Forces 2 be reckoned with
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Six miles from Camaro-Head-Stadium
We are not for sale and the same can be said for our votes.
We have ALREADY been sold out and the election in '04 has already been determined. How?
Well, try this on for size....
Bush's melding of political hardball and economic favoritism has been described as "crony capitalism," while Senator John McCain calls it war profiteering. George W. Bush's approach to military spending is a higher-priced version of what went on under the Suharto regime in Indonesia, when corporations connected to the military and the president's inner circle had the inside track on lucrative government contracts. The military budget has increased from $300 billion to more than $400 billion annually since George W. Bush took office. The Iraq invasion and occupation will cost at least another $200 billion over the next three to five years. U.S. policy is now based on what's good for Chevron, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Bechtel, not what's good for the average citizen. Dick Cheney's ties to conglomerate Halliburton are the tip of the iceberg since at least thirty-two top officials in the Bush administration served as executives or paid consultants to top weapons contractors before joining the administration. In George W. Bush's Washington, it has reached the point where you can't tell the generals from the arms lobbyists without a scorecard.
This gets even worse, I pulled these comments from the website for the Center for Public Integrity and it's downright depressing.
A team of 53 researchers, writers and editors at the Center for Public Integrity gathered and analyzed tens of thousands of pages of government data obtained from the Federal Election Commission, state campaign finance regulatory bodies, and federal agencies through the Freedom of Information Act, to provide the most in-depth analysis of the large donors behind those seeking the White House. The money race has its costs, the Center found:
While he was governor of Texas, Bush relied on Enron and its then-chairman and CEO Kenneth Lay for more than just campaign contributions. When Bush needed help launching his education plan, Lay, through the auspices of a quasi-official advisory group called the Governor's Business Council, pledged his support. When Bush wanted to start an internship program in the governor's office, Lay followed through with the funding. And when Lay wanted changes to tort, tax or environmental law, Bush returned the favors.
Bush, who has signaled an interest in Social Security privatization, and even appointed a commission that concluded in December 2001 that any reform of the New Deal program should "include a system of voluntary personal accounts," numbers financial firms Merrill Lynch & Co. (his second most generous career patron), Credit Suisse First Boston (fifth), UBS Paine Webber (eighth) and Goldman Sachs Group (ninth) among his top ten patrons. All were members of a group called the Coalition for American Financial Security, which favors privatization—and the millions of individual stock market accounts (and brokerage fees to administer them) that would be created.
And of course, it's not just Bush.
While governor, Howard Dean pushed for utility contract provisions that aided the power companies, but cost Vermont families millions of dollars in skyrocketing rates. Vermont has the sixth highest utility rates in the country, due in part to a series of long-term contracts between its major power companies. After years of pushing for Central Vermont Public Service Corp. and the smaller utilities it held to absorb the excess costs of their expensive contracts, Dean's Department of Public Service agreed to let ratepayers be billed for more than 90 percent of the excess costs—which could soar into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Central Vermont Public Service Corp. donated more than $10,000 to Dean's Fund for a Healthy America PAC—a hefty contribution in a state that limits campaign contributions for statewide offices to $400.
Rep. Richard Gephardt tried to lower taxes on alcohol at least five times over the years, much to the pleasure of his largest career patron, Anheuser Busch, which has given him more than $517,000 over the years.
Senator John Kerry wrote letters to the FCC asking it to delay its spectrum auction, keeping in line with his brother's law firm, which represents the telecommunications industry and has given the senator more than $210,000.
After receiving hundreds of thousands of contributions from biotechnology companies, Senator Joseph Lieberman hired the industry's top lobbyist for his staff and went on to introduce and co-sponsor bills for which this sector lobbied.
There is SO MUCH MONEY at stake that the Republicans will stop at nothing to get Bush re-elected and they already have enough money to CRUSH any opposition. Bush is raising (are you ready?) over $500,000 each day.
That's a lot of money. And it's very important that the war on terrorism continues and that this administration gets to run it. WHY?
More than 70 American companies and individuals have won up to $8 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two years, according to a new study by the Center for Public Integrity. Those companies donated more money to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush—a little over $500,000—than to any other politician over the last dozen years, the Center found.
Kellogg, Brown & Root, the subsidiary of Halliburton—which Vice President Dick Cheney led prior to being chosen as Bush's running mate in August 2000—was the top recipient of federal contracts for the two countries, with more than $2.3 billion awarded to the company. Bechtel Group, a major government contractor with similarly high-ranking ties, was second at around $1.03 billion.
However, dozens of lower-profile, but well-connected, companies shared in the reconstruction bounty. Their tasks ranged from rebuilding Iraq's government, police, military and media to providing translators for use in interrogations and psychological operations. There are even contractors to evaluate the contractors.
Nearly 60 percent of the companies had employees or board members who either served in or had close ties to the executive branch for Republican and Democratic administrations, for members of Congress of both parties, or at the highest levels of the military.
The results of a six-month investigation provide the most comprehensive list to date of American contractors in the two nations that were attacked in Washington's war on terror. Based on the findings, it did not appear that any one government agency knew the total number of contractors or what they were doing. Congressional sources said they hoped such a full picture would emerge from the General Accounting Office, which has begun investigating the postwar contracting process amid allegations of fraud and cronyism.
Check out 60 minutes this Sunday.
It's going to be a very unflattering examination of the Bush cartel.