,,, with help from their complicit enablers.
A new report by the Government Accountability Office estimates that the “soaring price of oil will leave the Iraqi government with a cumulative budget surplus of as much as $79 billion by year’s end.” Federal lawmakers have responded angrily to the news, noting that the U.S. government has spent $42 billion for the stabilization and reconstructionin Iraq since 2003. From a statement by House Oversight Committee chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA):
This report is going to make a lot of American families very angry. The record gas prices they are paying have turned into an economic windfall for Iraq. But the Iraqi government isn’t spending the money on rebuilding. American taxpayers are paying that bill too. This doesn’t make any sense, and the Bush Administration never should have let this happen.
The report also notes that although the Iraqi government has allocated $28 billion for similar improvements, it has spent less than $4 billion.
A new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind claims that, after the Iraq war began, the White House ordered the CIA to forge a “backdated, handwritten letter” from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein, in an attempt to tie Hussein to the 9/11 attacks. Here’s what Suskind reports: Read.
…Even releasing detainees whom they knew to be entirely innocent was dangerous, since once released they could talk. “People will ask where they’ve been and ‘What have you been doing with them?’” Cheney said in a White House meeting. “They’ll all get lawyers.”
So when I put my hand on the Bible, I will swear to not only uphold the laws of our land, I will swear to uphold the honor and dignity of the office to which I have been elected, so help me God.
In the speech, Bush also said, “A generation shaped by Vietnam must remember the lessons of Vietnam: When America uses force in the world, the cause must be just, the goal must be clear, and the victory must be overwhelming.” (The picture on the right is of Bush shaking hands with McCain at the conclusion of the 2000 RNC Convention.)
Yesterday, House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) appeared on a C-SPAN Newsmakers roundtable and defended Exxon Mobil’s recent record-setting quarterly profit of $11.7 billion. Blunt tried to minimize the wealth and influence of Exxon, then went on to blast the company’s critics, saying they should be overjoyed that an “American company made money”:
[T]hey’re the 14th biggest oil company in the world, and the only U.S. company in the top 20. So in all likelihood, the 13 companies bigger than them made a whole more money than that, and that all went somewhere besides the United States. That went to Saudi Arabia, that went to Russia. […]
We can complain all we want to about American stockholders and American company made money. That’s what our friends want to do — the Democrats.
It’s not clear where Blunt is getting his numbers to downplay Exxon’s over-sized influence. According to Petroleum Intelligence Weekly’s 2007 ranking of the world’s 50 largest oil companies, Exxon ranked third. It beat out state-owned companies such as CNPC (China) and Gazprom (Russia). In Fortune’s 2008 list of America’s top corporations, Exxon ranked second overall and first among petroleum refiners.
It’s astonishing that Blunt could claim, with a straight face, that Exxon’s massive profits are good for America. Sure, the company’s stockholders are getting rich. But most Americans continue to pay skyrocketing gas prices. Exxon is certainly not giving back to the American public either. ABC recently reported that the company has invested just 1 percent of its profits on alternative energy sources.
Even more appalling than Exxon’s record profits, however, is the fact that conservatives feel the need to boost the company with massive tax breaks. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), whom Blunt supports, has a plan to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. It would give nearly $4 billion in tax breaks to the six largest oil companies.
During today’s Pentagon daily briefing, spokesman Geoff Morrell disputed a reporter’s characterization of Afghanistan as “desperate.” Mocking the question, Morrell insisted there was nothing “urgent or precarious about the situation” there: Continue reading.
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