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March 10, 2004

CHANGING THE TONE....OR AT LEAST THE SHEETS, ANYWAY....You know, I always thought the "scandal" about Bill Clinton inviting supporters to spend a night in the Lincoln Bedroom was a crock. Who cares? Political supporters of all stripes get special treatment from politicians of both parties and always have.

Still, it was talked to death by the Republican Talking Points Death Squad in the 90s, and the Bush campaign did make it into an issue four years ago:

During the 2000 presidential campaign, George W. Bush sanctimoniously accused Clinton of "virtually renting out the Lincoln bedroom to big campaign donors." He condemned the use of the "hallowed" chamber for political payoffs.

Sigh. You know where this story is going already, don't you? CrockMeister has the sordid details.

Posted by Kevin Drum at March 10, 2004 09:30 AM | TrackBack


Comments

woo hoo!

Posted by: god at March 10, 2004 09:35 AM | PERMALINK

Bush's hypocrisy on this matter is just another plank for the GOP's "absolutely no shame" platform.

Not so interesting is the correlation between Lincoln Bedroom guests and campaign donations to the President. More interesting is the correlation between said guests and legislative/executive favors granted.

Posted by: Demetrios at March 10, 2004 09:35 AM | PERMALINK

BUSH IS EVIL

http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/TheDespoilingOfAmerica.htm

Posted by: TRUTH at March 10, 2004 09:36 AM | PERMALINK

WSJ, Mar 10, Lead In

"CIA Director George Tenet denied on Tuesday Democratic allegations that the Bush administration misrepresented facts about Iraq's weapons programs to make a case for war."

Posted by: Martin Weil at March 10, 2004 09:39 AM | PERMALINK

The thing that always irked me about the faux-scandal of the Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers was this: prior to taking office the Clintons were not fabulously rich. It seems to me that if one has millions in the bank, plus a 1,200 acre ranch, plus a nice family spread on the ocean in Kennebunkport you have plenty of private venues at your disposal to entertain campaign contributors. The Clintons never had this at their personal disposal, and in a lot of ways that's a good thing.

Posted by: Joe Bob at March 10, 2004 09:42 AM | PERMALINK

just another Bush "waffle"
He's only been in DC three years and already has taken every side of every issue

Posted by: ann at March 10, 2004 09:48 AM | PERMALINK

"It seems to me that if one has millions in the bank, plus a 1,200 acre ranch, plus a nice family spread on the ocean in Kennebunkport you have plenty of private venues at your disposal to entertain campaign contributors."

It seems to be there are not a lot of "private venues" quite like the White House. That being said, I recall that issue not being such a factor for me personally in 2000 - has GWB indeed "rented out" (to unknown contributors as opposed to family and friends) the Lincoln bedroom more than the Clintons?

Posted by: Charlie at March 10, 2004 09:49 AM | PERMALINK

Eight of the nine can trace non-fundraising connections to Bush that date back decades, more than enough wriggle room for the moment. Says one:

"Of course I'm a fund-raiser — I support him in every way I can. But my relationship with him and his wife and his family spans more than three decades."

In other words, "This is nothing like that fly-by-night operation Clinton ran. I've been funding Bushes for decades..."


Posted by: notyou at March 10, 2004 09:49 AM | PERMALINK

LOL Ann - at least you can admit that's the BIG problem with Kerry, right?

Posted by: Charlie at March 10, 2004 09:50 AM | PERMALINK

IT's a problem for Kerry because of the lies that
Bushco has told....and because we have come to believe mediocre is all we can expect from the media. If anyone has fact checked the president
the lie would have been apparent. And of course
it should have been stacked up against the real dual positions of both starting with pro choice issues right through the conduct of foreign policy in the niddle east....now where is that roadmap????

Posted by: ann at March 10, 2004 09:56 AM | PERMALINK

The sex scandal didn't work so this is the new RNC spin - Kerry waffles.

If I accept the premise that Kerry waffles, I still have to ask this question. Is there any notable politician who *shouldn't* be doused in maple syrup and butter?

Mmmm, tasty spin. Thanks RNC, you just gave IHOP a boost.

Posted by: Librul at March 10, 2004 09:57 AM | PERMALINK

If someone has been a legislator for 20 plus years and takes the same side of an issue all the time during those 2 plus decades, that someone is a fossil (i.e. used to be alive but is now dead,, although he/she resembles a live lifeform).

If somebody has been a President for 3 years, and has changed his tune repeatedly about the same issue over those three years, that person isn't even thinking. May as well be dead.

Changing your mind isn't a bad thing to do, if you are presented with evidence that you are wrong. Did Bush change his mind about going to war with Iraq when he was presented with evidence that his facts were wrong? No. Did Bush change his mind about why we went to war repeatedly over time? Yes: first, we had to because Hussein was a threat, capable of sending WMD to us in a matter or 45 minutes; now it is because Hussein was a monster who oppressed his people, and we needed to introduce democracy to Iraq.

I prefer a person who changes his mind about an issue, not who changes his story about why he did something. The latter is what is commonly called a liar.

Cheers.

Posted by: Carol at March 10, 2004 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know, I think it's a stretch to count in Bill Owens and Pataki. Clinton was renting out the Lincoln Bedroom to anyone and everyone. But I don't even have a problem with that. It was and is a non-issue. I expect campaign contributors to be houseguests. It makes Bush look bad for being hypocritical, again.

Then again, what's a night in the Lincoln Bedroom equivalent to? $50,000? Sure looks awful small compared to the $4,000,000,000 Halliburton picked up last year. I consider that an outrage.

Posted by: ChrisS at March 10, 2004 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

"has GWB indeed "rented out" (to unknown contributors as opposed to family and friends) the Lincoln bedroom more than the Clintons?"

Charlie's outrage is redirected to the question of degree.

Why am I not surprised.

Lifebelts will be passed out shortly, I recommed you grab one Charlie, this ship is going down.

Posted by: postit at March 10, 2004 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Don't forget: when this hit about Clinton, Trent Lott called for an immediate appointment of an independent prosecutor to investigate.

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1997/02/25/clinton.money/

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott responded to the news by joining others who have called for appointment of an independent prosecutor to investigate fund-raising practices.

"That is certainly a very bad practice," said Lott (R-Miss.). "At best, it's bad judgment, and depending on the circumstances, could be more than that."

Posted by: Cheney's Third Nipple at March 10, 2004 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Yea, but all the Clinton donors that stayed in the Lincoln bedroom were those awful "Hollywood Liberal" types. Bush needs these corporate fatcats to spend some time at the White House so they can tell him what to do.

Posted by: The Bobs at March 10, 2004 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Carol : There is a fundamental flaw in that perspective. You assume that Sen. Kerry's changes of heart were due to new information. Let's take the vote to authorize war. He voted in favor, voiciferously so, because at the time, it was the most popular political position at the time. Then, once his numbers were floundering in the Democratic primary, largely due to Dean's anti-war message, Sen. Kerry conveniently changed to his "threat of war" position, and then to the "ani-war" position, at which point his stature in the Democratic primary began to rise again. Ditto the Patriot Act. Ditto the No Child Left Behind. People much prefer somebody with convictions, rather than a leader that tests the political winds, repeatedly.

Posted by: JD at March 10, 2004 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

ChrisS : Since Halliburton is so bad, how many other companies have the knowledge, experience, and resources to do what they do ?

Posted by: JD at March 10, 2004 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

JD

Are you even remotely aware of the irony of your comment in the light of the thread you are commenting in.

Hypocrite does not do you justice.

Posted by: postit at March 10, 2004 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

JD
maybe on No Child Left Behind ...it was the unfunded part that made him change his mind...the new information was Kerry learned that Bush has LIED about no unfunded mandates

you are entitled to your opinion just not to your own facts. Monyihan

Posted by: dan at March 10, 2004 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

And let's not forget:

Hollywood Actor + Liberal= Bad

Hollywood Actor + Conservative= Very, very good!

Just look at the gropenator.

Once more, it's only bad when a liberal is/does it!

Posted by: Baaaa at March 10, 2004 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

I guess we just need Howard Dean to poke his head out again and say "when it comes to special interest Bush is last stupid idiot that should be opening his stupid mouth about special interest" sort of the way Howard Dean talked about this fact in his finally debate before quiting the campaign trail.

Bush and Cheney's secret energy task force, Cheney's duck hunting with Scalia, and Scalia's refusal to recuse himself. If after all Scalia's trashing of time honored Judicial cannon rules and codes of ethics, that non-ethical Justice Scalia rules in favor of Dick Cheney, it'll look worse than BUSH v. GORE and horrify the nation all over again.

Recently the court ruled that Howard Dean could not hide his little Vermont energy meeting. Howard Dean doesn't appear to have personally profited from his closed door energy meeting - as the Vermont utilities were near banckrupcy when Dean held his meeting and unlike Dick Cheney didn't have a Halliburton connection. I don't know that anyone will find that Dean received contributions from energy companies - I suppose that's possible.

The case Bush keeps trying to make against John Kerry is the case against himself like Slate recently reported. Bush has nothing to run on except his 9/11 pixie dust and most of that goodwill has been spent on Bush trying to stiff the 9/11 commission.

At any rate Kerry may have the queen size version of special interest money but Bush has the double deluxe super-sized KING version when it comes to special interest money and giving out favors for contributions. Saying anything about this fact will only draw attention to Bush's use of special interest contributions and how he turned the White House and US treasury into a corporate wish list clearing house.

Posted by: Cheryl at March 10, 2004 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

"Since Halliburton is so bad, how many other companies have the knowledge, experience, and resources to do what they do ?"

I'm sure any other company can stiff their sub-contractors and overcharge taxpayers just as well as Halliburton does.

Posted by: Eric at March 10, 2004 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, given that other companies approached the DOD late in 2002 and asked if they'd be accepting bids for the things that Halliburton was eventually hired for, and those companies were turned away with the words "We don't work that far into the future" at exactly the same time the DOD was negotiating with Halliburton, I think it's safe to say that yes,t here are plenty of other companies that could have done HB's job.

Posted by: Balta at March 10, 2004 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

The Kerry waffle thing, is really off topic, but...

He voted in favor, voiciferously so, because at the time, it was the most popular political position at the time. Then, .... Kerry conveniently changed to his "threat of war"....

Or, like me, he supported the war based off the evidence which was presented to support it, and as the evidence crumbled, realized that the justification both for the war, and rushing into it, was not valid.

Posted by: Henry at March 10, 2004 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, given that other companies approached the DOD late in 2002 and asked if they'd be accepting bids for the things that Halliburton was eventually hired for, and those companies were turned away with the words "We don't work that far into the future" at exactly the same time the DOD was negotiating with Halliburton, I think it's safe to say that yes,t here are plenty of other companies that could have done HB's job.

Shhhhh, you're destroying desperate conservative attempts to defend Halliburton. What will they have left then? Someone think of the children.

Posted by: Irrational Bush Hatred at March 10, 2004 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

postit : you can only call me a hypocrite on this issue if you happen to know what my positon was on it previously. Then, if I happen to have changed my position, you can then call me : A) a hypocrite, B) nuanced, or C) Sen. Kerry.

Cheryl : What exactly qualifies as a special interest? Is Johnny Chang a special interest? How about the trial lawyers? How about unions? Moveon.org?

Before all of you go off on me, I am not a fan of the current system, but money is money and our system has to be funded from somewhere. The amount of money in politics today is miniscule compared to what the evil "big businesses" spend on advertising alone. As the old saying goes, the opponents interests are "special interests", ours are only interests.

Posted by: JD at March 10, 2004 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

JB wrote
"Since Halliburton is so bad, how many other companies have the knowledge, experience, and resources to do what they do ?"
I think I could put one together pretty quickly,
humm, Lay is still out so he could be CEO ...
some "security" from haiti would be cheap ...

Posted by: alfanso at March 10, 2004 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Nobody on here, to the best of my knowledge, was trying to "defend" Halliburton. I simply asked a question previously. However, you guys and/or gals seem to think that their efforts and actions are so disingenuous, or bordering on criminal. I personally know several people, including my 2 younger brothers, who volunteered to go work for Halliburton, in Baghdad. They are giving up all of the amenities and freedoms of home, to work to ensure a greater tomorrow for the citizens of Iraq, and all they are is mocked by the left. Keep sipping the Kool-Aid, and your reckless tin foil hat theories.

Posted by: JD at March 10, 2004 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

here is the full list of who stayed in Lincoln Bedroom and Camp David:

link

(found using this site)

Posted by: LincolnBedroomLogs at March 10, 2004 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

People much prefer somebody with convictions, rather than a leader that tests the political winds, repeatedly.

Convictions? Be patient, JD, the indictments aren't even out yet!

Posted by: Irfo at March 10, 2004 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

CNN said the same thing back in 2002....

http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/08/17/whitehouse.sleepovers/

Posted by: jillian at March 10, 2004 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Charlie: "has GWB indeed "rented out" (to unknown contributors as opposed to family and friends) the Lincoln bedroom more than the Clintons?"

Either it's wrong to offer stayovers at the White House to campaign contributors or it's not. If it is, then it doesn't matter who did it more--they're both wrong. If it isn't, you guys are unprincipled dickheads for making such a fuss over it when Clinton was in office.

So which do you think it is?

Hint: "No" "dickheads" etc.

Posted by: Laertes at March 10, 2004 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

ChrisS : Since Halliburton is so bad, how many other companies have the knowledge, experience, and resources to do what they do ?

Well, there certainly wouldn't have been a need for Halliburton if we hadn't decided to privatize the occupation of a foreign country. See there was choice that was made by the Bush administration to attack and take over Iraq. And it will be a cold day in hell if Bush and Cheney had no idea how well HB would make out when the US took over Iraq. It's not so much the award of the contract - though that is even suspect - it's the generation of a very favorable climate for a friendly corporation.

And besides all of that, a basic tenet of capitalism is that no company is indisposable. There is no such thing as a company that does something no one else can. Everyone has a competitor, unless the game is rigged.

They are giving up all of the amenities and freedoms of home, to work to ensure a greater tomorrow for the citizens of Iraq, and all they are is mocked by the left

Save the sappy anecdotes. They're getting paid, and paid well. If they were there to ensure a greater tomorrow they'd be working for the red crescent, or any other fine charitable organization. There's nothing wrong with getting paid, but don't try to make them into saints.

Posted by: ChrisS at March 10, 2004 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Don't expect ME to defend this; I always said that the problem with Democrats defending Clinton's offenses was that whatever Clinton got away with would henceforth become SOP for all administrations, and THAT was why he needed to be slapped down. You should be thankful Bush didn't follow Clinton's steps in everything; I hardly think you'd enjoy having all your interest groups being subject to perpetual IRS audits, for instance.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore at March 10, 2004 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

I personally know several people, including my 2 younger brothers, who volunteered to go work for Halliburton, in Baghdad. They are giving up all of the amenities and freedoms of home, to work to ensure a greater tomorrow for the citizens of Iraq, and all they are is mocked by the left.

Nobody is mocking your brothers. They would probably earn the same whether it was Halliburton or some other company employing them. They are personally taking the risk not the very well compensated executives of Halliburton who are sitting in their comfortable offices in Texas. I doubt that Halliburton is passing on any excess profits to your brothers. Those profits are needed for executive salaries and perks.

Posted by: ____league at March 10, 2004 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

JD, the army could take back functions it outsourced to Halliburton, such as food service and mail distribution.

Apparently you missed that latest Halliburton flap wherein H. stopped paying one of its subcontractors, which may have to provide cold sandwiches to our soldiers instead of hot meals because it has no money. The subcontractor also reported that H encourages its other food service subcontractors to charge how many meals they could have served in their facilities, as opposed to how many meals they actually served.

Listen, you can hear the sound of your taxpayer dollars disappearing into corporate executives' accounts. Adam Smith's invisible hand is alive and well, and it's picking your pocket.

Posted by: Librul at March 10, 2004 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

ChrisS,

You said:

"Well, there certainly wouldn't have been a need for Halliburton if we hadn't decided to privatize the occupation of a foreign country."

You're right...we should drastically increase defense spending to avoid the need for such privatization in the future. :)

Posted by: Hubris at March 10, 2004 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Look, I already said this wasn't a big issue with me re: Clinton. I think a good case could be made though if GWB only had ONE (1) campaign contributor (as opposed to friends and family) compared to HUNDREDS under Billary (and don't forget the Oval Office coffees either ; )

Posted by: Charlie at March 10, 2004 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

So, out of more than 500 guests in the White House and Camp David, about nine were big donors? Alert the media. Oh wait. Someone did.

Posted by: tbrosz at March 10, 2004 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

You're right...we should drastically increase defense spending to avoid the need for such privatization in the future

Or just not go invading countries willy-nilly ;)

This is actually a big fear I have. A lot of folks, left and right, are suggesting that we ned to increase the size of the military in order to meet our obligations instead of maintaining a defense readiness and decreasing our obligations. In addition to decreasing our obligations, I firmly believe that the decision to go to war should be the absolute hardest decision that any President makes - morally and fiscally.

Posted by: ChrisS at March 10, 2004 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Look, I already said this wasn't a big issue with me re: Clinton.

Oops, sorry. Charlie didn't care. No need to discuss the rank hypocrisy prevalent in the WH.

My last comment was off-topic, but in the great scheme of things, Bush's guest list is insignificant.

Posted by: ChrisS at March 10, 2004 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

ChrisS : I agree, in part. Going to war should be a hard decision, morally, and in this case, it was. However, in theory, once we have decided to go to war, fiscal determinations should not dictate the final determination. If that were the case, it would be nearly, if not completely, impossible to ever financially justify going to war.

Posted by: JD at March 10, 2004 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

"postit : you can only call me a hypocrite on this issue if you happen to know what my positon was on it previously. Then, if I happen to have changed my position, you can then call me : A) a hypocrite, B) nuanced, or C) Sen. Kerry."

The thread is "changing the tone" pointing out repug hypocracy at doing the exact same once in office as they campaigned against Clinton/Gore on.

And you write "People much prefer somebody with convictions, rather than a leader that tests the political winds, repeatedly."

Doesn't pass the laugh test.

Posted by: postit at March 10, 2004 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

If that were the case, it would be nearly, if not completely, impossible to ever financially justify going to war.

That's the point.

Posted by: ChrisS at March 10, 2004 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry ChrisS - that last comment was directed to everyone running around like chickens with their heads cut off screaming at ME about my hypocrisy.

For the record, after the fight to finally get the Clinton List (as opposed to GWB having those available from the very start) they had a total of 938 individuals stayed over at the White House between 1993 and 1996. Of them, 821 spent the night in the Lincoln Bedroom. Only the names of daughter Chelsea's friends and some Arkansas relatives who stayed over were deleted. Of the 938, 111 were listed by the White House as "friends and supporters." Another 370 were listed as Arkansas friends, 155 as friends from outside Arkansas and 67 were from the arts and entertainment sectors. Another 128 were public officials and dignitaries.

So far - only ONE (1) of GWB guests was not a friend or family. Sounds good to me - at least one of you realize this is really stretching it. Oh well, I'd much rather you waste your time and money on something like this rather than Medicare or illegal immigration (which could matter with undecided voters ; )

Posted by: Charlie at March 10, 2004 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

postit : I thought that the Clinton's "renting out" the Lincoln Bedroom, etc ... was crass and repugnant, though I had little doubt that Republicans had done it in the past, or that both would do it in the future. Those types of activities, in my eyes, albeit crass, are some of the perks of victory, and though truly annoying to the other side, are part of the political reality. So, though I did not like it when Clinton did it, I thought the whole thing was overblown. Though I do not like it if Bush did it (we are talking degrees here), then I think, in advance, that it is overblown.

Posted by: JD at March 10, 2004 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Did bush serve up WAFFLES for breakfast?

Posted by: jack at March 10, 2004 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

ChrisS : So, there is never a fiscal justification for going to war? Since that is one of your two elements, does it hold that you think there is then never any justification for going to war?

Posted by: JD at March 10, 2004 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Charlie still thinks it's only a question of degree.

Not my idea of moral conviction, but then what can you expect given our current moral leadership of the nation resident.

Posted by: postit at March 10, 2004 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Quick, sombody tell KOS, he needs to add this to his "Bush Flip-Flop on the Issues" list:

In the 00 campaign he was against the politically well connected sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom, now he's for it.

Posted by: BC Inaz at March 10, 2004 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Charlie and JD are both talking matters of degree now.

Shit, it's worse than I thought the moral compass is going haywire with the repugs now.

Posted by: postit at March 10, 2004 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Sure, it's a matter of degree - would you rather be shot once or 938 times?

Posted by: Charlie at March 10, 2004 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

So, there is never a fiscal justification for going to war? Since that is one of your two elements, does it hold that you think there is then never any justification for going to war?

Actually I didn't say never. I should have edited your statement to include only "nearly". I think actual defense is always acceptable, and I fully endorsed the invasion of Afghanistan to that end. I think that any other war should be nearly impossible. Otherwise having a massive standing military in peacetime makes it awfully tempting for people in power to use it. When all you have is hammer...

And I say this as an Air Force veteran with two middle east tours under his belt and 3 years of overseas service. We're people, not just numbers. We bleed and die, numbers don't.

Posted by: ChrisS at March 10, 2004 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

P.S. Did anyone see that McCain is "open to Kerry VP slot"?!

Posted by: Charlie at March 10, 2004 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

P.S. Did anyone see that McCain is "open to Kerry VP slot"?!

In my pantheon of acceptable republican politicians, McCain is one of them. But I think the chances of him jumping ship are slim and none.

The true implication of that statement is that McCain is very, very unhappy with President Bush.

Posted by: ChrisS at March 10, 2004 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

"Sure, it's a matter of degree - would you rather be shot once or 938 times?"

I think this is more a question of which part of the anatomy is hit, my guess the foot, rather than the number of shots fired.

Posted by: postit at March 10, 2004 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

the white house is the president's home. i never saw any reason why he shouldn't be allowed to have people over.

Posted by: Olaf glad and big at March 10, 2004 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

ChrisS:

"The true implication of that statement is that McCain is very, very unhappy with President Bush."

Obviously - if McCain indeed jumps ship though, perfect 20/20 hindsight tells us that GWB should have vetoed that damn Campaign Finance reform bill. I sure hope GWB has a fleet of lawyers ready to enforce McCain's own law against him.

Posted by: Charlie at March 10, 2004 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

i suspect that the reason republicans aren't upset about this is that they always knew it was a fake scandal, like whitewater. they never cared really. it was just an opportunity for them to be sanctimonious.

Posted by: Olaf glad and big at March 10, 2004 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Psssst! Sush, children. I think you've all forgot something that supercedes all this blather:

Bush is Evil

Meditate upon it, in silence.

http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/TheDespoilingOfAmerica.htm

Posted by: JohnBrown at March 10, 2004 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

P.S. postit - continue avoiding my questions and then wondering why you are on the ignore-list.

Olaf glad and big - the White House is actually the "People's House" so maybe that new piece of information will clue you into "any reason"?

Posted by: Charlie at March 10, 2004 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

the White House is actually the "People's House"

Jeez, Charlie, now you're starting to sound like a communist.. ;)

Posted by: ChrisS at March 10, 2004 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

postit,

Lest you think Bush has a monopoly on hypocrisy and a faulty moral compass, See this February LA Times story on Kerry's fun:

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/2004/la-na-kerry19feb19,1,745120.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Hey, at least he's standing up for the "little guy." Smaller corporations should also be able to have undue influence on our government!

Posted by: Hubris at March 10, 2004 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

"P.S. postit - continue avoiding my questions and then wondering why you are on the ignore-list."

Confirmation, I'm listed !

applause applause

Thankyou, thankyou it's a great honor, can't thank you all enough, no really i'm flattered.

Posted by: postit at March 10, 2004 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Librul -
Apparently you missed that latest Halliburton flap wherein H. stopped paying one of its subcontractors, which may have to provide cold sandwiches to our soldiers instead of hot meals because it has no money

Apparently you missed the paragraph that this was due to the holding of payment to Halliburton for their services as the prime contractor. The 'big greed' of Halliburton in taking this contract has resulted in a lost of $831 mill in 2003, with only a $2 mill revenue growth, and lost of profit since 2001. Why their sole competior in their core business, Schlumberger, has continued to amass a profit.

The Army outsourced this work as a cost saving measure. Agree with Chris S. increasing the Army is not the answer. 40k more troops to do what? The Army is not to run the country. It is to attack and get out, the first half was done well, the second is not in their skill set. The resources need to go to another organization, like under the State Department to build a nation.
If the Army took this task on, it would have to spend the same amount that they pay Halliburton every year, and not just in emergency situations, plus full retirement for the support staff. That would reduce the revenue to do their prime mission, buy better equipment.
In reading the posts for several weeks now, I have seen lots of attacks on Halliburton, but never and alternative to the contract awarding. Who else should have gotten the contract (having Chenney as former CEO is not a valid disqualification, only fodder for whining) that could have done it with a proven track history.

Posted by: sinop85 at March 10, 2004 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Just read the article. Bush had 270 guests of which 9 were major fund raisers. Isn't it possible that he hosted personal friends who happened to be fund raisers?

Also note Clinton had 900+ guests in his first 4 years.

Posted by: Researcher at March 10, 2004 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Hey JohnBrown,

This is like, what, the third thread where you've inserted this link? Perhaps you're not getting much interest since you're commanding us to cease any "blather" and "discussion." Uh, blogs are sort of dedicated to discussion. You should try a more appropriate forum; perhaps you could inscribe the article on a sandwich board and wander about Harvard Square screaming it aloud, enduring jeers from townies all the while?

Posted by: Hubris at March 10, 2004 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Um.. guys.. hello?

Bushie isn't waffling... 9/11 changed everything... don't you know that?
All those big-money contributors need to stay the night somewhere safe what with all those big bad terruhrists out there.

Posted by: Yopparai Catholic at March 10, 2004 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Hubris

I have never claimed Bush has a 'monopoly' position, but I would contend he is Enron to Kerry's Martha.

Presented with an array of options each leading to quite certain outcomes a sane man picks the option that leads to the best outcome. Niether Bush nor Nader are good options for the outcome I would prefer.

Posted by: postit at March 10, 2004 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

"I personally know several people, including my 2 younger brothers, who volunteered to go work for Halliburton, in Baghdad. They are giving up all of the amenities and freedoms of home,"

Ya its a good thing they have monogramed towels and a dirty kitchen and PLEHNTY to eat.


On a side note. Has anyone seen John McCain's story about willing to be a runningmate to John Kerry?

Posted by: smalfish at March 10, 2004 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Bandar Bush wasn't on the list either. He goes down to Crawford because the White House is too crowded.

Posted by: al at March 10, 2004 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

postit,

You said:

"Presented with an array of options each leading to quite certain outcomes a sane man picks the option that leads to the best outcome. Niether Bush nor Nader are good options for the outcome I would prefer."

Why, then, would such a pragmatist care about citing anyone's alleged hypocrisy or moral compass? Unless it was part of the pragmatism..oh.

Posted by: Hubris at March 10, 2004 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

GWB is allowed to keep his childhood friends from the silver spoon club; the self-made Clintons are not allowed to make new friends, and especially not allowed to associate with other self-made people, especially the Hollywood elite. Why is GWB still relentlessly portrayed as a man of the people?

Posted by: Saheli at March 10, 2004 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Saheli,

"Why is GWB still relentlessly portrayed as a man of the people?"

First, I don't think he is. There has been successful promulgation of the "scion of wealthy evil dynasty" theory.

Second, to the degree that he is, it is likely due to the tendency of many of those who dislike Bush to classify those who support him as ignorant hayseeds. Nothing's as good as intellectual snobbery for causing a coalescence of pitchfork-waving anti-intellectualism in the "flyover states."

Posted by: Hubris at March 10, 2004 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

In the real world, sleepovers and brunch is the best way to discuss pretty much anything.

Charlie, you're an illiterate, illmannered little monkey.

Unlike us elitists.

Posted by: perpwalk at March 10, 2004 01:06 PM | PERMALINK

Since Halliburton is so bad, how many other companies have the knowledge, experience, and resources to do what they do ?

You know what I would like? If the Army fed their own damn troops, rather than contracting it out to a for-profit company with very close ties to the White House.

It kind of seems to me like a tactical blunder to rely on civilians to do so much of the heavy lifting for our Army.

Posted by: Timothy Klein at March 10, 2004 01:12 PM | PERMALINK

The 'big greed' of Halliburton in taking this contract has resulted in a lost of $831 mill in 2003

Little loose with the facts, heh? Halliburton made about $400m before a one time write down of $1.2b IIRC related to asbestos claims.

Why (while) their sole competior in their core business, Schlumberger, has continued to amass a profit.

The engineering and consulting group of H (KBR) brought in $9b in 03' compared to $7b for the energy service group. Would not say the H namesake group is the core business anymore. While H may be in the oil services business sector with Schlumberger, where they overlap is greatly exaggerated. H use to make most of there energy service revenue from downhole casing, where as Schlumberger was the leader in downhole testing. IIRC correctly they may compete in directional drilling.

Posted by: chris/tx at March 10, 2004 01:21 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently the Republican apologists are confused about how reporting works. Only nine major fundraisers were listed, so they assume that this was the exhaustive list. That hardly seems rational. How about this, you wait for Bush to release the entire list along with the amount of money donated and raised by each – then you have facts to back up your defense.

Of course, for those who are defending Bush while attacking Clinton you must remember the punch line to the old joke " we're just haggling over the price"

Posted by: Lori Thantos at March 10, 2004 01:42 PM | PERMALINK

"he Army outsourced this work as a cost saving measure. Agree with Chris S. increasing the Army is not the answer. 40k more troops to do what? The Army is not to run the country. It is to attack and get out, the first half was done well, the second is not in their skill set. The resources need to go to another organization, like under the State Department to build a nation."

Now I'm irritated, you fucking idiot.

Aside from H's daily ripoffs, what good are they?

You putrid little CUNT.

GAH!

Posted by: perpwalk at March 10, 2004 01:54 PM | PERMALINK

Hey,


JD: "People much prefer somebody with convictions, rather than a leader that tests the political winds, repeatedly."
Posted by JD at March 10, 2004 10:07 AM | PERMALINK


Are you promoting Martha Stewart for President?

:-)

Posted by: MarkH at March 10, 2004 01:56 PM | PERMALINK

Little loose with the facts, heh? Halliburton made about $400m before a one time write down of $1.2b IIRC related to asbestos claims.

Asbestos claims that Halliburton has to pay because Cheney did not notice that Dresser Industries might have asbestos liabilities.

Posted by: ___league at March 10, 2004 02:02 PM | PERMALINK

"So far - only ONE (1) of GWB guests was not a friend or family. Sounds good to me"

You're an idiot. All of W's money and power came from his family and friends, he never earned a damned dime on his own. So yes, he's paying back all those 'friends' who blew millions to ensure he'd do their bidding once he achieved this power. He's is an elitist, arrogant monkey with shite for brains, waiting for his next command from his 'friends'. The drivel that passes for thought in a right-winger's mind like yours is truly laughable.

Posted by: Bush's left nut at March 10, 2004 02:13 PM | PERMALINK

Nice, league.

Posted by: perpwalk at March 10, 2004 02:14 PM | PERMALINK

Wow perpwalk,

Your arguments must really suck if the only way you can express them is to call the other person an idiot and throw out the "c" word.

As for actual facts, are you denying that Halliburton has actually performed any services in Iraq?

Go ahead and call me names if you like, it just weakens your position.

Posted by: Hubris at March 10, 2004 02:28 PM | PERMALINK

Yep.

Have a nice nap, bitchass.

Posted by: perpwalk at March 10, 2004 02:36 PM | PERMALINK

Asbestos claims that Halliburton has to pay because Cheney did not notice that Dresser Industries might have asbestos liabilities.

IIRC Cheney tried to dump the asbestos claims onto the govt (as in taxpayers) as part of superfund legislation but failed.

Posted by: chris/tx at March 10, 2004 02:37 PM | PERMALINK

Just read the article. Bush had 270 guests of which 9 were major fund raisers.
OK, but how many of them were jumping up and down on the bed?

Posted by: Ron at March 10, 2004 02:38 PM | PERMALINK

"IIRC Cheney tried to dump the asbestos claims onto the govt (as in taxpayers) as part of superfund legislation but failed.
Posted by chris/tx at March 10, 2004 02:37 PM | PERMALINK"

Yup.

Thanks for remembering, nice.

Posted by: perpwalk at March 10, 2004 02:44 PM | PERMALINK

perpwalk,

Wow, you're really tough in the blogosphere. Scaaary.

Posted by: Hubris at March 10, 2004 02:44 PM | PERMALINK

Not so much.

You're just an ignorant little bitch, easily led.

Simple, eh?

Posted by: perpwalk at March 10, 2004 02:46 PM | PERMALINK


"Little loose with the facts, heh? Halliburton made about $400m before a one time write down of $1.2b IIRC related to asbestos claims"

Pot calling the kettle black? And Schlumberger took an $1.6 bill one time write-off for the Sema buy/sell fiasco, and still posted positive revenue.

The engineering and consulting group of H (KBR) brought in $9b in 03' compared to $7b for the energy service group.

Again, with only half the information, it almost sounded like you have a valid point; however, this would imply that the average person does not know that KBR Engineering and counsulting group's primary income is consulting. But the primary consulting is done within the energy market. Straight Government Operations is a very small portion of their business.

oil services business sector with Schlumberger, where they overlap is greatly exaggerated.
That's the point. The companies each have 80-90% of the business in OFS in their specific fields. So, as there is agreement that they have gone to different markets (SLB- management/test- Hal- hard support and maint), why is there such a flap over H getting the contract, who is the alternative - Bechtol?

Posted by: sinop85 at March 10, 2004 03:00 PM | PERMALINK

Hubris: Ignore-list. It works - trust me : )

Posted by: Charlie at March 10, 2004 03:00 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie,

Will do, thanks. I'm new to this site, wasn't yet used to the 12-year-olds.

Posted by: Hubris at March 10, 2004 03:03 PM | PERMALINK

You're welcome!

Posted by: Charlie at March 10, 2004 03:06 PM | PERMALINK

Easy there, watch out for Charlie... he can be one of the twelve year olds from time to time.

Eh, Hubris, some people are a little passionate about their politics. But hey, welcome to the Calpundit Commenter's Club, it's actually a pretty good discourse compared to other sites.

Posted by: ChrisS at March 10, 2004 03:10 PM | PERMALINK

But shove it up your ass, just the same.

Posted by: perpwalk at March 10, 2004 03:32 PM | PERMALINK

perpwalk

I think that you are going a little over the edge.

Posted by: ___league at March 10, 2004 03:54 PM | PERMALINK

LOL

Posted by: Charlie at March 10, 2004 04:04 PM | PERMALINK

sinop85 - In your original comment you stated:

The 'big greed' of Halliburton in taking this contract has resulted in a lost of $831 mill in 2003, as if H is taking it on the chin for the good old USA. My point was you failed to mention the loss by H had nothing to do with Iraq, and everything to do with one time charge for asbestos liabilities. H's contracts are mostly cost plus so H cannot lose money on Iraq. What does Schlumberger have to do with any of this anyway? The FR crowd kept crowing that only two companies were qualifed and one was French, which was such a joke because most of the $4b to H had nothing to do with downhole or other services Schlumberger provides.

why is there such a flap over H getting the contract, who is the alternative - Bechtol?

Bechtel and maybe Carlyle are the only alternatives in the US, but that is framing the argument. The outrage centers around making H the general contractor instead of the Army corp of engineers. H would still have gotten plenty of work. Iraq is rather small (25m people) and the corp could have easily subcontracted much of the school building and repairs, bridge repairs, etc directly to locals as the corp has done over the last 85 years or so. We could have built much more goodwill with the locals if we would have put them to work at $3/day, instead of paying H employees about $1000/day (including all cost, ie food/lodging). Also the lack of transparency, other companies not being allowed to bid, etc.


Posted by: chris/tx at March 10, 2004 04:13 PM | PERMALINK

I come from Lincoln, Nebraska named after Lincolnshire, England, from where its original settlers hailed. The issue of sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom has never been a big issue in Lincoln since it was a President's bedroom, and my Nebraska Lincoln are NOT associated at all with that President. But if somebody slept in the Lincoln bedroom, who cares, I mean Lincoln is dead, it's not like he'll come back and find somebody sleeping in his bed, like some Three Bears horror. If people would just think about what they are getting all up in arms about, and not just start arguing about stupid crap, we could possibly get somewhere by finding ourselves discussing a matter of grave import. But Lincoln's bedroom, damn, what next, who didn't lift the seat in Lincoln's bathroom. Who starts this stupid shit! If Perpwalk could curse somebody out about this, I'd be much obliged.

Posted by: Anne at March 10, 2004 04:50 PM | PERMALINK

On the NBC nightly news a lawyer for the CREEP
said the federal government is going have doners to independent committees because they are illegal. So the president's campaign committee is threatening citizens who oppose him.

And the Mitchell Piece implied the Republicans were right and that is not true.

Posted by: ann at March 10, 2004 05:41 PM | PERMALINK

ann:

"On the NBC nightly news a lawyer for the CREEP
said the federal government is going have doners . . .

You are missing a word (maybe a verb?) in this sentence. Are you sure you are even on the right thread. We were discussing Helen Thomas's crack reporting (although I don't recall her being this upset when Clinton rented out the Lincoln bedroom 937 times more than GWB ; )

". . . to independent committees because they are illegal."

According to McCain's new law, recently upheld by the SCOTUS (although they were SOOOO generous to allow minors the right to contribute to political parties) they ARE illegal!!

"So the president's campaign committee is threatening citizens who oppose him."

McCain-Feingold was not MY idea.

"And the Mitchell Piece implied the Republicans were right and that is not true."

Well, the GOP is always right, but just out of curiousity, what is "Mitchell Piece"?

Posted by: Charlie at March 10, 2004 07:46 PM | PERMALINK

fiscal determinations should not dictate the final determination. If that were the case, it would be nearly, if not completely, impossible to ever financially justify going to war.

Yeah, I guess that's why he decided against rescinding some of his tax cuts to pay for the war, sheesh.

Posted by: Another Bruce at March 10, 2004 07:58 PM | PERMALINK

Re all the argy-bargy over who could rebuild Iraq instead of Halliburton, Bechtal et al.

Just a wild thought here. Why not the Iraqis themselves? After all they have one of most highly-educated and literate populations in the area, tens of thousands of trained engineers, architects, construction managers, scientists etc and hundreds of thousands of unemployed able-bodied young.

For a tenth of what's being paid to US firms, the Iraqis could be loaded up with the equipment and resources they need, just add some Army Corps of Engineers dudes to help get 'em kickstarted and stand back.

After all it is their country now, isn't it?

Posted by: Nabakov at March 10, 2004 08:06 PM | PERMALINK

After all it is their country now, isn't it?

Yeah, but we have to spend that $87 billion somehow.

Posted by: Another Bruce at March 10, 2004 08:12 PM | PERMALINK

if H is taking it on the chin for the good old USA. My point was you failed to mention the loss by H had nothing to do with Iraq, and everything to do with one time charge for asbestos liabilities.

Not implying that H is taking it on the chin for the good old USA. Am stating that the allegations that H is walking away with profits in the billions is false. (it is 7% fixed, and the standard commercial contracts are 30-35%) SLB is not, equivalent for reasons you stated, but the fact that billion dollar write-offs (which many have implied is Cheney's fault) is not the cause either, as they are common in large corporations.


What does Schlumberger have to do with any of this anyway?
Cries are that there were other qualified companies, which is not true (SLB is not French it is USA/FR and is on NYSE). The original contract was based on contingenct plans for Oil fighting.

Bechtel and maybe Carlyle are the only alternatives in the US, but that is framing the argument.
No, there are not international companies that could do the original contract, oil infrastructure and troop support services. H and SLB were the only companies that could do the pre-evaluation before the war, and it would not be business smart to not give the contract to the company that did the research. Other companies that were capable (noteably UK) publicly stated they would not go into Iraq without Military protection.

the corp could have easily subcontracted much of the school building and repairs, bridge repairs, etc directly to locals as the corp has done over the last 85 years or so.
The contract awarded to H is not to re-build schools etc. It was a potential, oil fighting (if needed), pipe construction, and service to the Troops. The construction contracts are coming out now, and are being awarded this week, and the week of M/17 (I believe). The only contract H has won is in the Oil field evaluation.

Now, I think a fair discussion is the outsourcing a smart idea for the future. An activity that has been in place in the Pentagon since the 80's and not questioned. The part that I have a problem with is the equating of the contract to H as a reason to go to war.

Posted by: sinop85 at March 11, 2004 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Talk about sordid details:

Iraq invasion finds another Weapon of Mass Destruction:
Former press secretary for four DEMOCRAT members of Congress was arrested Thursday on charges she was a SPY for the Iraqi intelligence service before and after the U.S. liberation.

She worked for Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. in 1993 and then Rep. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., in 1994 before joining the office of former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun as press secretary in 1996. From March to May 2002, she worked for Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.

AHHH, YOUR TYPICAL LIBERAL. NO WONDER THEY WERE AGAINST THE LIBERATION.....how many more leftist will we find aided the tyrant??

And no liberals I am not questioning her patriotism...it is typicaly liberal.

Posted by: keiser at March 11, 2004 02:15 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, I'm sure those were the only guests and or "major donors"--and Bush released his full military record back in 2000.

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