Powered by TypePad

« I Blame Gary Taubes | Main | Fifteen Minutes, And More »

June 17, 2014





shocker I know;



OT: My father-in-law is turning 90 years old this August. He's a WW2 veteran, from Patton's army. He's been a lifetime resident of NJ. And is the founding father of a fire department. I'm throwing him a surprise birthday party and would love it if the Govenor showed up to wish him a happy birthday. Anyone have any idea the best way to go about trying to make this happen?


Anyone have any idea the best way to go about trying to make this happen?

Bundled campaign donations?


NJ?-- usually a campaign donation is involved. I keed.

Have the local town mayor call the governor's scheduling secretary.


They could have kept the 'archived' emails if they wanted to.

I worked for a telecom firm that used Lotus notes and had mailbox limits that I ran afoul of continuously. I also had some managers that liked to claim that the reports our office were producing on demand were not what they asked for. I regularly downloaded the email account to cds to make sure I had backup of all traffic between my offices and the managers claiming they weren't getting what they asked for.

I'm OCD so almost all report requests were usually a stream of emails with questions like "you requested data for 'sales' and that is ambiguous."

Could you specify a product category, time frame, sales persons, customers etc you are interested in so that we may produce what you need?

Keeping those emails was Butt covering 101. As they would claim it took our office too long to produce reports, but the reality was provable that we were producing what they asked for and not what they actually required which was discovered after questioning the report requesters.

Matter of fact, I haven't worked there since the telecom layoff of 2001, but copies of those cds are still in a box in my bedroom closet. Not only did I have one set of backups, I had two.

The 'computer ate my emails' only works if you are intentionally trying to NOT cover your ass. Most people don't work by leaving their ass exposed.


but the reality was provable that we were producing what they asked for and not what they actually required which was discovered after questioning the report requesters.

I'll also note that a few reports running to hundreds of pages and brought over by handtruck is a good way to get your point across.

Asking for a sales report... get real. Seriously.

Asking for a sales report on product x-xxx for the last six months sorted by salesperson by state... now I can send you what you need.

Old Lurker

"Most people don't work by leaving their ass exposed."

Too easy.

Been to Hollywood lately?

Or the high school down the street?


Anyone have any idea the best way to go about trying to make this happen?

C'mon, JOMers, this is NJ, the jokes write themselves.

-unlimited cake, ice cream, pizza?
-a TV news camera crew?
-hurricane damage (maybe the JEF can come for a hug and kiss)


LOL, got me on that one.


C'mon, JOMers, this is NJ, the jokes write themselves.

- hot dog eating contest.

- gay pride parade.

- Snookie free zone.


I don't know if I agree Stephanie.

My experience has been that most people are either lazy or incompetent or both. The concept of backing up emails or even valuable source code never crosses their puny minds. If there isn't a prescribed "corporate" mandate, doesn't happen.

Now Lerner on the other hand appears to be much too devious and underhanded to be incompetent. Lazy maybe.

Old Lurker

:-) Steph.

We OCD types have to stick together



Try a bag full of donuts. If that doesn't work, tell him there is sprinkles on top!


The concept of backing up emails or even valuable source code never crosses their puny minds. If there isn't a prescribed "corporate" mandate, doesn't happen.

I agree, but business e-mail (and nowadays most personal e-mail too) is always server based, and is never dependent on individuals backing stuff up. Again, in the case of the IRS that is a legal requirement, and I suspect it effectively is for most businesses for compliance purposes.

Rob Crawford

Buckeye -- I heard a horror story from a MAJOR project at my employer, a project with over a million a month burn rate. Most of the developers were making changes to the code in-place, then copying what they remembered changing to their local machines to be committed to version control. Needless to say they had endless quality control problems and old errors reappearing in the system.

H1-Bs, because the hourly rate is lower...


Tell him it is a groundbreaking for Fat and Tall.



Paula, I don't know, but NK's suggestion of asking the Mayor to contact the Governor's office sounds like a good start.

You might ask your House Rep and state senators/reps to contact the Governor's office as well. They might all be Dem, but they might also all be raring to show public support for veterans in this current political environment. Veterans' issues are a true bipartisan concern, as well they should be.

And with D-Day ceremonies and veterans visiting DC memorials fresh on everyone's mind, it is good timing for your FIL. Good luck and keep us posted. I hope he has a marvelous birthday!


As to Iran and the stasis of an ISIS state, how many years have Somalia and Sudan and Yemen been shitholes? You can call it a nation, but sometimes nations don't act like nations.

As to all of the f-tards, we are seeing the Sunni-Shia civil war coming to pass. Let's look at the scorecard, kids!

Syria - hopeless mess (Alawite-Sunni-your name here)

Turkey - destabilizing - hanging on waiting for NATO help.

Lebanon - destabilized

Jordan - destabilizing - barely under control

Iraq - destabilized

Oman - using Sunnis as cats paw

Kuwait - 20,000 M-16's missing (no evidence yet)

Saudi Arabia - openly supporting Sunni resistance in Syria.

Iran - managing Hezbollah involvement in Syria. Shiite- Alawite alliance with Assad.Now on the edge of being drawn into Iraq.

Kurdistan - autonomous region in Iraq. Autonomous region in Syria. Nationhood? Stabilizing state?

Israel - ??????

Yemen - destabilized. Barely under control. large swathes AQAP.

Sunni jihadis flooding in from all over the place to ISIS.

Old Lurker

Seems to me whenever I have thought a legal problem might be brewing for my business the first thing my lawyers did was to take possession of all of my files, paper and electronic. When the storm failed to materialize, back they would come.

Who doesn't do that in this town of Richard Nixon?


The Archbishop of San Fran responds to San Fran Nan:

It must be pointed out, though, that there is plenty of offensive rhetoric which flows in the opposite direction. In fact, for those who support the conjugal understanding of marriage, the attacks have not stopped at rhetoric. Simply for taking a stand for marriage as it has been understood in every human society for millennia, people have lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods, and have suffered other types of retribution, including physical violence.


Jeff Dobbs

FTSAH: Finger update - I finally went to see the doctor

Summary: Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control

1) She gave me this:

Me: So the idea is to rest it?
Her: Yes
Me: So . . . would repeated jarring of my hand while holding a cylindrical object be discouraged?
Her: Um, yes.
Me: I mean, like if I play pool. I play a lot of pool. I sometimes play 10-12 hours at a time.
Her: Oh, no, you shouldn't do that.
Me: I'll take that under advisement.
Her: So you mean you won't stop.
Me: Shhhh, don't tell my doctor.

2) Then, she talked about diet...

Her: You should avoid protein-dense meats and seafood.
Me: I'm sorry, for a second there I thought you said don't eat meat.
Her: You should cut back on red meat and seafood for sure.
Me: I'm not sure I'm following you. Meat. Seafood. You want me to eat less meat? And seafood?
Her: I think it would help, yes.
Me: I've done something to make you mad at me, haven't I?

3) Next up, as several suggested here....

Her: And it's probably a good idea to cut down on alcohol intake.
Me: ::spit take:: Why do you hate me? How much are we talking about here?
Her: Well, best would be to eliminate it at least while we are working to get the swelling down.
Me: I don't like that answer.
Her: Well, cut down as much as you can.
Me: ...
Her: ...
Me: Look, I've thought it over and I've made a decision. Cut it off.
Her: Oh no, I don't think we have to do that. With the treatment we've outlined, I think the swelling will go down and we'll be able to get your ring off no problem
Me: No, you don't understand. The finger. Just cut off the finger. It's really become way too much trouble and I don't want to deal with it any more.
Her: ...
Me: Or do I have to see a specialist to have that done?
Her: ...
Me: Because we could do this right now if you're the person for it.
Her: ...
Me: I'll follow you on twitter, like you on Facebook. I'll give you a really good review on Yelp if you do it right now.
Her: I'm calling mrs hit and run.
Me: Shoot, you don't have to do that, I can drive myself home. Just give me a local and let's get this show on the road.

Comanche Voter

In a fluid situation like this, the supposed experts should go buy and drink a big case of STFU. Odds are good that whatever opinion they express will come back to bite them in the backside.

I mean, look at Slow Joe Biden who declared that Iraq was a shining accomplishment of the Obama Administration. But Slow Joe usually gets a pass for whatever idiocy spews from his mouth, so he'll survive that gaffe.



One place I worked relied upon hand written instructions that an IT flunky followed faithfully to create a backup tape for off-site storage once a month.

When the inevitable happened, and the backup tape was rushed to us from the "vault", the brain trust discovered that their instruction were shit and they had faithfully backed up the wrong accounts.

Another instance of DOOM.


The Ronnie Lott solution.


Comanche-- yep. And i have to see any of these experts point out what Matt did. This is the Sunni-Shia showdown. The Saudis had enough of Obummer kowtowing to the Mullahs and the MB-- the House of Saud's 2 greatest enemies. So they are paying ISIS to cause lots of trouble for Obummer and the Mullahs, and the MB Turkish government. The USA must stay out-- Obummer has created a mess we can do little about until after lots of Arab blood is spilt.


Some make you grin news:

The Internal Revenue Service is about to get slapped with a harsh payback for messing around with conservative groups, blowing wads of tax dollars on employee conferences and helping implement Obamacare.

The House Appropriations Committee is set to OK an IRS budget of $10.9 billion, $1.5 billion under President Obama's request for fiscal year 2015, reducing the agency's budget to 2008 levels.


H & R

That was seriously funny.

You should be writing for the late night gang

Happy, happy, joy, joy Ignatz

I would prefer their 1908 budget level.

Beasts of England

Good choice, hit! Fingers are redundant, and a single digit is really a small sacrifice for meat, beer and pool...


Budgets in Washington DC never go down. In Washington speak its a "cut" when the budget increases too slowly! This is a very real cut and might actually modify some behavior over there. Notice I used the word might, as it could take several years running of applications of this medicine to get the message across.


LOL@ the Christie jokes. NK, thank you
for the advice. I just got off the phone with the mayor's office, they're going to see who has the closet ties to the governor and ask them to ask him. They admitted it's a long shot, but you never know. It's worth a shot. In the meanwhile they said the town could recognize him with a special award. :)


It is so overwhelming. Check this out:




Check out the co-chairs!


Thank you, Porchlight. I'm going to call their offices too. I'll keep you posted.


Ann, each of those three has too much money (per Obama), why do they ask for donations?


25 years or so ago, DrF did a post doc at a government lab in a country of legendary efficiency, and several experiences caused him to call bullshit on the efficiency thing. One such incident was the Tobi incident. Tobi was a systems operator, and one day he took the disk platters for the RM05 drive and put them on the drive and mounted it. At which point the drive started to make what tech people refer to by the technical term "the radial-arm-saw noise." So what did Tobi do? He removed the platters and took the backup platters -- the only other copy of the data on the disk -- and mounted that on the drive.


Now I know that 97% of all computer scientists agree that the IRS is lying about the missing emails, but I'm actually in the 3% that says that yes, the IRS IT dept could be incompetent enough that they were not backing up emails. There are Tobi's everywhere...


No idea what thread this belongs in - apologies to any topic-purity OCD types.

In the LUN - prepared remarks from IRS Commissioner Koskinen had to say to The National Press Club on April 2, 2014.

He said the following about the IRS budget(my bold):
Since Fiscal 2010, IRS appropriations have been cut by about $900 million and we have 10,000 fewer employees even as our responsibilities continue to expand.

We recognize the need to become more efficient, no matter what happens to our funding level. Since 2010, the IRS has cut annual spending on professional and technical service contracts by $200 million. We generated $60 million in annual printing and postage savings by eliminating the printing and mailing of certain tax packages and publications, and by transitioning to paperless employee pay statements.

Real estate is another area where we have found major savings. In 2012 the IRS began a sweeping space-reduction initiative that is projected to reduce rent costs by more than $40 million and reduce total IRS office space by more than 1.3 million square feet by the end of this fiscal year. Taken together, we’re spending $300 million a year less in these areas.

I think that means they easily reduced their spending by MORE than $900MM/year. 10K fewer employees might have done that all by itself.

I say, let's cut it even more. They clearly have lots of low-hanging fruit.

Jeff Dobbs


No regrets.


I am reporting hit to the risky business board, today :)



I hope you succeed!


Was there an IRS in 1908? This IRS history implies no; check out the rates from income tax 1913 origination to WWI debt repayment and 'stabilization'. Leviathan has been in the making for 100years; it is insatiable:


"why do they ask for donations?"

Henry, they always like to kill us with our own money! or fingers :)


Best o' luck Paula.


PS: at minimum Christie should issue a signing Proclamation noting your F-I-L's contribution to fire safety and community spirit. I helped our local politicians get that out of the Ct Governor recognizing the foundation my wife formed for breast cancer awareness and early detection.



While you are doing Hail Mary invites, why don't you call Ft Dix and ask the Commander to come by to greet a Patton vet? I would call the Command Sergeant Major who is the Commanders top enlisted man and make the request. You never know, the Colonel could be thrilled to meet a WW 2 vet.

I can tell you that Ft Benning has several old school vets that volunteer at the museum, and when Tmax was in OCS, he was genuinely thrilled to listen to tales of WW 2 vets.


No more gang signs for hit.


hit, not to get too personal, but do you happen to have psoriasis? The sausage fingers are a leading sign of psoriatic arthritis. Most people with PSA start out with plain old skin psoriasis, and move on the the arthritis later, but some people start with the PSA.

The fact that your finger has been doing this for so long without either getting better or killing you would tend to indicate something like an autoimmune disease.


the piece also ignores the fact that the Islamic Court is the Somali government

Jeff Dobbs

but do you happen to have psoriasis?

No, occasional athletes foot, but that's it.

Blood drawn today. Results in a couple of days. We'll go from there.

Danube on iPad

Obama in 2011:

“It’s harder to end a war than begin one. Indeed, everything that American troops have done in Iraq -– all the fighting and all the dying, the bleeding and the building, and the training and the partnering -– all of it has led to this moment of success. Now, Iraq is not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations.”


Danube on iPad

Here it is: a treasure trove of Obama "mission accomplished" quotes. Pick your favorite:



DoT-- thanks for that link. Obummer is such a disgrace and he and his whole crew are so dumb. What an indictment of America that he was elected twice.


So was the arrest of the Benghazi guy a gift to Hillary who has an interview tonite with Brett and Greta?


We used to rotate who was on backup duty between 3 of us in an IT department of 60. I'm big on procedure manuals with checkoff lists to make sure you do everything and document having done so. (Another CYA move)

Well, anyways, left work one day after all the afternoon procedures got smashed as some idiot landscaper hit a gas line in the intersection and the building had to be evacuated. Along about 10:55 that night I bolted right off the couch, grabbed the keys and flew out the front door. Maniac driving to the office 32 miles away and swipe my key card, enter the building and run to change the backup tapes for the nightly run. Made it with 3 minutes to spare.

Then I realized I was in a really Victoria's Secret nightgown and all the security cameras in my path to the server room had recorded my flight to backup.

EEEEK. I don't have access to the security camera tapes.

The next morning as everyone was panicking that someone had entered the building after the evacuation and boy were they in trouble...and yep someone had accessed the security tapes to take a look and sure nuff there I was.

And no I wasn't in trouble as the El Paso facility had screwed up something and so we didn't have to reconstruct two days of posting instead of one thanks to my midnight dash.

That tape made the company video and picture montage at both the summer party AND the Christmas party.

And yes, I changed the tape backup procedure to a first thing in the morning and NOT last thing before you leave at night procedure.

Lesson learned.


Jane, How can it be a gift as Hillary said over the caskets of the dead men that it was a video! Wonder if Brett and/or Greta will mention that?


You guys are the best! Thanks Gmax, I will do that too! :)


That was my thought; how can Obummer hail capturing a Benghazi terrorist when Stevens et al were killed essentially by film critics?


Yeah, Stephanie, one time I was running standalone backup to defrag my drive (does anyone here even know what that is?) and I forgot to put the "image" flag on the command line when I made the backup. So then I went and restored the last weekly backup, and the daily incrementals. At which point found out that the night operator (who worked midnight-to-seven) had been consistently coming in at 2am-3am and so didn't have time to run backups, and I only had 2 of the 5 incrementals.

Not a happy camper that day.


Hit--thanks for the update. Wait is on for the uric acid level.

I'm convinced by Eric's argument--if JEF was simply incompetent, things would turn out for the best at least once in a while. These disasters are deliberate.


Paula, Send an invitation with a nice letter directly to the governor. Forget middle man and use the personal touch. In the letter explain about your dad and how much it would mean to him and to you. At the very least you should get a reply, if not a personal appearance.


Well, I am not a doc--like anonamom--just pretend to be one--and my first thought on hit's finger was gout.


sorry, Paula "dad-in-law"


Cathyf, yep. Data reconstruction is a bitch. Which is why dailies are imperative and weeklies are imperative and monthlies are imperative. All separate and all stored in different locations and all maintained through at least your next proctoscope by the external auditors.

And don't even get me started about reloading backup files to retrieve something in monthly post adjustments that no one noticed didn't get posted as was claimed until weeks later... ruins many days.

Captain Hate

Welp, I guess today is report on what happened when you saw the doctor yesterday day. Mrs H was bugging me to get a physical which I knew I was overdue on doing, but not by a lot. Anyway I went yesterday and other than the doctor hearing a small heart murmur everything was ok. So they ran an EKG before I left and the output said that I had had a heart attack at some point in the past. I said "say what?" and the doc said it could be what they call a silent heart attack and ordered some other tests to be done in the future to see what is what.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised given my family's history but it still rocked me on my heels. The only time I can think this may have happened was when I was in Amarillo I woke up one night just feeling completely claustrophobic panicky and out of sorts in the middle of the night. It wasn't a bad dream or a work related panic attack or anything like that; I even went outside to walk around to try and calm down. After a couple hours I finally felt ok to go back to bed. That's the only thing that may have been it. So we'll see what happens.

I hesitated writing this until now because I don't like writing that kind of stuff here because I don't want people feeling sorry for me or concern over some pixel person most of you haven't met in person. It was only because hit was writing his stupid finger stories that I decided to one up him.


As always, in the choice between incompetent and malevolent, I opt for "both." In a sense the "incompetent" part may save us, not because he occasionally gets things right (no evidence of that), but that he screws up trying to implement horrible policies.


Take care of yourself capt H.


I am in the JimmyK@3:52 camp


CH, while that's never a good thing to hear, I'll just mention that my father had such a report probably 20 years ago or more. He's now 92 and his heart is still pumping away (albeit with a very recently installed pacemaker, but that was just to address a low heart rate).

Old Lurker

Not gonna feel sorry for Cap'n.



Some of us love your pixels, Captain. Time for a stress test.


Paula - Ask the current fire chief to get the state fire marshal to ask the governor's staff - then have the firefighters' union (or professional association) have their statewide head follow-up with a request to the governor's staff.

They can stress the historical and/or emergency responder and/or union aspects of your father's service.

Best of luck in your efforts. Your father sounds like a terrific guy. He certainly has been blessed with a lovely daughter.


Take care, Captain, remember the JOM clinic is alway open


And one up him you did, CH.

Heart disease looms big on my health outlook as well. Dad died at 67 of an MI as did my brother at the ripe old age of 42. I'm just a little past precisely in the middle of that baseline, agewise.

And as someone who periodically gets those night incidents, I always think "this is it."

Captain Hate

Thanks guys; a stress test will be on the way along with an echocardiogram that was scheduled this morning for next month.


Paula - Sorry, overlooked the "in law" part. Sentiment still holds for both him and you, though.

Danube on iPad

"So was the arrest of the Benghazi guy a gift to Hillary"

Ask why they didn't get him on her watch.

I got a report like that over twenty years ago, CH. Not a peep since.

Captain Hate

Good to hear, DoT; both for you and me.

James D.

I got off lucky on the doctor visit - just a full eye exam for me today.

My vision has gotten worse in the three years (yes, I know) since the last time I went, and my new prescription for glasses is much stronger than the already strong one I've got.

I was quite stupid, though. They had the disposable sunglasses at the check-out desk of the doctor (they dilated my pupils), and I forgot to take a pair, so when I got outside...well, I'm just glad I didn't accidentally wander out into traffic or something on my way back to the Metro station.


Stephanie's doing obscene stuff on the next thread. Beware!

Captain Hate

I was reading through some Airedale rescue available dogs today and ran across this description: I hope you don’t have a postman that comes to your door. I will go nuts and throw all the pillows off the sofa and do my best to let him know he is the enemy.

Maggie was the only Airedale I've had that didn't go nuts at the mailman. Emma wore grooves in the hardwood floor doing these weird little spinning moves in front of the window closest to the mailbox. Trane would just growl and bark although a couple times he was with me in the back yard when the postman unwisely decided to deliver the mail in person; fortunately Trane would listen to me when I saw him about to attack. Throwing pillows off the sofa is a new one, though.


According to Facebook, Justina will be released tomorrow. (No thanks to any MA republican running for office.)


All the best, Cap'n. So glad you went to the doctor when you did. Now make sure to do whatever they tell you.

Sandy Fallow District Engorged Capital Daze

Sharyl Attkisson is a aerious and independent journalist. Appropriately, she has some serious questions in her

Lois Lerner’s Lost Emails: Questions for the IRS


provide a timeline of the crash and documentation covering when it was first discovered and by whom; when, how and by whom it was learned that materials were lost; the official documentation reporting the crash and federal data loss; documentation reflecting all attempts to recover the materials; and the remediation records documenting the fix. This material should include the names of all officials and technicians involved, as well as all internal communications about the matter.
Please provide all documents and emails that refer to the crash from the time that it happened through the IRS’ disclosure to Congress Friday that it had occurred.
Please provide the documents that show the computer crash and lost data were appropriately reported to the required entities including any contractor servicing the IRS. If the incident was not reported, please explain why.
Please provide a list summarizing what other data was irretrievably lost in the computer crash. If the loss involved any personal data, was the loss disclosed to those impacted? If not, why?
Please provide documentation reflecting any security analyses done to assess the impact of the crash and lost materials. If such analyses were not performed, why not?
Please provide documentation showing the steps taken to recover the material, and the names of all technicians who attempted the recovery.
Please explain why redundancies required for federal systems were either not used or were not effective in restoring the lost materials, and provide documentation showing how this shortfall has been remediated.
Please provide any documents reflecting an investigation into how the crash resulted in the irretrievable loss of federal data and what factors were found to be responsible for the existence of this situation.
I would also ask for those who discovered and reported the crash to testify under oath, as well as any officials who reported the materials as having been irretrievably lost.



Maybe Hit can do a poll about which is worse, hearts or fingers.

Hang tough my friend. Do you have to do anything?

Captain Hate

Thanks all; nothing has been said yet, Jane. I just emailed my doctor asking if I can play basketball this weekend.


When we meet, CH, I am going to punch you in the shoulder as hard as I can.

Now that we understand each other I'd like to say take care of that ticker and keep us updated on what is diagnosed.


Sandy, it was rumored that you may have an insight as to why our embassy in iraq has 5000-6000 personnel.

Any thoughts?

jimmyk on iPhone

"Sharyl Attkisson is a serious and independent journalist. Appropriately, she has some serious questions"

Hence she is unemployed.


Sandy@4:22-- fine list. I would break out that 'explain' question to demand IRS produce the agency's protocols and procedures to comply with federal record keeping statutes and regulations and demand if Lerners/six others email records were ever retrieved previously in response to any judicial subpoena, and the dates the emails were retrieved.


CH, my dad had the same thing on his first EKg at 55 ish; he's 83.
It happens--sometimes seems like a bout of flu. Your spell may be have been it.

Do what all my smart partners do--keep active, take fish oil, avoid processed carbs. If your doctor tells you differently, do your own reading. Wheat Belly is an excellent, up to date book by a cardiologist.
Sadly, it takes about 20 years before any of this stuff gets to be mainstream advice, with studies to back it.

Just know that nobody needs to ever eat any grains.

(But I've yet to find anything to eat guacamole from besides chips!)

Here's the wheat belly doc's blog:



Lots of people have that reaction to Amarillo. It always clears up when you leave Amarillo though. Grin.



We warned him about going there. Next time he'll listen to us.

Seriously, Capt'n, take care.


Chop, chop. It's a finger too far to give up beer!

Danube on iPad

Atkisson's questions are those a litigator would pose in a request for the production of documents. I assume Cleta Mitchell will propound something very similar. If the responses are as I suspect, they will provide unmistakable evidence os serious criminal misconduct.

Captain Hate

Thanks again, all; even GMax. My doc gave me the green light on playing hoops with the standard caveats. Mrs H isn't happy about that; I probably told her one time too many that to go out like Hank Gathers did would be the best exit possible.

Sandy Fallow District Engorged Capital Daze

Regarding the size of the US Embassy in Baghdad...

- was originally designed to be a completely self-contained operation for DoS, with singles, couples and families assigned and living inside the walls. Included a building (Northeast corner) that was/WAS originally planned as an elementary school. (true)
- the plans were developed years earlier and pulled down off a shelf with changes made on the fly.
- no US company would bid on the contract owing to security and other demands & requirements. Eventually a 'sh---y' company, "First Kuwaiti" got the contract for the compound with an initial price of ~USD $750M.
- First Kuwaiti cut a lot of corners in the building of the buildings. THe buildings really are ugly, and are painted merde brown, appropriate for the DoS because everything DoS touches, particularly in Iraq, turns to merde. (e.g., First Kuwaiti cut a lot of corners, for instance used 18 gauge wire in areas, like the kitchens, where 10 gauge wire was required. Fires were started from the overload. Plumbing had similar issues. Etcetera).
- Repairs and refits (eg: converting single apartments to doubles), additional hardening (to protect from Indirect Fire (IDF) and expansion put the total costs for the facility according to informed observation and estimation at over USD $2B.
- you will not see the USD $2B figure anywhere, because the dollars come from different accounts, initial new construction, enhancements, security, maintenance, etc etc. It is all dirty accounting, but typical government work.

The size of the embassy is primarily a function of the DoS personnel to Support personnel ratio, in the military this is referred to as "Tooth to Tail." If there are say, 500 DoS employees (Americans and TCNs--third country nationals; yes it is true, the DoS hires administrative staff around the world and then moves them from country to country, so you might be int he US Embassy in Baghdad or Amman, but be 'assisted' by a Kenyan or whomever).

With a staff to support ration of say five to one, with an embassy of 500, you need 2500 staff, these include everything from electricians and plumbers to gardeners to they Morale Welfare and Rec coordinator, hell the bar tended, the cashier at the jiffy market. It goes one and on.
So, you can see how the number quickly gets to 3000, and but imaginative accounting, that number can grow. Similar to how to pay for the compound, it depends on who is asking what question.

Sometimes the embassy population can be listed as quite high, this is particularly useful when asking for additional funding for to be able to perform Embassy functions better. Or, Embassy personnel can be a low number for different reasons (How many DoS Americans are in Baghdad? this is an example of a carefully crafted question to make the number look low.)

Then there is the security, if and when someone from DoS goes outside the gate, there are the direct security personnel, plus all of the personnel to make sure the security personnel are GTG, the mechanics, the armorers, the comms guys, the guys who push the button to let you through a door, after other guys check your badge, make sure your pockets are empty and that you have taken off your belt and shoes.

Then too are all of the food prep personnel, and the cooks and garbage men.

On and on and on.


Then there is the OSC-I, Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq, which was the implementing arm of the military-to-military engagement. I am hearing that these personnel were among the first that have been sent home, but am awaiting additional information. A good buddy of mine who went to Iraq in 04 (MARINE Mustange, retired) is in Cyprus tonight but RTB (Returns to Baghdad) tomorrow, and will give me a dump on the latest.

Coulda / Woulda / Shoulda. Hope this helps.

BTW - I think THIS is an excellent answer for both Iraq and for the Whitehouse. Nobody accuse me of being John Paul Vann, please. But the idea has merit. For the Whitehouse, it is the only option, I've come to believe.


Oh, I forgot Landing Zone (LZ) Fernandez, where the DoS maintains Baghdad-based portion of its helicopter squadron; mechanics, pilots, base support, fuels personnel, comms personnel and all of the personnel to support those personnel. LZ Fernandez only cost a modest $100M-$200M...

Jeff Dobbs

Thanks for sharing CH. Really. Take care of yourself.

BTW, my blood pressure? I'm not saying. I'm not saying. I'm not saying.

I'm not telling mrs hit and run either.

I'm not saying.

Captain Hate

Take care of that BP, hit; I hated that I had to go on lisincpril because it violated some dumbass concept I had of being in control of things but it was the smartest thing I ever did.

Captain Hate

lisinopril (not sure how that happened).


I'm starting to get annoyed with the de rigueur BP/Temp/Height/Weight data gathering at every single medical encounter. Can I opt out? Won't that save time (and time = $)?

I am unclear what critical value those stats have that warrants 100% of patients be measured 100% of the time in order to see a Dr. about, say, a sprained maybe-broken ankle.

Captain Hate

Ewok status update: Still en fuego:


The comments to this entry are closed.