Comment on this article |
Email this article |
News :: Environment : Globalization : Labor : Organizing : Technology
Oil Prices Surge. Bush- not my fault.
by Ginny Brown-Waite
20 Oct 2006
Oil Prices climb. Bush says - it is not my fault. Who believes him?
USA will not feel the effects for 6 weeks of the Gas Price Increase due to OPEC oil production cuts.
thus, Gas price Increases in the USA will not be felt until after election day.
Republicans claim they are not responsible for manipulating the Gas Price Increase to become effective until after election day.
Bush says - it is not my fault.
Nobody believes him or the Republican Party.
World oil prices crept ahead as traders gave a cautious welcome to news that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, added 22 cents on Friday to 58.72 dollars per barrel in electronic deals before the official opening of the US market. The contract expires at the close.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for December delivery added nine cents to 60.96 dollars per barrel in electronic trading.
OPEC oil ministers decided earlier Friday to slash its production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from November 1, blaming the move on an over-supplied market.
"The market is skeptical about the ability of the cartel to really implement a cut of 1.2 million," said Investec analyst Bruce Evers.
"It's going to take six weeks before we really know the amount that's really been taken off the market."
He added: "Whether countries like Indonesia, Libya or Venezuela will actually reduce their production further, remains to be seen."
A further cut may be required at the 11-nation cartel's next meeting in the Nigerian capital Abuja on December 14, Evers noted.
Ahead of its extraordinary meeting in Doha, and amid market uncertainty over the exact details of a reduction, OPEC had given the impression that the cut would be only one million bpd.
The cut will reduce actual production to 26.3 million bpd from 27.5 million bpd currently, which is below OPEC's official quota of 28 million bpd, in place since July 2005.
According to Barclays Capital analyst Kevin Norrish, the output decision would prevent crude prices falling much further.
"While it would be surprising if the recent high level of market skepticism and misunderstanding about OPEC were to disappear completely and rapidly, we believe that ministers have now put a fairly strong floor under prices," Norrish said.
There had been uncertainty over whether the powerful cartel would reduce output from the quota or current output levels -- which had helped to drive oil prices lower in recent weeks.
OTHER BUSH BETRAYALS
Politics of Oil and Money
Another sub-title for this article could well be "a study in state monopoly capitalism." A book of the author, Dan Briody, focused on the Carlyle Group, the spectacularly well-heeled firm that includes former President George H.W. Bush, his crony James Baker and a veritable rogues’ gallery of washed-up politicians and businessmen of questionable integrity who blatantly trade upon their inside knowledge of government for private gain in yet another textbook example of state monopoly capitalism.
Yet, their money-grubbing pales in comparison – and chutzpah – to Halliburton, a firm formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, a firm that is frequently in the headlines in light of the lucrative contracts they have been awarded by Cheney’s government in the theater of war that is Iraq.
The story begins in Texas where a predecessor firm of Halliburton, Brown & Root, was catapulted into prominence – and obscene profitability - because of a tight relationship with former Senator, then Vice President and President, Lyndon B. Johnson. Large scale construction and oil services were the two pillars on which this giant company was built. Routinely the government handed out handsome "cost plus" contracts, e.g. building the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station, to this corporation. "Cost plus" means that the contractor could recoup all expenses plus a guaranteed profit based on a pre-negotiated percentage. This eliminates risk for the contractor and erodes the necessity to eliminate wasteful billing which, says the author, is "great for the contractor, not so great for the taxpayer." "Basically, it’s a blank check from the government….when your profit is a percentage of the cost, the more you spend, the more you make."
Brown & Root reaped a bonanza of wasteful contracts during the war in Vietnam, which – coincidentally – Johnson prosecuted as vigorously as Cheney has done in Iraq. By 1967 this firm was the largest employer in South Vietnam. Yet even then there was an obvious downside to relying so heavily upon the private sector to perform the clear government function of waging war: motivated by the lust for profit their employees were "manipulating currency and selling goods on the black market," among other transgressions.
Johnson was so helpful to this company that the author argues that actually he was "working for Brown & Root, not the people of his district or the state." Something similar used to be said about another leading Democratic Party politician, the late Henry "Scoop" Jackson of Washington, who was referred to as the "Senator from Boeing." Obviously today we are in dire need of deeper examinations of the ramified ties between various sectors of state monopoly capitalism and leading political figures and parties, along the lines of the work at hand.
Brown & Root was also viciously anti-union. At one time, for example, progressive formations e.g. the National Maritime Union, played a pivotal role in Texas politics but after Brown & Root and their confederates pushed through anti-union legislation in the 1940s, the political complexion of what is now the second largest state began to change to the point where it has now become a reliable Republican redoubt and, not coincidentally, the home of both the current President and Vice-President.
But as profitable as it had been, when Dick Cheney left the Pentagon in the 1990s to become head of Halliburton, this company was catapulted to a new level of profitability. A staunch conservative, while a member of Congress Cheney avidly opposed imposing sanctions against apartheid South Africa while pushing aggressively for sanctions against socialist Cuba. Before leaving the Pentagon, which he headed during the administration of George H.W. Bush, he accelerated the privatization of core military functions in a way that – coincidentally – aided the company he was about to lead. "They made $109.7 million in Somalia…$6.3 million from Operation Support Hope in Rwanda…..Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti netted the company $150." Halliburton was "becoming another unit in the US Army" and reaping millions from war and misery, providing a perverse incentive for an increase in such pestilences. "From 1995 to 2000, Brown & Root" – now part of Halliburton—"billed the government for more than $2 billion in services. The company did everything from build the [military] camps to deliver the mail, with 24-hour food service and laundering. It provided firefighting services, fuel delivery, sewage construction, hazardous material disposal, and the maintenance and delivery of equipment." War in the Balkans was the "driving force" for Halliburton’s increased profitability and heightened profile. "Halliburton’s government business doubled while Cheney was CEO."
Yet Cheney also left this firm with a basket of problems after he was elected Vice-President and this may have given him incentive to steer contracts in Halliburton’s direction in order to lessen the pain inflicted on his firm. He pushed through a merger with Dresser Industries, a profoundly disastrous maneuver, given the backbreaking liability for asbestos related lawsuits that this company carried. Coincidentally – that word again – Dresser was "the company that gave George H.W. Bush his first job." After Cheney left Halliburton a "grand jury investigation into over-billing and a Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] investigation into Halliburton’s accounting practices while Cheney was CEO" ensued. That is not all. The company was accused of bribing a "Nigerian tax authority in exchange for contracts to build a liquefied natural gas plant." A French magistrate "was looking into the possibility of bringing charges against Dick Cheney for complicity in the bribery case and allegations that $243 million in secret commissions were paid from the late 1990s to 2002….the United States Justice Department and the SEC are looking into accusations that Halliburton made $180 million in illegal payments to win other contracts in Nigeria."
This points up another festering problem with Halliburton. The French investigation of Cheney’s alleged malfeasance has complicated Washington’s already deteriorating relations with Paris, while Halliburton’s chicanery has contributed mightily to a culture of corruption in West Africa.
After Cheney left, Halliburton stock plummeted precipitously and given the millions of stock options that he still holds, this jeopardized his own personal fortune, not to mention the fortunes of his fellow executives with whom he had become quite close.
Though the author does not stress this, his study reveals a critical fault line within state monopoly capitalism. For when Halliburton began to feed ravenously at the government trough, other firms in the same business became angrily resentful, which helped to fuel congressional investigations and adverse publicity. For example, during the Reagan years, Bechtel was the government contractor of choice, as suggested by the prominent role in his administration played by two of their former executives – former Secretary of State George Schulz and former Pentagon chief, Caspar Weinberger. "The rapid rise" of Brown & Root, for example, "brought on a fit of jealousy" from their "biggest rival, Bechtel of San Francisco."
book: The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money
author: Dan Briody
2ND BOOK: Oil, the Bushes, and the Rise of Texas
Halliburton is of Brown & Root, a company that obtained government contracts via Lyndon B. Johnson during the New Deal. They also took most of the government contracts during the Second World War, Korean War and Vietnam War. It was all done by controlling the chairman of key Senate Committees and having their people holding key posts in the government such as Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Treasury.
Not that this is common knowledge. This group of Texans (sometimes known as the Suite 8F Group) bought into Operation Mockingbird (a CIA project to control the US domestic media). However, the web has undermined this project.
The key point made by Bryce and Briody is that this is really an economic issue. The politics of all this is about making money out of their ideology. It does not matter who the US is fighting, it is the spending this goes on it that is important.
Global military spending is $956bn and rising. US spends 40% of this. Most is spent with companies based in Texas.
In 1963 John F. Kennedy tried to deal with the Texas stranglehold over government policy. However, he underestimated the power of the Suite 8F Group.
book: Cronies: Oil, the Bushes, and the Rise of Texas
author: Dan Briody
Global Warming Destroys Wine Industry
Per the Sustainable Industries Journal,
the Pentagon has blocked the construction of 16 Wind Energy sites in the USA.
The military claims the Wind Farms are a threat to national security.
Maybe the Wind Farms are a threat to Big Oil and Big Coal?
Who Killed the Electric Car?
stop ELECTION FRAUD, support Honest elections.
state info: http://manila.indymedia.org/index.php?action=newswire&parentview=31260
How much political campaign contributions (bribes) is your congressman receiving
How much money (bribes) are the Republicans and their friends receiving from big companies?
Protect your business from the Oil Pirates and Robber Barons.
Stop the Bush Oil Barbarians from Ravishing your Family and community's financial budgets.
Do not allow your congressman to be George Bush's Lap Dog.
Halt the incestuous relationship of sleazy politicians in bed with Big Oil.
Do not bend over. Stop Big Oil and Big Coal from Molesting you and your children.
Tell Big Oil and King Bush - We want our democracy back.
Solar Home Tours and Links
Waste Not, Want Not
Food Banks need your help.
Racketeering charges have been filed against Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, Monsanto, NutraSweet Co., the American Diabetes Association and Dr Robert Moser for distributing toxic aspartame, in a class action representing many plaintiffs, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California seeking $350 million in damages.
The suit charges the defendants with manufacturing and marketing a deadly neurotoxin unfit for human consumption, while they assured the pubic that aspartame (also known as NutraSweet/Equal) contaminated products are safe and healthful, even for children and pregnant women. Present US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, is mentioned throughout the lawsuit.
As evidence, an explosive affidavit from a former translator for the GD Searle company - the developer of aspartame - was made recently public and revealed the following.
For 16 years, the Food and Drug Administration denied approval of aspartame because of compelling evidence of its contributing to brain tumours and other serious disabilities. Donald Rumsfeld left President Ford's administration as Chief of Staff to become the CEO of aspartame-producer GD Searle Co. in 1981.
In 1985 Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in Nutra Sweet. Monsanto was apparently untroubled by aspartame's clouded past, including a 1980 FDA Board of Inquiry, comprised of three independent scientists, which confirmed that it "might induce brain tumors."
The FDA had actually banned the drug based on this finding.
Then Donald Rumsfeld, Searle Chairman (currently the Secretary of Defense), vowed to "call in his markers," to get it approved.
On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan's inauguration, Searle re-applied to the FDA for approval to use aspartame in food sweetener, and Reagan's new FDA commissioner, Arthur Hayes Hull, Jr., appointed a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the board of inquiry's decision. It soon became clear that the panel would uphold the ban by a 3-2 decision, but Hull then installed a sixth member on the commission, and the vote became deadlocked. He then broke the tie in aspartame's favor. Hull later left the FDA under allegations of impropriety, served briefly as Provost at New York Medical College, and then took a position with Burston-Marsteller, the chief public relations firm for both Monsanto and GD Searle. Since that time he has never spoken publicly about aspartame.
Shortly after, Rumsfeld became the CEO, and the day after President Reagan took office, aspartame was quickly approved by FDA Commissioner Arthur Hayes over the objections of the FDA's Public Board of Inquiry. Hayes had been recently appointed by the Reagan Administration. Shortly after aspartame's approval by the FDA, Hayes joined NutraSweet's public relations firm under a 10-year contract at $1,000 a day.
In January 1977, the FDA wrote a 33-page letter to US Justice Department Attorney Sam Skinner: "We request that your office convene a Grand Jury investigation into apparent violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act." Skinner allowed the Statute of Limitations to run. Three FDA Commissioners and eight other officers and Skinner took jobs in the aspartame industry shortly after it was approved.
The FDA once listed 92 adverse reactions from 10,000 consumer complaints and would send the list to all inquirers. In 1996 the FDA stopped taking complaints and now denies the existence of the report. Seizures, blindness, sexual dysfunction, obesity, testicular, mammary and brain tumours and death, plus dozens of other dread diseases named in the suit, arise from the consumption of this neurotoxin.
Defendant Moser, past CEO of NutraSweet, is cited for misrepresenting facts to public and commercial users with full knowledge of the deceptions. Aspartame/Nutrasweet is sold to Bayer, Con Agra Foods, Dannon, Smucker, Kellogg, Wrigley, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods (Crystal Light), Conopco (Slim-Fast), Coke, Pfizer, Wal-Mart and Wyeth (to name a few), who use it in some of their products, including children's vitamins. These entities are named in other suits now in Californian courts.
Defendant American Diabetes Association is meant to care for diabetics. A 35-year ADA member, diabetic specialist HJ Roberts, MD, FACP, discovered aspartame can precipitate or aggravate diabetes and its complications, or simulate the complications (especially neuropathy and retinopathy). His report, intended for the Annual Scientific Meeting of the ADA, was rejected for presentation - and even publication of the abstract - but was later published in another medical journal.
MONSANTO MEN in USA Government
The Bush administration's could be called the Monsanto Cabinet, per Robert Cohen, author of “Milk, The Deadly Poison” which details the horrid politics behind the contamination of our nation's milk and beef supply with bovine growth hormone.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was president of Searle Pharmaceuticals, a company owned by Monsanto. Rumsfeld was also the Secretary of Defense under President Ford.
Rumsfeld is believed to have earned around US$12 million from the sale of Searle to Monsanto.
Attorney General John Ashcroft reportedly received $10,000 for his senatorial campaign from Monsanto in the mid 90s. Ashcroft's contribution from Monsanto was five times that of any other congressional hopeful. Ashcroft, and Sr. Bush Supreme Court appointee Clarence Thomas were instrumental in gaining Food and Drug Administation (FDA) approval for Monsanto's controversial artificial sweetener aspartame, which has been linked to over 200 ailments that include Alzheimer's disease, juvenile diabetes, depression, epileptic seizures, blindness, memory loss, excitability, weight gain, multiple sclerosis and lupus (The Idaho Observer, November, 2000).
Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman was on the board of directors of Calgene Pharmaceutical, another company currently owned by Monsanto.
Secretary of Health Tommy Thompson is the fourth member of the Bush cabinet to have direct ties to Monsanto. The former governor of Wisconsin designated his state as a “biotech zone” for the use of Monsanto's bovine growth hormone even though dairy farmers in his state opposed the designation by a 9-1 ratio. Thompson reportedly received $50,000 from biotech companies during his election campaign.
Bovine growth hormone, which does increase the productivity of dairy cows, has also been linked to many health problems in children and adults (The Idaho Observer, November, 2000) and makes cows sick.
Bovine growth hormone has been outlawed in most countries, but not the U.S.
And as Cohen points out, another player in the Monsanto-studded Cabinet is Rep. Richard Pombo, who will head the Agriculture Subcommittee on Dairy, Livestock and Poultry. Pombo is also a Monsanto boy, having taken campaign money from it while stalling a 1994 bill to make labeling mandatory for milk or milk products containing Bovine Growth Hormones. Pombo helped kill the bill in committee.
Monsanto also holds the patent on the “terminator gene” which prevents plants from producing viable seed so that farmers, and therefore people, will be dependent upon the multinational corporation for their food supply.
Monsanto has proven to be one of the most greedy, ruthless and environmentally irreverent corporations in world history. One cannot serve the interests of Monsanto and serve the interests of people at the same time.
The Grand Ole Pedophile party is having a little trouble explaining why they didn't take action when they found out Republican Congressman Mark Foley was exchanging e-mails in which he propositioned 16-year-old boys. The Republican leadership took no action to take Foley off the Missing and Exploited Children's caucus, which he co-chaired.
According to ABC: "Hastert's staff and Republicans in leadership, including Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., the chairman of the House campaign effort, for months had been aware of a questionable 2005 e-mail exchange between Foley and a Louisiana teen."
House Speaker Dennis Hastert said the reason he didn't take action to remove the pervert from his seat as co-chair of the Missing and Exploited Children's caucus was that "the parents didn't want the matter pursued." So they just left him on the committee. Hell with the parents of other kids who would be next to be propositioned by Foley. (New York Times)
According to epluribusmedia.org, "At least 4 years after having been exposed to House Leadership as a pedophile who presented a danger to teen pages, Foley was not only allowed to remain in Congress, but was allowed to be in a powerful position on committees affecting the well-being of children. After Hastert knew what he was up to, after it had become such common knowlege in Foley's office that staffers would warn incoming children about his abusive behavior, Hastert and the rest of the Republican leadershiop not only abandoned the children in his office to his abuse, but allowed him to influence policies that could leave other children vulnerable to other predators."
Check out Foley's website: "Mark plays a powerful role on the Ways and Means Committee by reforming the tax code, providing tax relief, expanding trade while protecting Florida’s farmers, seeking solutions to save Social Security, shoring up Medicare, reforming welfare and fighting child exploitation. In addition to his committee assignments, Mark serves as Chairman of the Entertainment Industry Task Force, Co-Chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus and Co-Chairman of the Travel and Tourism Caucus."
In this video at Think Progress, Hastert says he didn't remember being told about Foley last spring because he thought that it was "resolved" because "the family had got what it wanted to get". And "if he told me it would have been in the context of half a dozen other things ... that might have affected campaigns." No need to be concerned, as long as it didn't affect any campaigns.
October 8, 2006
The Foley thing is fascinating. The Republicans, as they say, don't know whether to s*** or go blind. They are finally at the end of their bag of tricks. This particular twist is beyond their repertoire. All their familiar poses of sanctimonious virtuousness fall flat in this circumstance. It's just so hard for them to appear holier than thou. But that doesn't stop them from trying. What else can they do? For years they've clanged on the same tiresome bell. Ultimately it doesn't matter what people think because they can control the outcome of the elections with a few well-placed strokes in a master computer. But their pretense that they won in 2004 because of an inexplicable surge of concern with "values issues" like opposition to gay marriage, is going to be hard to pull off this time.
They can always employ the series of defense measures of any scoundrel: lie, lie, deny, blame someone else. And the Republicans can always pull out their phony religious act. But in this case that schtick is a drawn a little thin. And then of course, natural for the Republicans, they can go on the offensive. According to the Mercury News, "Republican Rep. John Shimkus demanded Friday that two of Congress' leading Democrats apologize for what he said were accusations that he tried to cover up the Capitol Hill pages' scandal involving former GOP Rep. Mark Foley." But "Rather than apologize, spokespeople for Durbin and Pelosi counterattacked. 'It's been a week since this scandal broke and U.S. Rep. Shimkus still doesn't get it,' said Durbin spokesman Joe Shoemaker. 'This isn't about too much partisan politics - it's about too little effort to protect children under his care. It is not a House scandal or a Republican scandal - it is a national disgrace.'"
Bush seems almost constitutionally incapable of giving in on anything or admitting error. His intransigence may in the end be his undoing, but it may first be the undoing of America. Will Americans finally say they've had enough with the Foley bit, the fact that Republicans abandon all their supposed principles of morality when it comes to the only thing they really believe in: power? Will it work?
DVD: Capitol Crimes
by Bill Moyers
The fall of super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff has exposed what may be one of the biggest political scandals in America's history. What does the dizzying scope of corruption say about how laws are made and who really owns the U.S. government? Bill Moyers and his team of investigative journalists untangle the web of relationships, secret deals, and political manipulation to open a disturbing window on the dark side of American politics.
This work is in the public domain