession with mind erasing pills that don't exist.

But let's not get hung up on the illegal money wasting of one man, his fake titted wife and his pornography hound of a son. Can't we mention the legal money wasting of our own government?
A US federal watchdog has criticised the US military for failing to account properly for billions of dollars it received to help rebuild Iraq. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says the US Department of Defence is unable to account properly for 96% of the money.

Out of just over $9bn (£5.8bn), $8.7bn is unaccounted for, the inspector says.
The funds in question were administered by the US Department of Defence between 2004 and 2007, and were earmarked for reconstruction projects. But, the report says, a lack of proper accounting makes it impossible to say exactly what happened to most of the money.
96%? I'm surprised it wasn't 100%. But then again, it's easy to account for the $300 million they spent on strippers and coke. "Yeah, if you're looking for the money, it's wither in a g-string or up my nose. Put that in your ledger."

I do like the notion that we have an explanation for the other near trillion or so we spent in Iraq. Oh sure, we have tanks, bombs, bullets, and paychecks to show us where that money went. But I'll be damned if I know what it is we bought with that cash.

Still, if you want to relive the glory excesses of the sixties or just have absolutely no accountability for what or how you spend vast, allocated sums of money... you could do worse than a warzone.

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