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« The Tao of Fred | Main | Primary 2008: Polls Don't Seem to Mean Much »

December 31, 2007



DC, this is one of those stories that one needs to read with a close attention to detail. It does not necessarily say what you think it says.

The article does not say that Concurrent is producing useless research. It says that the research is not implemented. In some cases, the Pentagon is unable to achieve the cost savings Concurrent believes are possible. In most cases, the Pentagon simply doesn't try to implement it.

The article provides no reason to think that Concurrent is abusing the tax exemption. There are lots of not-for-profit organizations that process millions of dollars of grants-- universities, for example.

The Congress certainly has the right to ask whether, as a matter of policy, we want to fund environmental research in this manner. Whenever I see the names of large contractors like Battelle, I wonder whether the taxpayer couldn't get it cheaper. But I also know that this is not the kind of research one hands off to a university and expects any result.

The use of funds for lobbying is the only potential violation I see in the article. My guess is that this turns out to be a dry hole as well.

The article is basically a hit piece against Murtha, Gerth-style journalism where there's plenty of innuendo but no more. Maybe there's substance there. But this is one I would take with a modicum of sodium chloride.

D. Cupples


My post doesn't accuse Concurrent of any wrong doing, and I don't think of that company as necessarily in KBR's league -- though I DO question the tax-exempt status, which is always worth questioning (until an entity shows good reason for it). I haven't seen Concurrent's books, but I do know that if an entity pads its administrative costs (i.e., salaries,perqs, etc) enough, it can remain non-profit while still enriching insiders. That doesn't necessarily make it charitable.

I did read the article's details and picked up on the fact that the Pentagon was failing to use most of Concurrent's work, which is why I didn't accuse Concurrent of anything.



Your opening sentence compares Concurrent/NDCEE to a bloodsucking parasite. Forgive me if I misunderstood your intention that the reader think of a warm, fuzzy, and patriotic bloodsucking parasite.

D. Cupples

What I meant (in my response) is that I wasn't accusing Concurrent/NDCEE of doing anything ILLEGAL. I can see how my "tics on a dog" simile might have given that impression, so I erased it. Thanks for pointing that out

At the same time, I did not intend to go to the extreme of depicting them as warm, fuzzy or patriotic, either.



So much for trying to use dry humor on the Internet without appending smilies. :-)

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