One-Third of Wartime Contracting Funds Wasted

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Hey, members of the Super-Duper Committee looking to cut a grand deficit-reduction deal, if you’re looking for wasteful spending to remove from the federal budget, give Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) a call. This just in from her office:

KANSAS CITY – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill will discuss the findings today of a two-year inquiry into wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. McCaskill will make the announcement via phone at 11:15 a.m. ET / 10:15 a.m. CT from her offices in Kansas City.

The U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting, created by McCaskill and inspired by President Harry Truman’s commission on war profiteering in World War II, discovered rampant waste, fraud, and abuse throughout the contracting apparatus. The Commission found that at least $31 billion and as much as $60 billion has been wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan to date and that much more will be wasted in the future without significant changes to the way the government plans, awards, and oversees contracts.

The new report provides a blueprint for addressing these failures of contracting including specific recommendations. McCaskill intends to develop legislation based upon these recommendations. The Commission was created through legislation spearheaded by McCaskill and U.S. Senator Jim Webb (Va.); it passed with broad bipartisan support.

Instead of slicing funding for, say, food safety programs, weather satellites, medical research, health care, or education, perhaps the SDC can squeeze tens of billions of dollars in waste out of this sloppy system. It’s just a thought.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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