Saturday, July 05, 2003

The Republican Handicap

[in progress]

It is time for the Republican Party to shed the training wheels, refuse the outrageous handicap, and see what they can do by ideas alone. No more paying people to cast their votes for you. No more financial favors and promises. No more blackmail, deceit, corruption, extortiion. No more shoehorning the president into office using friends in high courts. No more fake addresses in Florida and energy warfare on California.

What if both parties had exactly the same advantages? Not necessarily mandated, but just as a gentlemanly thing to do. Would not the Republicans then have to come up with something other than war, tax cuts, and religious rhetoric? I say it would be a good thing if both parties broke out of their mold, and began to act as free agents guided by their highest angels. Such angels would only accept a fair challenge. And would consider anything less to be, well, ungentlemanly at best.

The editors at The Nation have written a memorable editorial about the Billionaire Bush Club, where Bush himself hopes to be one day, once he clears this little hurdle of sitting in as leader of the free world. Why settle for a free world when a world of paying customers would be much better. And besides, "free" is so much like "french", and we wouldn't want a french world.
Incompatible with BushWorld Inc. Wouldn't be prudient.

And so Mr. Bush continues in his work of enabling "Big Cookie" to know and determine all our future purchases...

But there is hope. And it comes from those ever-clever folks over to the Media Lab at MIT...who have put the consumer, the common man, the smelly one, back in the proverbial driver's seat. And this time he doesn't need to wear the hat.
zhr, or in fact, she, can turn the telescopes and microscopes on the government...who is, by now, just an arm of business, as you will see:

Government Information Awareness

turning the tables on our prying government

Wired's take

Here, for example, are some contributions to Republican Kay Bailey Hutchinson:
Campaign Contribution : Corporation
» Enron Corp $35,500.00 [s][c]
» Goldman Sachs Group (GS) $27,500.00 [s][c]
» Texas Instruments (TXN) $25,000.00 [s][c]
» TXU Corp $24,250.00 [s][c]
» El Paso Corp $23,000.00 [s][c]
» MBNA (KRB) $19,000.00 [s][c]
» SBC Communications (SBC) $17,750.00 [s][c]
» Verizon Communications (VZ) $17,750.00 [s][c]
» American International Group (AIG) $17,250.00 [s][c]
» Marathon Oil (MRO) $16,500.00 [s][c]
» Bank One Corp. (ONE) $16,000.00 [s][c]
» Valero Energy (VLO) $14,000.00 [s][c]
» Dell Computer (DELL) $13,750.00 [s][c]

...and how it breaks down by industry:

Industry Support : Industry
» Oil & Gas $484,362.00 [s][c]
» Lawyers / Law Firms $328,902.00 [s][c]
» Finance / Credit Companies $220,301.00 [s][c]
» Commercial Banks $182,964.00 [s][c]
» Real Estate $157,649.00 [s][c]
» Health Professionals $155,590.00 [s][c]
» Securities & Investment $148,150.00 [s][c]
» Insurance $111,947.00 [s][c]
» Livestock $81,750.00 [s][c]
» General Contractors $74,600.00 [s][c]
» Misc Manufacturing & Distributing $74,114.00 [s][c]
» Computer Equipment & Services $72,150.00 [s][c]
» Food & Beverage $66,796.00 [s][c]
» Republican/Conservative $65,267.00 [s][c]
» Automotive $63,050.00 [s][c]
» Electric Utilities $62,000.00 [s][c]
» Business Services $59,661.00 [s][c]
» Chemical & Related Manufacturing $53,472.00 [s][c]
» Telephone Utilities $48,250.00 [s][c]

Now look at the paltry numbers behind a Democrat. In this case, Joseph Lieberman:
Campaign Contribution : Corporation
» Pfizer Inc (PFE) $20,000.00 [s][c]
» General Electric (GE) $12,000.00 [s][c]
» GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) $12,000.00 [s][c]
» Verizon Communications (VZ) $11,000.00 [s][c]
» Independent Insurance Agents of America $10,999.00 [s][c]
» Aetna Inc (AET) $10,000.00 [s][c]
» American International Group (AIG) $10,000.00 [s][c]
» Cigna Corp (CI) $10,000.00 [s][c]
» FedEx (FDX) $10,000.00 [s][c]
» General Dynamics (GD) $10,000.00 [s][c]
» Hartford Financial Services (HIG) $10,000.00 [s][c]
» Koch Industries $10,000.00 [s][c]
» United Parcel Service (UPS) $10,000.00 [s][c]
» United Technologies (UTX) $10,000.00 [s][c]

Industry Support : Industry
» Real Estate $9,318.00 [s][c]
» Computer Equipment & Services $8,000.00 [s][c]
» Lawyers / Law Firms $8,000.00 [s][c]
» Pharmaceuticals / Health Products $7,000.00 [s][c]
» Chemical & Related Manufacturing $6,750.00 [s][c]
» Public Sector Unions $5,000.00 [s][c]
» Education $4,900.00 [s][c]
» Hospitals & Nursing Homes $4,750.00 [s][c]
» Misc Manufacturing & Distributing $4,250.00 [s][c]
» Securities & Investment $4,250.00 [s][c]
» Printing & Publishing $4,000.00 [s][c]
» Retail Sales $3,250.00 [s][c]
» TV / Movies / Music $2,000.00 [s][c]
» Health Services/HMOs $2,000.00 [s][c]
» Insurance $1,900.00 [s][c]
» Health Professionals $1,810.00 [s][c]
» Telecom Services & Equipment $1,500.00 [s][c]
» Business Services $1,250.00 [s][c]
» Civil Servants/Public Officials $1,250.00 [s][c]
» Defense Aerospace $1,250.00 [s][c]

Not a pretty site, is it? But it is revealing, on many levels. For example, look at the pharms and GE at the top of Lieberman's list. Is this why he has become such a Russert? Joe Lieberman: The Tim Russert of Politics. Hmm...

Only Tim is paid quite handsomely. More than his own handsomeness merits, and way more than his impartial service to humankind --which is nonexistent -- merits. But then again, why should GE want a philosopher? Most counter-productive. Better to have a locker-room clown snapping towels at privates of Democrats in front of millions.
The shame has not sunk in. His third eye has glazed green.