Roger’s Rules

Things I Don't Understand, Bob Dole Testimonial Edition

Bob Dole did not run a very good campaign in 1996, but he asked the best question: “Where’s the outrage?

It’s a question I’d like to pose now. Here’s the story, which I first saw reported yesterday on Instapundit:

A nearly $500-million no-bid contract for an experimental drug of dubious value was awarded to a company controlled by Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world richest men and a huge donor to Democratic causes, including Barack Obama.

Data points to absorb: 1. No-bid contract; 2. Huge Democratic donor is the beneficiary.

In other words, the Obama administration has just taken nearly half-a-billion of your money and handed it over to a company controlled by a chap who helped elect it.

That’s not all. The Obama administration also said no one else could even compete for the dough: it all belonged to Ronnie.

Not only that, it’s not even clear that the money is being used for any worthwhile purpose: it’s for an experimental smallpox drug but no one knows whether it works.

The Los Angeles Times has details:

Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work.

Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world’s richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor.

When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company’s financial demands, senior officials replaced the government’s lead negotiator for the deal, interviews and documents show.

When Siga was in danger of losing its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from competing.

Siga’s drug costs about $255 per dose — somewhat more than the $3 per dose for the vaccine the U.S. government already has stockpiled.

According to the LA Times, “The government’s pursuit of Siga’s product raises the question: Should the U.S. buy an unproven drug for such a nebulous threat?” But, that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

The real question is why even this blatant instance of political corruption should elicit so little comment or scrutiny from the so-called MainStreamMedia. The LA Times found the smoking gun, then called attention to some spent ammunition littering an adjacent parking lot. The New York Times reported . . . why, it reported nada, rien, nothing. There’s room on the front page today for stories about the Euro (“Time Runs Short”: thanks for the news, pal!), Syria and the Araba League, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, whom Obama likes, and Mitt Romney’s business dealings at Bain Capital, which the Times has been circling with vulture-like interest for a couple of months (“his brand of capitalism had human costs,” etc., etc.). Then there’s a human-, or maybe I should say “sub-human-” interest story about California students living in suburban luxury, as well as a story about identifying human remains at Ground Zero.

Quite a range. But no Siga. No Ronald O. Perelman. Nothing about the Obama administration’s shoveling $433 million to a top Democratic donor for an experimental drug in a no-bid contract.

What am I missing? Why is this OK? Where are the journalistic scourges telling truth to power, exposing corruption, making sure that public’s expenditures are held to some minimum standard of accountability? Where are they? Why hasn’t The New York Times assigned a platoon of reporters to ferret out the truth behind this blatant example of political corruption? Why aren’t they camped out on Ronald O. Perelman’s front lawn, peppering him with embarrassing questions? Are people like Ronald O. Perelman above such scrutiny? Where, in short, is the outrage?

But Siga and the no-bid contract is just the hors d’oeuvre. I haven’t even mentioned the cesspool that is Solyndra yet. (Need a laugh? Take a look at The New York Times‘s coverage of that unfolding scandal: exculpation, thy name is Pinch.)

This administration stinks to heaven. At the end, Lady Macbeth found that “all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!”

“Oh,” indeed. Where’s the outrage? So far, The New York Times doesn’t care to know. It won’t be long though. Just wait. It’s a question you’ll be hearing more and more.