As the chart above shows – over $50 billion dollars going to military and non-military aid, may or may not be completely inclusive of all grants, all loans – the money we send to multilateral development banks and grants outside the 150 Account that covers most USAID funding.
The wikipedia entry about US foreign military aid also includes this note –
United States Congress created the Economic Support Fund (ESF) to promote economic and political stability in strategic regions where the United States has special interests. The funds are provided on a grant basis and are available for a variety of economic purposes, like infrastructure and development projects. Although not intended for military expenditure, these grants allow the recipient government to free up its own money for military programs.
Indirect military aid also amounts to a significant source of aid. Some countries receive International Military Education and Training grants to pay for training on U.S. weapons systems, and military management in general.
* Military aid is given predominantly to Middle Eastern countries, particularly Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Saudi-Arabia neither of which is a developing country.
* Corruption is a major problem – funds often go directly to leaders who may not share the aid with citizens.
* In 2004, the Bush Administration created the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) as a new foreign aid agency to provide financial assistance to a limited number of countries selected for good performance in socioeconomic development. The MCC also finances some USAID-administered development assistance projects.To support U.S. geopolitical interests, USAID is often called upon to administer exceptional financial grants to allies. Also, when U.S. troops are in the field, USAID can supplement the “Civil Affairs” programs that the U.S. military conducts to win the friendship of local populations and thus to undermine insurgent support. In these circumstances, USAID may be directed by specially appointed diplomatic officials of the State Department, as in Afghanistan and Pakistan at present. USAID can also be called upon to support projects of U.S. constituents that have exceptional interest.
Financial assistance supplies cash to developing country organizations to supplement their budgets. USAID also provides financial assistance to local and international NGOs who in turn give technical assistance in developing countries.
In recent years, the USG has increased its emphasis on financial assistance in place of technical assistance. In 2004, the Bush Administration created the Millennium Challenge Corporation as a new foreign aid agency that is mainly restricted to providing financial assistance. In 2009, the Obama Administration initiated a major realignment of USAID’s own programs to emphasize financial assistance, referring to it as “government-to-government” or “G2G” assistance.
The U.S. Government’s 150 Account funds the budgets of all International Affairs programs and operations for civilian agencies, including USAID.
In FY 2009, the Bush Administration’s request for the International Affairs Budget for the Department of State, USAID, and other foreign affairs agencies totaled approximately $39.5 billion, including $26.1 billion for Foreign Operations and Related Agencies, $11.2 billion for Department of State, and $2.2 billion for Other International Affairs.
The National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, is a U.S. non-profit organization that was founded in 1983 to promote US-friendly democracy by providing cash grants funded primarily through an annual allocation from the U.S. Congress. Although administered as a private organization, its funding comes almost entirely from a governmental appropriation by Congress and it was created by an act of Congress.
In 2001 Freedom House had income of around $11m, increasing to over $26m in 2006. Much of the increase was due to an increase between 2004 and 2005 in US government federal funding, from $12m to $20m.
On June 25, 2005, freelance journalist F. William Engdahl asserted on the GlobalResearch.ca website that Freedom House was “created in the late 1940’s to back the creation of NATO” and criticized the group for being headed by former CIA director James Woolsey at the time of his article’s publication.
The board is currently chaired by William H. Taft IV. Taft assumed chairmanship of the board in January 2009, replacing previous chair Peter Ackerman. Other current notable board members include Kenneth Adelman, Farooq Kathwari, Azar Nafisi, Mark Palmer, P. J. O’Rourke, and Lawrence Lessig, while past notable board members have included Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Samuel Huntington, Mara Liasson, Otto Reich, Donald Rumsfeld, Whitney North Seymour, Paul Wolfowitz, Steve Forbes, and Bayard Rustin.
McCain, however, said the U.S. remained concerned about Libya’s record on human rights and political reform.
“As we move ahead with the many ways in which the United States and Libya can work together as partners, there remain areas where real work needs to be done,” McCain said. “The status of human rights and political reform in Libya will remain a chief element of concern.”
The U.S. State Department’s 2008 human rights report on Libya says problems include reported disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrests and the detention of political prisoners. The report also cites a lack of civil liberties, restrictions on freedom of religion and discrimination against women and ethnic minorities.
Still, McCain said, “ties between the United States and Libya have taken a remarkable and positive turn in recent years.” The American delegation also included Sens.Joseph Lieberman, Susan Collins and Lindsay Graham, (and John McCain.)
Cretz wrote that Layas “said that the LIA has an office in London and preferred doing business there rather than in the United States, due to the ‘ease of doing business’ in the UK and relatively ‘uncomplicated tax system.’ He noted that the LIA’s primary investments are in London, in banking and residential and commercial real estate.”
The LIA’s best-publicized investment was in a Canadian oil company, Verenex. Libya paid $316 million for the company in 2009.
“Layas asserted that the LIA has USD 32 billion in liquidity, and noted that several American banks are each managing USD 300-500 million of the LIA’s funds,” according to the cable.
Layas said the LIA has extensive investments in the United Kingdom.
Mohamed Layas, the head of the LIA, Libya’s sovereign wealth fund. Sovereign wealth funds are the vehicles used by Middle East and other governments to invest oil wealth. The LIA, according to U.S. intelligence, is controlled by Gadhafi’s regime.
From BBC report about the Qaddafi wealth – included in a timeline of the events –
1933 The BBC’s Mark Gregory has been looking into the Gaddafi regime’s wealth: “Libyan cash abroad is held by an organisation called the Libyan Investment Authority – a fund set up about five years ago to manage the country’s oil wealth. It’s believed to have around $70bn of assets, including – bizarrely – a stake in the company that owns the British business publication the Financial Times. The fund’s investments are thought to focus mainly on Italy, where they include a shareholding in a major bank and in Juventus football team.”
Though the Qaddafi children are described as jockeying for position as their father ages — three sons fought to profit from a new Coca-Cola franchise — they have been well taken care of, cables say. “All of the Qaddafi children and favorites are supposed to have income streams from the National Oil Company and oil service subsidiaries,” one cable from 2006 says.
Andrew W. Lehren contributed reporting from New York.
My Note –
It isn’t Moammar Quaddafi – It is his sons that are running these horrific brutalities currently being suffered by the people of Libya as they are the ones in the specific positions of power where the decisions are being made. The sons are “international” playboy big spenders and desire that practical participation in a larger economic world which would provide the necessary leverage to get them to change their minds about what they are doing to Libya’s people if they thought there would be no international friends for them after this. And, once they understand they will be held accountable in the International Criminal Courts for crimes against humanity, corruption, enforcing bribery from the world’s corporations, perpetrating cruelties and barbarianism against their citizens over many, many years, committing fraud in the world’s United Nations council rooms by saying their were attending to the needs and human rights of their people when they weren’t, among other things.
There was a report earlier today on CNN by someone who had been in Libya which said they are now going house to house killing people (the security forces, in Libya) – it was a very brief note and likely true. There was also a note on the news about the Libyan forces taking people’s cellphones and SIM cards to confiscate any evidence of video they might contain which could prove the human rights abuses that are occurring. If they are smart enough to figure out that could be a problem, then they are smart enough to understand when the international communities of business leaders, rich partiers and national leaders say, “no.” These sons of Qaddafi can certainly understand that their decisions as heads of the security, secret police, paramilitary forces and others will be held as the accountable ones for international courts to pursue. They are educated. They know what that means. – No Coca-Cola franchises and no oil money as theirs to spend . . .
First Posted: 02/11/11 09:16 AM Updated: 02/14/11 07:36 AM
Hosni Mubarak used the 18 days it took for protesters to topple him to shift his vast wealth into untraceable accounts overseas, Western intelligence sources have said.
February 19, 2011, 1:53 am
By Josiah Ryan
A proposal to roll back Department of Defense spending to 2008 levels, offered in an amendment to Republicans’ 2011 budget by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) failed in a bipartisan vote of 76-334 early Saturday morning.
About Morton Blackwell – director of the American Conservative Union and force behind the Jerry Falwell Moral Majority – still running things behind the scenes – (my note)
“Morton Blackwell works with Plinio de Correa de Olivier’s Tradition, Family & Property and endorsed Olivier’s book, Nobility & Analagous Traditional Elites, on the necessity of restoring traditional Nobility & Elites to rule the world.
In the Forward Blackwell wrote: ‘One does not have to accept Papal infallibility to appreciate a case persuasively made, using theological, moral, and prudential arguments. This book will convince many readers, whatever their faith, that good elites are legitimate, desirable and, yes, necessary.’
The Secret Story of a Cult Apologist features a picture of Paul Weyrich and Morton Blackwell with the American head of TFP, which is the parent organization of CESNUR, the cult apology network for cults such as Scientology.”
Morton C. Blackwell has served (circa 2000) as Treasurer of the Free Congress Foundation.
According to one biographical sketch of Blackwell,
- Blackwell is “Executive director, Council for National Policy; founder and president, the Morton Blackwell Leadership Institute, a foundation which trains young people for youth leadership; founder and chairman, Conservative Leadership PAC; Republican National Committeeman from Virginia; treasurer, Reagan Mumni Association; youngest delegate to Barry Goldwater RNC in 1964; alternative delegate for Reagan in 1968 and 1976 and a delegate in 1980; former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan on the White House staff; former staff member, Senate Republican Policy Committee; serves on the Republican National Convention‘s Standing Committee on Rules; former policy director, U.S. Senator Gordon J. Humphrey; overseer, 1980 Youth for Reagan effort; former editor, The NewRight Report; former contributing editor, Conservative Digest. Formerly with The Viguerie Company. Spouse: Helen R. Blackwell, Virginia state chairman, Eagle Forum; chairman, Voting Integrity Project; former member, State Central Committee, Republican Party of Virginia.
And from Rolling Stone Today – in an article entitled –
Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?
Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.
My Note –
These conservatives that have run this nation for the last thirty years, and the Republicans backed by them were financed by Wall Street and other big mega-too-big-to-fail businesses and banks, oil companies, investment firms and pharmaceuticals companies, chemical companies, and foreign interests.
And nothing, absolutely nothing can be done by any American citizen nor group of citizens about it. The Republicans and conservatives and Tea Party conservatives have all the money, their political action committees have all the money, their pundits have all the power and money, their will is law, their pockets are literally stuffed with money while we pay for them to feed at the trough of overflowing trillions of dollars they are using every day. There is nothing that can be done about it.
Wall Street firms meet with our state Treasurers and tell them how to “invest” our treasury funds and every time a “trade” is made – they make a fee from our state tax moneys that exceeds the amount it would take to provide all the school lunches for one school for an entire year. It is our money they are using that way. But nobody and I do mean, nobody can stop them.
And, now they want more – look what the House conservative Republicans did to cut programs for Americans and increased funding to foreign governments, to the Pentagon, to the federal judges, to themselves, to the increased subsidies to industries and businesses that paid to put them into office through financial donations, campaign financing, and PACs.
Big Oil Ambassadors:
Since 2007, the Big Oil Ambassadors on the ANWR trip have been handsomely rewarded for their loyalty to President Bush’s Big Oil agenda receiving over $250,000 from the Oil and Gas Industry. [opensecrets.org, accessed 7/17/08]:
|John Boehner (OH-08)||$35,000|
|Michele Bachmann (MN-06)||$13,500|
|Gus Bilirakis (FL-09)||$17,100|
|Mary Fallin (OK-05)||$78,950|
|Dean Heller (NV-02)||$15,000|
|Jim Jordan (OH-04)||$11,000|
|Bob Latta (OH-05)||$27,250|
|Doug Lamborn (CO-05)||$24,000|
|Kevin McCarthy (CA-22)||$16,000|
|Steve Scalise (LA-01)||$10,800|
|Adrian Smith (NE-03)||$4,250|
So, on board a jet at taxpayers’ expense, eating foods payed for by taxpayers’ money, drinking wine and liquor from the finest brands at taxpayer’s expense and staying while there in rooms paid for by taxpayers’ money, feasting on tax money provided best of everything (as they do for every trip they make) – these and their Republican buddies don’t want school lunch programs, WIC programs to provide milk and cheese and fruit juices for children and babies, don’t want programs that help the homeless, the poor, the elderly, the disabled in our communities.
But they are the ones spending millions a day on themselves. They are making over $174,000 a year each plus perks and each of their staff members are making $165,000 plus perks (some staffs number 40 – 60 members each).
(That junket noted above was from 2008 when a Republican administration was in the White House – these same kinds of junkets go on all the time. And, the deficit was increased at their demand when the tax cuts for the wealthy were extended by their insistence – $587 billion dollars here or there – to go to only 29,000 Americans who are wealthy already – didn’t bother them at all. The corporate tax rates aren’t paid – the only things that are being paid are by American citizens, American families, American property owners, American renters of property, American communities, and everyone pays taxes and fees required in every community whether on gasoline or food or goods.)
But they can wine and dine themselves feasting on our money, give our funds away to other countries like Bahrain, which is getting $3.5 million a day, and Egypt, which is getting $3.5 million a day, Israel which is getting $7 million a day, and every other nation (just in military aid – there are other funds from our taxes that support their businesses, their industries, their food programs, their education programs, their social and medical programs and infrastructures.) – It is obscene that Republicans in this budget “cutting” process have increased expenditures to all those things and to Federal judges who are already being paid a fortune in salaries, perks and health care and very substantial pensions paid for by us.
And, they continue to subsidize the stupidest, most expensive billions of dollars worth of corporate and industry subsidies to no good purpose whatsoever – while cutting every job, taxpayer funding and already working programs that would help Americans and American families get on their feet in this decimated economy. The workers and unions didn’t decimate this economy. Poor people didn’t decimate this economy.
The banks and Wall Street firms decimated this economy and every state and local budget. The big corporations who are taking their profits made in the United States and made because of the infrastructure we’ve paid for and subsidies we’ve been paying for in the United States to support them – they are taking those profits out of the United States and not re-investing them here. And, they’ve been doing that for thirty years or more – every single year, in order to evade taxes and putting their fair share back into the system that they are benefiting from and using, including the money from our own pockets that backed it.
(from – Feb. 19, 2011 post)
(Robert) Rowling is a conservative Republican and a major donor to the party. He is also one of four billionaire backers of the conservative political action group American Crossroads, a self-described “grassroots” 527 organization that nonetheless has received 97 percent of its funding from the four billionaires and was founded by Karl Rove, former President George W. Bush‘s political strategist and Ed Gillespie, former Republican National Committee chairman.
As of 2010, the Tea Party movement is not a national political party, but has endorsed Republican candidates. A Gallup poll shows almost 80% of Tea Partiers consider themselves to be Republicans.
Commentators, including Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport, have suggested that the movement is not a new political group but simply a rebranding of traditional Republican candidates and policies.
Former ambassador Christopher Meyer writes in the Daily Mail that the Tea Party movement is a mix of “grassroots populism, professional conservative politics, and big money”, the latter supplied in part by Charles and David Koch. Mayer says that the Koch brothers’ political involvement with the Tea Party has been so secretive that she labels it “covert”.
Here are the top contributors for 2010 to Republicans – from OpenSecrets.org –
Top 20 PAC Contributors to Republican Candidates, 2009-2010
|PAC Name||Repub Total|
|American Bankers Assn||$1,865,224|
|Every Republican is Crucial PAC||$1,710,346|
|National Assn of Realtors||$1,628,797|
|National Auto Dealers Assn||$1,336,400|
|National Beer Wholesalers Assn||$1,323,000|
|National Assn of Home Builders||$1,285,000|
|Blue Cross/Blue Shield||$1,204,499|
|Associated Builders & Contractors||$1,176,500|
|United Parcel Service||$1,004,703|
|Credit Union National Assn||$993,945|
|Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu||$966,500|
The foreign corporate interest in America’s midterms is not restricted to Europe. A report by ThinkProgress, operated by the Centre for American Progress, tracked donations to the Chamber of Commerce from a number of Indian and Middle Eastern oil coal and electricity companies.
“The European companies are funding almost exclusively Senate candidates who have been outspoken in their opposition to comprehensive climate policy in the US and candidates who actively deny the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is caused by people.”
And Karl Rove through a new organisation, American Crossroads.
from my blog post – found here –
It describes an article from the efforts made by Koch brothers through
Here is a picture of the man who runs America – provided the chaos in Wisconsin with union busting and authorizing the sales of 39 power plants under no-bid rules there, cut the Medicaid and Badger care programs there and stopped high-speed rail programs in several states, forced EPA program funding to be gutted and in this article – has decimated anti-pollution / green energy programs.
So who elected him to decide?
Who bought them?
Whose interests and ideals do they serve?
from an article published a few hours ago from Associated Press – about the passage of the $61 billion in cuts demanded by the Republicans –
Changes rammed through the House on Friday and Saturday would shield greenhouse-gas polluters and privately owned colleges from federal regulators; block a plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay; and bar the government from shutting down mountaintop mines it believes will cause too much water pollution.
Republicans awarded the Pentagon an increase of less than 2 percent increase, but domestic agencies would endure cuts of about 12 percent. Such reductions would feel almost twice as deep since they would be spread over the final seven months of the budget year.http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jVY1ox9P05r45-yyJWlFeZYwc9bQ?docId=40991c2fefb24861be8e54288570b74f
More from this AP article about the budget cuts just passed this morning at the demand of the Republicans –
The Environmental Protection Agency took hits from Republicans eager to defend business and industry from agency rules they say threaten job creation and the economy. The EPA’s budget was slashed by almost one-third, and then its regulatory powers were handcuffed in a series of votes.
The measure would block proposed federal regulations on emission of greenhouse gases, which are blamed for climate change. It also would stop a proposed regulation on mercury emissions from cement. Additionally, the bill calls for a halt to proposed regulations affecting Internet service providers and privately-owned colleges.
The 359-page bill was shaped beginning to end by the first-term Republicans, many of them elected with tea party backing.
Below, the 50 House members who have joined the caucus as of Friday are listed with their top contributing industry and largest individual donor during the 2010 election cycle. A congressman’s largest donor is calculated by adding together contributions from people and political action committees directly associated with particular groups and companies.
Michele Bachmann (MN-6)
Amount Raised $4,074,618
Largest Donating Industry – Republican/conservative
Largest Donor – Starkey Lab
I just have to repeat this blog post by the blogster who posted it – it is fact. –
113 Republicans Vote Against Food for Hungry Kids, then Vote For Billionaire Tax Cut
posted 18th December 2010 in Economy, Legislation, Moral Values, Politics, Republicans by Jim Cook
Say what you want about people who “deserve to be poor,” but no child in America deserves to go hungry. Right now there are children in America go without food. When kids go hungry, we starve our future.
S. 3307, The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, was passed and signed into law earlier this month in order to do better by America’s kids. The law, which makes the first inflation-adjusted increase to the federal school lunch program in 30 years, also expands support for joint summer reading and free lunch programs in high-poverty neighborhoods, to keep hungry kids well fed and to keep their literacy skills up. Research shows these programs lead to better educational outcomes.
You’d think that food for hungry kids would be a no-brainer. But no. There were 157 members of the House of Representatives who voted against the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act on December 2. Two weeks later, those who voted against food for poor kids overwhelmingly voted to give billionaires a tax break.
Here’s the list of the members of Congress who voted against food for hungry kids, then voted for a tax cut for billionaires:
Republican Robert Aderholt
Republican Todd Akin
Republican Rodney Alexander
Republican Steve Austria
Republican Roscoe Bartlett
Republican Judy Biggert
Republican Brian Bilbray
Republican Rob Bishop
Republican Marsha Blackburn
Republican Roy Blunt
Republican John Boehner
Republican Jo Bonner
Republican Mary Bono Mack
Republican John Boozman
Republican Charles Boustany
Republican Kevin Brady
Republican Vern Buchanan
Republican Dan Burton
Republican Ken Calvert
Republican Dave Camp
Republican Eric Cantor
Republican John Carter
Republican Bill Cassidy
Republican Howard Coble
Republican Mike Coffman
Republican Tom Cole
Republican Mike Conaway
Republican Ander Crenshaw
Republican John Culberson
Republican Geoff Davis
Republican Mario Diaz-Balart
Republican David Dreier
Republican John Duncan
Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen
Republican Elton Gallegly
Republican Bob Goodlatte
Republican Sam Graves
Republican Parker Griffith
Republican Brett Guthrie
Republican Ralph Hall
Republican Gregg Harper
Republican Doc Hastings
Republican Dean Heller
Republican Jeb Hensarling
Republican Wally Herger
Republican Duncan Hunter
Republican Bob Inglis
Republican Darrell Issa
Republican Lynn Jenkins
Republican Tim Johnson
Republican Sam Johnson
Republican John Kline
Republican Leonard Lance
Republican Bob Latta
Republican Chris Lee
Republican Jerry Lewis
Republican Frank LoBiondo
Republican Frank Lucas
Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer
Republican Cynthia Lummis
Republican Dan Lungren
Republican Don Manzullo
Republican Kevin McCarthy
Republican Michael McCaul
Republican Tom McClintock
Republican Patrick McHenry
Republican Buck McKeon
Republican John Mica
Republican Jeff Miller
Republican Candice Miller
Republican Gary Miller
Republican Sue Myrick
Republican Randy Neugebauer
Republican Devin Nunes
Republican Pete Olson
Republican Ron Paul
Republican Erik Paulsen
Republican Tom Petri
Republican Joseph Pitts
Republican Bill Posey
Republican Tom Price
Republican George Radanovich
Republican Tom Reed
Republican Phil Roe
Republican Hal Rogers
Republican Mike Rogers (MI)
Republican Dana Rohrabacher
Republican Tom Rooney
Republican Pete Roskam
Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Republican Paul Ryan
Republican Steve Scalise
Republican Aaron Schock
Republican F. James Sensenbrenner
Republican Pete Sessions
Republican John Shimkus
Republican Bill Shuster
Republican Adrian Smith
Republican Christopher Smith
Republican Lamar Smith
Republican Cliff Stearns
Republican Marlin Stutzman
Republican Lee Terry
Republican Glenn Thompson
Republican Mac Thornberry
Republican Todd Tiahrt
Republican Patt Tiberi
Republican Mike Turner
Republican Fred Upton
Republican Greg Walden
Republican Lynn Westmoreland
Republican Ed Whitfield
Republican Robert Wittman
That’s Republican moral values voting for you.
From an amazing article – (from Feb. 23, 2011)
Koch brothers quietly open lobbying office in downtown Madison
Koch Industries, which owns the Georgia-Pacific Corporation and the Koch Pipeline Company, operates gasoline supply terminals and a toilet paper factory in Wisconsin.
Koch Companies Public Sector LLC occupies a seventh-floor suite at 10 E. Doty St. According to the Government Accountability Board’s website, the firm has seven lobbyists who “represent various Koch Industries Inc. companies on public affairs matters, including Flint Hills Resources, LP, an energy purchaser and refiner & transporter of petroleum and Georgia-Pacific, LLC a manufacturer of paper, wood products and building materials.” The group’s lobbying interests are listed as “the environment, energy, taxation, business, policy and other areas affecting Koch Industries, Inc. companies.”
The billionaire brothers whose political action committee gave Gov. Scott Walker $43,000 and helped fund a multi-million dollar attack ad campaign against his opponent during the 2010 gubernatorial election have quietly opened a lobbying office in Madison just off the Capitol Square.
Charles and David Koch, who co-own Koch Industries Inc. and whose combined worth is estimated at $43 billion, have been recently tied with Walker’s push to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public workers. The two have long backed conservative causes and groups including Americans for Prosperity, which organized the Tea Party rally Saturday in support of Walker’s plan to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights and recently launched the Stand with Scott Walker website.
also noted in the article above –
The expanded lobbying effort by the Koch brothers in Wisconsin raises red flags in particular because of a little discussed provision in Walker’s repair bill that would allow Koch Industries and other private companies to purchase state-owned power plants in no-bid contracts.
“Nobody should be surprised that the members of the Texas delegation in the Tea Party caucus are high on the list of Republican and conservative contributors,” Henson said. The real estate and oil and gas industries are both major players in the Texas economy and campaign finance, he added.
Below, the 50 House members who have joined the caucus as of Friday are listed with their top contributing industry and largest individual donor during the 2010 election cycle.
The Hill (blog) – Bridget Johnson – 20 hours ago
Former Vice President Dick Cheney called embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak a “good friend and ally,” and …
Washington Examiner (blog) – Byron York – Feb 6, 2011
Former Vice President Dick Cheney says Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak is a “good man” who has been “a good friend and ally of the United States. …
My Note –
Well, Mr. Cheney and your Republican friends – this is what your friend did to one of many, many, many Egyptian people. That makes Mr. Mubarak something other than a “good man.” By all that we know in the world and its history, “good men” do not do this – (no wonder the Bush administrations were screwing up so many things – they believed that evil was good and good was evil. I’d say that was wrong and it does explain a lot.)
Khaled Said after his torture to death
Eye witnesses include the Internet Cafe owner who saw the two Policemen arresting Khaled, the residential building keeper (guard/bawab) & his wife, a pharmacist who tried to intervene and stop the torture, a teenager who watched the policemen while they were hitting him in the building entrance and many by standers. Fully documented video interviews with eye witnesses are available on this post hereon our website (witness accounts are all in Arabic). Many more videos of eye witnesses are posted on youtube.
from Egypt – authorities treat convicted police officer that savagely brutalized an innocent citizen to his job and rank back –
Nabih is a policeman who was convicted and jailed for 3 years for torturing and sexual torture of an innocent citizen. The day after spending his jail term, the minister of internal affairs, has re-instated the policeman back and he kept his rank and position as if nothing has happened.
Photo of Mubarak and Reagan as they celebrate at the White House
(found on CNN – International)
from September 2010 – Washington Post article –
A Senate resolution condemning Egypt’s record on human rights and free elections has sparked an aggressive Washington lobbying campaign by the longtime U.S. ally, which argues that the measure could harm the Middle East peace process and its relationship with the United States.
Egypt is one of the leading recipients of U.S. foreign aid, receiving about $1.5 billion last year. The country has accelerated its lobbying spending in Washington from $214,000 in 2006 to $1.5 million last year, according to disclosure records filed with the Justice Department.
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
from the NY Times article – (2006) –
Ringside seats for this constitutional combat went to Mr. Rumsfeld, a former Illinois congressman whom Mr. Ford chose as chief of staff in 1974 at age 42, and Mr. Cheney, a former political science graduate student who served as his deputy. When Mr. Rumsfeld was named defense secretary the next year, Mr. Cheney, just 34, took the top White House job.
“Ford treated Cheney and Rumsfeld in effect as his students, eager young men willing to learn the art of government at his side,” Mr. Greene said.
Just days after arriving at the White House, those pupils saw Mr. Ford suffer an important defeat. At the urging of a Justice Department official named Antonin Scalia, who would later join the Supreme Court, Mr. Ford vetoed the Freedom of Information Act amendments, which he believed infringed the secrecy of the intelligence agencies and the F.B.I.
Newspaper editorials denounced what they said was a violation of Mr. Ford’s pronounced policy of openness. A defiant Congress overrode the veto, by a vote of 371 to 31 in the House and 65 to 27 in the Senate.
“I appreciate very much the long and proud tradition that you’ve had for a vibrant civil society.” said to Mubarak at Sharm al-Sheikh
“I also talked about Egypt’s role in the world. Egypt is an important nation — that sends a clear signal. People watch Egypt. I appreciate very much the long and proud tradition that you’ve had for a vibrant civil society.“”But I’m absolutely confident the people of the Middle East are working hard to build a society based upon justice.”
Is America a Sick Country or What?
By Dave Lindorff
The Public Record
Aug 24th, 2009
“You see, here’s the thing. When you hear about the sick, twisted things that America’s torturers have been doing, courtesy of President George W. Bush and Vice President Darth Cheney, you have to remember that the U.S. military and the CIA were not really all that reliable when it came to picking up the real terrorists. In fact, their batting average was pretty lousy.”
from a conservative blog –
Unfortunately, the Geneva and UN Conventions are as vague as a local noise ordinance about what is torture. The following is the definition from Geneva, which you will notice lists no interrogation techniques – not water boarding or putting a caterpillar in a terrorists’ cell to scare him:
(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) Taking of hostages;
(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
(By the way the above applies to “High Contracting Parties” to the Geneva Conventions, which al-Qaeda is not). [but the US is, my note.]
Here is how the UN defines torture:
“…the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”
(By the way, al-Qaeda is not a member of the UN, so they won’t follow the Convention). [my note – but, the US is a member.]
Neither Convention lists water boarding or any other interrogation technique. However, Geneva makes “degrading” treatment torture and the UN says “intimidation” is torture.
That means a jury can, like Democrats did, say that “torture!” can be as little as calling someone a name, because it’s “degrading” (you dirty dog) or telling him tomorrow he may be punished, because it’s “intimidation.”
President Bush understood that if our military members, from Generals on down ever found themselves before one of these Courts, they could be convicted of “torture!” even if they didn’t do anything wrong.
If you think that could never happen, consider that Spain, a NATO ally, is trying to indict six members of the Bush Administration and Dick Cheney was indicted by a Court – in Texas. (etc.)
The allegation of “torture!” was never a real issue. It was a campaign tool for the Democrats.
Ronald Reagan and Others Escorting Egyptian President
February 03, 1982
Washington, DC, USA
From an article about nuclear weapons safety – on Slate yesterday –
But you’ve probably read about Richard Nixon acting erratically, drinking heavily as Watergate closed in on him. You may not have read about the time he told a dinner party at the White House, “I could leave this room, and in 25 minutes, 70 million people would be dead.” (Try that line out at one of your dinner parties. I’ve always found it a good conversation starter.)
Anyway, back down there in your launch capsule you might allow yourself to wonder: “This launch order, is this for real or for Nixon’s indigestion?”
If you were asking yourself that question, you wouldn’t be the only one. James Schlesinger, secretary of defense at that time, No. 2 in the nuclear chain of command, was reported to be so concerned about Nixon’s behavior that he sent word down the chain of command that if anyone received any “unusual orders” from the president they should double-check with him before carrying them out.
And just for the record – The US military budget for 2010 was $693 billion plus “off budget” items which take the total, excluding USAID and State Department stuff – to well over $1.25 trillion dollars. Now, I would say that is a problem. And, especially so – considering that hundreds of millions of dollars in field equipment of the most sophisticated kinds (from those same budgets) have been put in the hands of jackasses that are twisted, greedy, obtuse, psychotic, deranged, cruel and untrustworthy like Qaddafi, et al.
From an article published today from “Think Progress” who was nice enough to collect up a few of these and publish them together – here are two –
– GENERAL ELECTRIC: In 2009, General Electric — the world’s largest corporation — filed more than 7,000 tax returns and still paid nothing to U.S. government. They managed to do this by a tax code that essentially subsidizes companies for losing profits and allows them to set up tax havens overseas. That same year GE CEO Jeffery Immelt — who recently scored a spot on a White House economic advisory board — “earned total compensation of $9.89 million.” In 2002, Immelt displayed his lack of economic patriotism, saying, “When I am talking to GE managers, I talk China, China, China, China, China….I am a nut on China. Outsourcing from China is going to grow to 5 billion.”
– WELLS FARGO: Despite being the fourth largest bank in the country, Wells Fargo was able to escape paying federal taxes by writing all of its losses off after its acquisition of Wachovia. Yet in 2009 the chief executive of Wells Fargo also saw his compensation “more than double” as he earned “a salary of $5.6 million paid in cash and stock and stock awards of more than $13 million.”
(others included Bank of America, Exxon-Mobil, Citigroup, Boeing, and this note from the comments section – )
Nixon: 5 years
Ford: 3 years
Carter: 4 years
Reagan: 8 years
Bush 41: 4 years
Clinton: 8 years
Bush 43: 8 years
Obama: 3 years
So in the last 43 years we have had a republic president for 28 years and a democratic president for 15 years.
By the way it was kind of neat how you totally ignore the Nixon, Reagan Ford and Bush 41 years. It is a fact that Reagan and Bush 41 both nearly tripled the national debt as they attacked the middle class and the American worker.
It is a fact that George W. Bush 8 years as president nearly destroyed our country as he ignorered the warnings of a coming terrorist attack, deregulated, ignored the housing crisis, cost the government $3.1 trillion in revenue while giving tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans during a time of war. Bush didn’t admit that we were in a recession until the final weeks of his presidency.
So you can spin things all you want but facts are facts. 8 years of Bush along with a 6 year republican majority in both houses of congress under Bush led to the near collapse of our financial system and our economy as American jobs were shipped overseas in record numbers.(Edited by author 3 days ago)
The gains in seats in the mid-term election resulted in the Republicans gaining control of both the House and the Senate in January 1995. Republicans had not held the majority in the House for forty years, since the 83rd Congress (elected in 1952). Large Republican gains were made in state houses as well when the GOP picked up twelve gubernatorial seats and 472 legislative seats. In so doing, it took control of 20 state legislatures from the Democrats. Prior to this, Republicans had not held the majority of governorships since 1972. In addition, this was the first time in 50 years that the GOP controlled a majority of state legislatures.
The 1994 elections ushered in a great number of Republican freshmen. For example, of the 230 Republican House members of the 104th Congress, almost a third (73; 32%) were new to the House. In the Senate, 11 of 54 (20%) Republicans were freshmen.
In the 1996, 1998, and 2000 elections, Republicans lost Congressional seats but still retained control of the House and, more narrowly, the Senate. After the 2000 election, the Senate was divided evenly between the parties, with Republicans retaining the right to organize the Senate due to the election of Dick Cheney as Vice President and ex officio presiding officer of the Senate. The Senate shifted to control by the Democrats (though they technically were the plurality party as they were one short of a majority) after GOP senator Jim Jeffords changed party registration to “Independent” in June 2001, but later returned to Republican control after the November 2002 elections. In the 2006 elections, Democrats won both the House of Representatives (233 Democrats, 202 Republicans) and the Senate (49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and 2 Independents caucusing with the Democrats) as well as the majority of state governorships (28-22).
However, in the 2010 elections, in what was very similar to the 1994 elections, Republicans won back control of the House. The Senate narrowly remained with the Democrats. Republicans also won a Majority of State Governorships and State Legislatures.
And as noted by Arianna Huffington on Intelligence Squared recently in a startup to the debate about the “two-party system making America ungovernable” – (carried on bloomberg recently) –
Only 42% of the voters in America voted in 2010. That means the decisions reflected only some percentage of the choices made by 42% of the electorate allowed to vote and not the choices described by 100% of the total adult population in the US.
In most of the Republican won elections, the deciding factor was in many cases less than a 5% difference between them and the Democratic choice. Those numbers can be 52% of the 42% who voted chose the Republican candidate who now touts the “overwhelming mandate” – in fact, those numbers during and just after the election were very telling. They were not won by wide margins. Not the whole of the adult population nor vast majority of the voting electorate agreed with them and not even a wide margin of a high percentage even voted with them nor agreed to have them elected.
The same is true of nearly all the races, in fact – regardless of who won. Now, that’s just pathetic. But, what it isn’t – is a mandate of any kind. In fact, I was really grateful that Bernie Madoff was in jail, because if people had been given the chance to vote for his name on a ballot, they probably would have – since at least his notoriety was well known and his name had become way too easy to remember and recognize.
That’s part of it. The other main part is what the title of this post says – and that is, from the over $800 trillion dollars in credit default swaps to derivatives and lobbying money, PACs money, corporate funding of armies of consultants, attorneys, lobbyists and campaign donations – along with the vast array of money going into other nations for military equipment paid for by our government tax dollars – we could have something to show for it, had those resources been funneled differently.
If the focus had been something productive and concrete – but it wasn’t. And, it still isn’t. And, we still have the same problems we had in the first place. The smog, the water polluted that we drink, the industrial waste going everywhere making people sick, the use of gasoline and diesel fuel to fuel damn near every transportation resource, the use of our national resources like the coastal shelf oil and other natural assets without a fair return to our nation (even Libya was getting a better deal than we have), and being at the mercy of whatever foul regime wants to dick around with it somewhere in the world or the traders or the speculators or the insurance companies insuring them or whatever it is this time – same problems as thirty years ago. No – make that forty years ago now.
Same problems. And, after throwing literally tons upon tons of money at it – still the same problems. I mean really, how many billions of dollars does it take to put in a safe water system in any of these nations – and how many billions have they received over the years to do it while still not having safe drinking water? or up and running electricity systems or what ever else we paid for them to have? (sorry, I was thinking about Haiti for instance – but that isn’t the only nation like that.)
And, what do they mean that 95% of the women in many of these countries like Libya are uneducated? How much money have we sent over the years to make sure that could be different? But, no – apparently, that money through NGOs, USAID, and a multitude of other programs from the IMF to the UN are not doing anything but enriching rulers like Qaddafi and Mubarak and every other one like them in the world, while they tear down their populations day in and day out. But, our leaders had to have known that.
The world leaders had to have known those things all along throughout the entire forty plus years that it has been that way, both in Libya and in every other nation where it is occurring. But, we’re still giving them money left and right as fast as we can go – through every single organization, every bank, every government, every inter-governmental organization and agency, through every business, every oil company and military contractor, and through every international cooperation funding organization, like the IMF, World Bank and economic development banks, UN programs and agencies, as well as from every agency in the United States government.
Leverage of an economy’s debt
Derivatives massively leverage the debt in an economy, making it ever more difficult for the underlying real economy to service its debt obligations, thereby curtailing real economic activity, which can cause a recession or even depression. In the view of Marriner S. Eccles, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman from November, 1934 to February, 1948, too high a level of debt was one of the primary causes of the 1920s-30s Great Depression. (See Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report for 2002)