by Don Washington on 2012/07/09
Son of frack-frackin’…. here are three numbers $13.3 million and $14.6 million. Here is another number $15.5 million. These are big numbers and what you, being in possession of a working brain can see is that each one is larger than the next what you don’t realize is how connected they are. That’s why my tiny mind is on spin, scream and try not lead a mid-sized riot through the CME building.
The first number is how much money the spawn of the defunct criminal organization Arthur Andersen, Accenture has “saved” the City of Chicago. Why Chicago would have to PAY these people or ANY middleman/mark-up entity; to renegotiate/rebid contracts, combine the purchasing power of every department in the city to buy in bulk and find clever savings within departments should raise three questions. One, how the hell is possible that for the entire Daley Administration they could not figure any of this out? Two, if Rahm Emanuel and his corporate money guys are so smart why is it costing us… you and I… an additional percentage of those savings ON TOP of what we’re paying these corporate mercenaries to find these savings in the first place? Three, damn it isn’t the job of any number of public servants, like say the Mayor, to put in place a public system that watches out for our tax dollars and doesn’t cost us an additional chunk of tax money, PLUS a PERCENTAGE to do the CONTRACTED TASK? HOW CAN NO ONE ASK THESE SIMPLE QUESTIONS? I’M SO MAD I’M TALKING IN CAPITAL LETTERS!
Okay, calming down… ranting in capital letters is a sign of insanity and bad form. It’s a few steps away from talking to yourself and thinking that God has set you on a mission but come on man, if they get to keep some percentage of what they save us on top of what we’re paying them how much money are we saving? Better yet, why the hell do we need them… now I’m asking the same questions all over again; this thinking thing is frick-frackin’ aggravating. Sure our Court Appointed Federal Hiring Monitor, Noelle Brennan, says Mayor Emanuel is doing a good job reforming the personnel process but not on punishing some of the people whose minions transformed him from evil political mastermind to an elected protector of the 1%’s organized money. But when our little marmoset of a Mayor said savings and Accenture in the same sentence I almost dropped dead of a heart attack. This is mainly because our public purse would be safer under the direct supervision of say mafia, at least sometimes those guys go to jail when they steal.
I was reminded of something I’d read last year about them and stealing tax dollars. That’s right, stealing tax dollars, the thing they are charged with monitoring. You see Accenture had to pony up $63.675 million dollars for engaging in a scheme that involved “kickbacks for its recommendations of hardware and software to the government, fraudulently inflated prices and rigged bids in connection with federal information technology contracts.”
This is the sort of thing that if one had “spidey-sense” one would feel it tingle and wonder about the money saved in Pennsylvania, New York City and Ohio… so I picked up the phone and called watchdog, public policy wonks and corruption and fraud investigators in those states. I figured; what the hell, they may know something I don’t sure enough Accenture’s history in those states shames the devil. Voter systems that failed to work and cost millions, overhauls of social service departments that ran over budget and ended in lawsuits centered on actual fraud in Ohio and is at the heart of the CityTime Scandal in New York City.
So they haven’t really saved us $13.3 million, they may not save us $25 million and if history tells us anything somewhere they maybe stealing untold millions from us… brilliant. The theory that it takes a criminal to catch one is not a good way to run a clean government… I’m talking to you Mayor Emanuel and to any press person who’d like to begin their coverage of city savings with what we whimsically refer to here as basic research. Still, in comparison to ANY of our Infrastructure Bank partners these people are upstanding, law abiding corporate citizens.
That second number, $14.6 million, which is bigger than the first number and now that we know that the first number is actually smaller than it says it is, is possibly a lot bigger than the first number might also be getting bigger. Don’t let that Rumsfeldian sentence throw you. I’m just saying that $13.3 million is less than $14.6 million and that the first number is likely to get smaller and the second number is likely to get bigger… possibly way bigger. You see this number is how much the first overtime bill for the NATO Summit policing is going to cost us. It is very conceivable that this number will get bigger. There is a lively behind the scenes debate going on about the four union grievances that have been filed and this number does not even begin to take into account the “training” our police officers received prior to the NATO event. So see, $14.6 could really mean $20 or $25 million but even that is not the actual cost of an event our fiscally gifted Mayor signed us up for.
That third number, $15.5 million, is how much the sterling behavior of our police force has cost us prior to NATO in abusive behavior, brutality legal fees and unlawful arrests. That’s a lot right? You may have been exposed to a lot of really bad reporting around the amazing behavior of our police who were provoked by Black Bloc anarchists and terrorists who stabbed one of them while Chief McCarthy became a “folk hero” for his role in protecting the public from them. The word for this is nonsense. What we know is that a police van ran through a crowd of people and that was just one of the litany of less than banner behavior. That there were a number of arrests that certainly looked illegal and given the number of people detained and released without charges sure seemed excessive to the point of brutality.
Everyone is losing their minds over the NATO three, which was once the NATO five, which might tell us something about the validity of the charges against the NATO three. But as predictably quixotic and infuriating as their trails will be… and if any ONE of them is acquitted Chicago will paying them the kind of money that would make Jamie Dimon try to defraud them and steal their pension funds, the real kick in the face is going to come from hundreds of ordinary people who got beaten, handcuffed, wrongly arrested and assaulted by our local gendarme.
No one can predict how much this is going to cost us but the phrase: “This is going to cost Chicago taxpayers nothing,” is not going to hold up scrutiny no matter how many times our media friends lets the Mayor say these words. Just the less than Constitutional behavior the independent journalists held at gunpoint or otherwise set upon by our law enforcement officials equals a set of law suits that make insuring Tokyo against Godzilla in a Toho Film, seem like a good bet.
Now any one of these three numbers may make you want to run howling through the streets naked but don’t it won’t solve anything. Our Mayor’s incredibly cynical judgment that has him handing over the keys to the fiscal kingdom to Accenture can be forgiven. After all that band of corporate criminals are his kind of people. Besides, by the time they’re dragged into court for robbing us blind he’ll be a Senator or on the Board of Blackrock or Bechtel or GE or something and it’ll be somebody else’s problem… you know… ours. You can’t even get too insanely upset at the our media friends who can’t be faulted for not being able to pick up a phone and call the people receiving services from said company or checking their past behavior for some clue as to how they will act in the future… I mean that’s a lot of work for people on deadline with editors who apparently lean so far to the right they’re resting their heads on Franco’s shoulder.
No we should all be mad at ourselves for not demanding that our goddamned government do its job and stop fobbing it off to privateers who will steal from us! You should also be cross-eyed angry at our media friends for claiming the Marmoset Machine is saving money when all they are doing is finding ways to hand out cash to their campaign investors while setting us up to pay for parties like NATO that they could barely get insurance for…. Son of frack-frackin’….