Homeland Stupidity

The news just keeps breaking

Since I haven’t done this in a while, and a few things are piling up, here are some updates to stories previously covered at Homeland Stupidity.

And what better to start with than Boston’s biggest boondoggle, the Big Dig.

Ever since it opened, the tunnels under Boston have been leaking water and dropping chunks of concrete on the roadways. Last Tuesday, some of those chunks killed a woman when a loose bolt holding up ceiling panels gave way. Inspectors have found 60 more sections of tunnel with potentially the same problem, and the I-90 connector tunnel will remain closed indefinitely.

The big problem with the Big Dig was it was politically driven. Republicans and Democrats alike wholeheartedly supported the project despite its cost overruns, delays and contractors raising safety concerns. Originally vetoed by President Reagan in 1987, Congress narrowly overrode his veto after intense lobbying, starting a flow of money which has poured over $14 billion into Boston Harbor, never to be seen again.

And despite a distinct possibility that he will be charged with negligent homicide, Massachusetts Turnpike Authority head Matthew Amorello still hasn’t resigned.

Pedro Cadenas Jr., however, has resigned. He was chief information officer for the Veterans Administration, which suffered the theft of a laptop containing sensitive personal records for over 26 million veterans and active duty military personnel.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation analysis has confirmed that none of the records on the laptop were accessed, but that’s small comfort to millions of people who spent weeks worrying if they would be the next identity theft victim.

In addition, 26,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture employees and contractors can rest easy, too. The department said that while a hacker broke into its systems, the personal data had not been accessed. Small comfort when they’re hitting USDA’s network up to 2,000 times a day. They’ll surely get in eventually. And the next hacker might be looking for that file.