Democrats & Liberals Archives

9/11 Report Card: 2005

I did this last year, and it’s interesting to see what’s changed: Not much. In fact, it may be worse.

Homeland Security: F

I gave President Bush a 'D' on homeland security last year. But after Hurricane Katrina, it's clear that disinterested leadership and chronic underfunding of the Department of Homeland Security -- as well as neglect and budget cuts for first responders -- made us more vulnerable to a catastrophic terrorist attack than I thought.

I'd also add that, four years after 9/11, we still don't have a unified terrorist watchlist to keep terrorists out of the country, and the borders are just as porous as they were then.

Also, we found out that a mere one third of one percent (0.3%) of the millions of shipping containers that arrive here every year is inspected before entering US ports. Even of shipping rated "high risk", only 17.5% get inspected at all. With President Bush dragging his feet on securing loose nukes, and even supplying nuclear technology and skills to countries that never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, like India, those figures are disturbing.

War On Terror: F

Osama bin Laden is still operating out of Pakistan, al Qaeda is training and testing new tactics in Iraq, and everywhere there've been free democratic elections in the Middle East, terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah won big.

Egypt just held rigged elections guaranteed to keep President Mubarak in power. I say that's great, because a truly free election would have put the Muslim Brotherhood in charge. There's no way we should browbeat these guys into holding free elections, when the result will be a win for radical Islamic fundamentalism.

London and Egypt were hit big, along with several other countries over the last year, once again proving that the "flypaper" theory is unsuccessful, if not just completely idiotic. If we're fighting them in Iraq so we don't have to fight them elsewhere, we failed again this year.

And Osama bin Laden is still operating out of Pakistan. Yes, one more time: Four years after 9/11, Osama bin Laden is still directing al Qaeda operations from Pakistan.

When al Qaeda organizations around the world endorsed President Bush for re-election, they knew what they were doing. Like Babe Ruth calling his shots, al Qaeda told the world that it's not possible to find an adversary, "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom. Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization. Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected."

Last November was like Christmas for al Qaeda. America delivered them President Bush in a shiny wrapper with a bright red white and blue bow. After watching the Hurricane Katrina disaster, I'll bet they're frantically putting the nuke they got from A. Q. Kahn in Pakistan into one of the 82.5% of "high risk" America-bound shipping containers that they know won't be searched.

Posted by American Pundit at September 11, 2005 8:30 AM
Comments
Comment #79693

To add insult to injury, Bush has given 100’s of millions of your and my hard earned tax dollars, if not more, to Gen Musharaaf, the dictator of Pakistan, whose nation continues to function as home for OBL. Talk about supporting the enenmy, I though we were opposed to dictators, at least that was one of the rationales for invading Iraq. But here again, we forcing American tax payers to financially support yet another dictator.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 11, 2005 9:20 AM
Comment #79694

Pundit

Jeez..I am glad I didn’t have you marking my report card in grammar school…would never have made it out of fifth grade:

Shipping containers:
I am an importer…I bring in containers all the time in from Sicily…oil…pasta…tomatoes..flour….and every container of mine gets picked out of the line-up and is x-rayed.

Every one of my suppliers had to get a bio-terrorism registratiion number,and all bills of lading have to be electronicially forwarded to Customs 48 hours BEFORE the container ship leaves the port.

By the time the ship arrives in port,suspect containers (if any) have been identified and have been inspected in the country of origin bu US agents working with agents of that counrty.

I bring stuff in from Sicily…Sicily is notorious for processing and smuggling herion…yet I don’t mind the additionial inspection…my paprework is always in apple-pie order and I have nothing to hide.

By the way,this extra set of inspections usually throws about an additionial 15% on to the cost of transport.

Right now in all major ports of call…Belguim…Amsterdam..Rotterdam….US Customs agents inspect manifests and stop them right there…before they hit our ports.

PLUS Canada is our biggest trading partner..their numbers alone throw the curve off.Factor out Canada and factor our China too,then factor in what percentage of containers from suspect countries are in fact inspected and it is much better than your numbers.

I’d give them a C plus…and with the new FDA regulations concerning fumigated pallets and the addition of trans-fatty acids to nutritionial fact information now in effect September 15th,that mark will go upo to a “B-” shortly.
We have work to do here,but really you’re not stating all the facts.

The rest of your post is so juicy that I am going to wait until more threads develop before I parse it out.

Posted by: Sicilian Eagle at September 11, 2005 9:22 AM
Comment #79695

David——let me guess you voted for kerry the war hero. Bush won get over it.

Posted by: Thomas at September 11, 2005 9:23 AM
Comment #79697

Thomas, man did you guess wrong! Check the archives for verification.

I wrote in the center column who I was voting for and Democratic writers from this column and visitors were all over me.

One of the huge problems with some on the right, is that anyone who is critical of the President or the GOP must be a Democrat. What a hugely erroneous assumption to make. I hope Rove makes the same error, it will cost the GOP some seats in the next election, that’s for sure.

Let’s see, just a short off the top of memory list of prominent Republicans who recently criticized the President or Republican Congress:

Colin Powell
Arlen Spectre
John McCain
Ron Paul
Joe Scarborough
Pat Buchanan

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 11, 2005 9:56 AM
Comment #79698

AP,
While I would not give just President Bush an “F”, I would give him an “I” for Incomplete and Incompetence.

On Homeland Security, it was known by FEMA in 2001 that New Orleans was in the top three places in the U.S. which would have a major disaster, including terrorist attack. Yet, his administration took until 2004 to run a drill in that city. Furthermore, after the drill showed what was needed in case of such an event, he failed to take the necessary steps to fix these problems. Since he holds “The Public Pulpit” there is no excuse for the supplies not being in place as well as the other recommendations of “Operation Pam.” Lack of funding other States Emergency Preparedness Centers with State of the Art Technology in Communications and Equipment as well as reasonable and logical training of First Responders with “Out of the Box” senerios.

And the War on Terror gets an “U” For if you are fight an enemy that calls your nation an opressive government and do everything to prove him right, I don’t believe you are trying hard to win the war.

I do understand your fustration over OBL and while I do have an idea to take him out, the problems it would cause may be bigger than most Americans want to deal with. Yet, it is just not OBL we have to deal with, but the underlining causes that allows him and others to recuit followers so easily. Considering nothing has been done on this front or brought to the American Pulpit to debate (which I blame both politic parties for). Again I have to give The President an “U” because an “F” would mean that at least he attempted to do something about. However, calling for the lowering of wages for Americans proves that he just doesn’t get it.

As far as higher cost in shipping, the Market/cost is passed through to the consumer or can be brought into line with tax cuts. And funding for Palastine and other Countries that are not exactly like us goes to help them from becoming a nation of gangsters. If we learn one lesson out of Katrina, it should be that this eliment of society has to be dealt with. And if they are not willing to come to the civil side of Humanity’s Civilization willingly than by all means they should go the way of the “Cave Man.”

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 11, 2005 10:01 AM
Comment #79699

Bush proves that you don’t have to get high grades to rake in the cash:

“Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration’s first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”
CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/10/katrina.contracts.reut/index.html

Posted by: tony at September 11, 2005 10:02 AM
Comment #79700

SE, I don’t make this stuff up. The figures are from a GAO report.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 11, 2005 10:06 AM
Comment #79702

When a kid brings home such a terrible report card from school, he or she gets punished. In households where the parents believe that it is important for the punishment to have a lasting impact, they either do not “spare the rod” and/or take something of value or importance away.

Rarely does the punishment have any meaning when it simply consists of conversation. ACTION is needed now or, you have to wait 3 years for the next report card.

Posted by: steve smith at September 11, 2005 10:23 AM
Comment #79705

One year two months, Steve. Mid-term elections can act as a referendum on the party as a whole when that party controls all branches of government and its electees fail the American voters and their dependents.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 11, 2005 10:27 AM
Comment #79711

I’d give him an F for Homeland Security too… our borders!

Posted by: Mike T. at September 11, 2005 10:43 AM
Comment #79713

Wondering how it affects the grades to know that Blackwater is patrolling in New Orleans, and there are again no-bid contracts to Halliburton?

Posted by: womanmarine at September 11, 2005 10:52 AM
Comment #79714

No major terrorist attacks in the U.S. since 9/11. Maybe we are just lucky. Maybe the terrorists are just stupid, or maybe something done since 9/11 has worked Ė probably a bit of all three.

Posted by: jack at September 11, 2005 11:02 AM
Comment #79715

Oh, I almost forgot one on Homeland Security. Forgien Troops on American Soil. While I thank the Mexican Government and Troops for their assistance during this time,I do believe that the lack of planning and exacution of our leaders just show the need to increase the size of our Civil and Military Response teams.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 11, 2005 11:03 AM
Comment #79718

jack, lot of ifs there, anyone of which, or all of which, are repsonsible. The flypaper theory of Bush’s however, has been thoroughly debunked.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 11, 2005 11:12 AM
Comment #79720

Pundit
Didn’t say you made anything up…I put the numbers in perspective,that’s all

War on Terror
Let’s see..10% of the world’s Muslim population of 1 billion…that’s 100 million people…larger than Nazi Germany…..want to obliterate us and our way of life and zero deaths in the USA since 9/11 caused by terrorism.

Somedody has done their job.

In Iraq,we had a nationial election and a constitutionial debate in 9 months….far shorter than the formation of our own constition…..

Somebody has done their job

Afganhastan is on the verge of an election and the Taliban have been marginalized.

Somebody has done their job.

Gaza is being vacated.

Somebody has done their job.

The HSD has been formed and in 18 months or so will be ,by a factor or five much more efficient.

Despite FEMA’s “slow”response,”only” several thousand have perished in America’s biggest natural disater to date…as opposed to the tens of thousands predicted…plus the Feds will learn many lessons from this…

Did you see Tim Russert carve up the mayor of New Orleans just now on Meet the Press?

Did you see the mayor carve up the governor?

C’mon.

The most important accomplishment of this year is that finally people are beginning to realize that the Islamic Revolution is upon us…just like the Protestant Reformation was on Europe centuries ago,and that Conservative and Moderate Islam is in the middle of a giant shake out over its future…and that,will be the story of our time,nothing else.

Grade: c+

Posted by: Sicilian Eagle at September 11, 2005 11:32 AM
Comment #79722

Sicilian Eagle:

Interesting Spin on the reality of the situation. Here are a few points you have missed:

1. Al Queda has a gestation period of 4-5 YEARS between attacks.

2. Iraq has a Constitution that does NOT include the Sunnis. That means Civil War to you.

3. Afghanistan is now the Top Producer of Opium in the world. You are seeing the beginnings of a failed state.

4. Gaza is being evacuated so the Israelis can keep the West Bank.

5. Thousands died in New Orleans because the Rich got away leaving the Poor behind. The same way millions of Americans have no Insurance, etc.

Posted by: Aldous at September 11, 2005 11:56 AM
Comment #79723

Sicilian Eagle,

Good comments on the shipping containers. It is amazing how the Blues continue to point out how few containers are checked on our end with NO MENTION of the work being done before they leave the other ports.

The border issue is problematic for all of us. Take a poll!
The Blues continue to claim that they are the only ones concerned about the porous borders. False. It is also false to try and make this a Republican fault. Democrats have done little to protect the borders and really have no intention to do what is actually needed.
A Governor(D) declares a State of Emergency for his border with Mexico - then does what? Nothing much. Blames it on the Feds.
Laws protecting illegals have trumped laws protecting legal citizens and it was done by BOTH sides - throughout our Nation.

Anyone on either ‘side’ is dreaming if they truely think ‘their party’ can or will fix the problems facing our Nation.
The first thing we have to do is get past abortion and whether someone ‘served’ our country (or if they smoked pot or got a DUI)being the main issues for deciding who will be our next leader.
Our elections are a joke.

Posted by: bugcrazy at September 11, 2005 11:58 AM
Comment #79725

The entire Executive Branch and Congress:
____________________________________________
Homeland Security: F

Pretending to care about Homeland Security while allowing open boarders, refusal to prosecute employers of illegal aliens, promoting amnesty for illegal aliens, and callin’ “Minute Men” vigilantes, airline security is still a joke; INS is still a joke, etc.
____________________________________________
War On Terror: F

It’s a slam dunk.
And, yes, this is truly disgusting…

David R. Remer Wrote:
100?s of millions of your and my hard earned tax dollars, if not more, to Gen Musharaaf, the dictator of Pakistan, whose nation continues to function as home for OBL. Talk about supporting the enenmy…
____________________________________________
Social Security: F

Bush didn’t start this, but he failed to resolve it too. And they keep spending the surpluses that will be needed later.
____________________________________________
Medicare: F

this is already in deep $#!+
there are $trillions in looming shortfalls;
____________________________________________
Medicaid: F
____________________________________________
National Debt: F

I’d give a lower grade if one existed.
The current $8 trillion national debt (which has grown every year for the last 45 years) represents about $50 trillion in interest payments over the next 127 years (and that’s only if they stop immediately borrowing $1 billion per day, and start paying down the debt by $1.03333 billion per day (anything smaller and the debt continues to grow larger)); the federal government is completely fiscally irresponsible, and guess who profits and will suffer most for that ?

See: home.comcast.net/~d.a.n/NationalDebt.xls
____________________________________________
Legal System: F

a dysfunctional and corrupt legal system ; perversion of the laws to do the very things they are supposed prevent; insufficient or selective law enforcement; legal plunder (e.g. abuse of eminent domain laws (see supreme court ruling), wealth re-distribution, plundered entitlement systems, too many greedy, corrupt, and parasitic ambulance chasers, and idiotic juries allowing astronomical judgments for personal injury litigation with million$ and billion$ going to lawyers, etc.); releasing repeat offenders to repeat crimes of rape, child molestation, murder, etc.); pardons by presidents to release convicted criminals; violation or insufficient protection of basic rights (e.g. discrimination, and crimes based on religion, race, gender, age, wealth, sexual preference, etc.), and execution and incarceration of innocent people;

____________________________________________
Election Reform: F

a dysfunctional election system; election fraud; unfair and illegal barriers preventing third party candidates from getting on election ballots; limited voting choices and candidates (which could be improved by an Approval Voting system); corrupt campaign finance; negative campaigning; pandering; influence by wealthy and/or powerful special interest groups; government for sale; buying elections; 90% of elections are won by the candidate with the most money, giving rise to an elitist and arrogant government;
____________________________________________
Health Care: F

increasingly unaffordable and unreliable health care and health insurance; the reasons for this have not been addressed at all; while health care shouldn’t be the job of government, their meddling is the cause of many of the problems in health care in the U.S.; politicians pretend to care deeply for the increasingly unaffordable and unreliable health care crisis, while doing nothing to solve the problem. Why should they? They’re covered by their cu$hy benefits paid for by the tax payers. The problem will never be solved until the middlemen (i.e. government and health insurance companies) are removed from the equation, and people begin to pay the health-care providers directy.
____________________________________________
Energy Vulnerability: F

no energy plan; insufficient dedication to implement alternate fuel and power sources;
____________________________________________
Tax System: F

tax cuts for the wealthiest, a ridiculously, unfair, and abused tax system;
____________________________________________
Corporate/Investor Fraud: D-

cooking the books; stock fraud; failure of the SEC to regulate and adequately prosecute violators; the previous administration was also responsible for this too;
____________________________________________
Pension Systems: F

mismanagement of pension systems; insolvent and plundered pensions; pensions in the U.S. are $1.6 trillion in the hole (JUN-2005); the GPBC is $350 trillion in the hole; tax payers, once again, are going to get stuck with the bill;
____________________________________________
Globalization: F

globalization and outsourcing, falling incomes, declined manufacturing (will we forget how to make things?), the race to the bottom; H1B visas, etc.
____________________________________________
Foreign Policy: F

foreign policy that alienates allies;
____________________________________________
Education: D

declining quality of public education; decreasing numbers of science and engineering graduates; falling scores in most subjects;
____________________________________________
Crumbling Infrastructure: F

roads, bridges, tunnels, railways, ports, air ports, buildings, water treatment, etc.;
____________________________________________
FEMA: F

New Orleans. Need we say more?
____________________________________________
Abused Presidential Pardons: ?
It will be interesting to see who Bush pardons. Clinton gets an F- ; what Clinton did was absolutely disgusting. Clinton even pardoned people that pled guilty (like Dan Rostenkowski).
____________________________________________
Transparency, Responsibility and Accountability: F

Until we get ONE Purpse Per Bill , we’ll have no fiscal responsibility in congress. Currently, bills are laden with pork and no one knows why anyone voted for or against it.
We are in dire need of other such no-brainer simplifications, and transparency.
____________________________________________


Now, to be fair, there are somethings that the government does very well:

____________________________________________
Government for Sale: A+

Nobody does it better.
____________________________________________
Ignoring Pressing Problems: A+

both main parties can skillfully ignore the many pressing problems facing the nation, while appearing to be work hard to doing something about it. They both rarely take on tough issues that may risk their re-election. That’s why our many pressing problems continue to grow in number and severity.
____________________________________________
Negative Campaigning: A+

Both parties are very skilled at negative campaigning, and they both reject Election/Campaign/Finance Reform. Unfortunately, government is for sale, and influenced by some elite that abuse vast wealth and power.
____________________________________________
Blocked Access to Polls and Debates: A

They both did a great job of trying to block access to voting ballots and election debates by independent and third party candidates (e.g. Ralph Nader 2004). That’s unconstitutional, but the exclusionary-main-parties are getting away with it, as they limit the choices to just the Republicans and Democrats.
Vote for Raises: A
_____________________________
They both can do one thing very quickly; quicker than anything else: vote themselves a raise … and that’s while everyone else is suffering (like when they voted themselves raises while massive layoffs and a recession were in full swing). In fact, raises are now automatic, unless they explicitly vote against them. Where else can you get that kind of deal?
____________________________________________
Spending: A

They both like to tax and spend and borrow as much as possible. It’s like shootin’ pork in a barrel.
____________________________________________
Pandering: A+

both parties pander and make promises they can’t or won’t keep, and do almost anything it takes to get re-elected (especially, when it comes to promising new, vast, enormous, and extremely costly entitlement systems), such as prescription drugs, health care systems, etc.
both also successfully perpetuate the myth that we can all live at the expense of everyone else.
____________________________________________
Broken Promises: A+
It may be the disease that strikes politicians after getting elected, but their expert at making promises they can’t or won’t keep (e.g. “read my lips”).
____________________________________________
Grow Government: A

both parties are experts at growing government to nightmare proportions (and National Debt too).
____________________________________________
Fool the People: A+

Both parties are irresponsible and unaccountable, but still manage to successfully convince the people unwittingly continue to vote for them and empower them to continue to be irresponsible and unaccountable.
____________________________________________

Posted by: d.a.n at September 11, 2005 12:05 PM
Comment #79726

AP,

One part of your evaluation that’s missing is the budget catastrophe, as David Broder puts. Even as we’re all worried about terrorism, the real disaster (or a huge piece of it, anyway) lurking in the corners may be an economic meltown linked to a combination of Iraq spending and fiscal mismanagement.

In the wake of Katrina, the hopelessly irresponsible fiscal actions of the federal government are going to become utterly devastating. These politicians, most of them lawyers, are living in some kind of economic La-La Land as the nation is coming apart due to what verges on economic sabotage on a massive scale. A lighter look at this can be seen in an editorial cartoon by Chip Bok, but the reality is far more sinister.

It this area, I think that WatchBlog as a whole hasn’t been doing a good enough job. Just the federal level ignored the dangers faced by New Orleans, it’s now ignoring (indeed, making worse) the dangers faced by the United States economy.

Broder finishes his column with a quote from a speaker at the recent private dinner in Washington: “I think it’s 1925, and we’re headed for 1929.”

Posted by: Reed Sanders at September 11, 2005 12:07 PM
Comment #79727

David, you said..

“One year two months, Steve. Mid-term elections can act as a referendum on the party as a whole when that party controls all branches of government and its electees fail the American voters and their dependents.”

As I understand it the Mid-term elections can involve Gubernatorial party changes (and lesser positions at the state level)Congressional and Senatorial changes.

I am not following the Governor elections except in my own state or the potential Congressional changes. I do not know how many seats are up for grabs out of the some 535. The Senate situation however is that the Democrats have to hold the 17 or so that they have now and win 7 of the 15 currently held Republican seats that are to be contested in 2006.

Other than a potential majority shift of power in the Congress and Senate as a result of the 2006 elections, what can reduce the power of the President.

Posted by: steve smithj at September 11, 2005 12:12 PM
Comment #79732

Reed Sanders,
I think you are correct.
It’s amazing how little attention it gets.
Many Americans are oblivious or think it will just work itself out.
But, just look at the numbers. The implications are disturbing: home.comcast.net/~d.a.n/NationalDebt.xls
____________________________________________
The current $8 trillion national debt (which has grown every year for the last 45 years) represents about $50 trillion in interest payments (alone) over the next 127 years…and that is only if the federal government stopped immediately borrowing $1 billion per day, and starts paying down the debt by $1.03333 billion per day (anything smaller and the debt continues to grow larger).
But, when and where is the federal government ever going to stop borrowing $1 billion per day, much less start paying back $1.0333 billion per day to keep the National Debt from growing ?

It’s not hard at all to see an economic meltdown in the next 5 to 15 years when exacerbated the National Debt, and by:
(1) 77 million baby boomers draw from Medicare, Sosial Security, Medicaid, welfare, etc.,
(2) an aging population means for entitlement recipients and fewer tax payers,
(3) attempts to immigrate more tax payers will exacerbate the problem, illegal aliens, etc.
(4) attempts to increase taxes may drive young people to other neighboring countries, as government pitts the elderly and the young against each other;
(5) growing energy vulnerabilities and urban sprawl create more economic hardships,
(6) increasingly unfair, abused, costly, and oppressive tax system
(7) unaffordable and unreliable heatlh care
(8) declining quality and increasing cost of public education
(9) global pillage (not global village)
(10) continued plunder of surpluses of entitlements, irresponsible spending, waste, pork-barrel, irresponsibility and unaccountability of government that is for sale.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 11, 2005 12:35 PM
Comment #79748

Steve Smithj, nothing! That is the problem with a one party government, no check and balance against between the branches.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 11, 2005 3:04 PM
Comment #79756
It’s amazing how little attention it gets.

d.a.n.,

It sure is. I hope that changes fast. There’s an AP article today saying Katrina may cost the U.S. as much as two wars. Where’s Ross Perot when you really need him?

Posted by: Reed Sanders at September 11, 2005 4:05 PM
Comment #79788

Yep. And past decades of fiscal irresponsibility makes such unplanned disasters and events (e.g. Katrina) even more painful, and continues to reduce our options in many other areas, creating more and more mismanagement, across the board.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 11, 2005 7:34 PM
Comment #79797

I think maybe we should look on the positive side of things: let’s look into who has made really strong gains or benefits over the past 4 years. Yea - I know that more people each year are sliding into poverty…

I think, for the first time in history that oil companies account for 4 out of the 5 largest companies.

Halliburton just can’t seem to do anything wrong enough to keep the $billion no-bid contracts away…

Bechtel is doing very nice…

Cheney is making $200K a year in deferred payment from Halliburton for doing ‘nothing.’

… any more to add to the list? anyone on the blog belong on this list?

Posted by: tony at September 11, 2005 8:50 PM
Comment #79806

Tony:

Cheney is making $200K a year in deferred payment from Halliburton for doing ?nothing.

Really? I was not aware of this. Where can that be verified? (not that I don’t trust you)
Assuming it’s true, how can that not be a conflict of interests? This is very disturbing.

Posted by: Cole at September 11, 2005 10:28 PM
Comment #79826

Cole:

Cheney’s Halliburton Ties Remain

Wikipedia: “Cheney’s deferred compensation from Halliburton, which appeared on Cheney’s 2001 financial disclosure statement, generated an income between $50,000 to $100,000 for the vice president. Dick Cheney also retains 433,000 share-equivalent unexercised stock options at Halliburton.”

“A stock option is a specific type of option with a stock as the underlying instrument (the security that the value of the option is based on). Thus it is a contract to buy (known as a “call” contract) or sell (known as a “put” contract) a certain number of shares of stock, at a predetermined or calculable (from a formula in the contract) price.”

Sure looks like he retains a financial interest in Haliburton to me, though he is not the only official to retain such an interest in a former company. But, given Cheney’s proclamation that he severed all financial ties to Haliburton and his administrations continued granting of no-bid gov’t. contracts to Haliburton at top dollar, it would appear Cheney is at least a liar, and by the letter of the law regarding conflicts of interest he may have found a loophole on the stock options, the ethics of his retaining them and not selling them upon becoming VP, (holding out for a higher price from contracts he helps award the company), it sure looks like ethical violations if not criminal.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 12, 2005 6:25 AM
Comment #79830

Cole,

Try this for info on Cheney’s financial connections to Halliburton.

http://www.factcheck.org/article261.html

Posted by: Mike P at September 12, 2005 8:21 AM
Comment #79832

Gee. What should we believe?
A quote from CBS w/ a personal opinion or an article at FactCheck.
Let me toss a coin.
Oh. Don’t have to. It’s a given.
Dems will go with CBS and independent thinkers will put the two together and come up with their own conclusion.

Posted by: bugcrazy at September 12, 2005 8:43 AM
Comment #79836

After reading the various report card comments about the failures of our elected government officials, what is it that “we the people” so desparately need from our government? What should we realistically expect? And how much government do we want? To me security ranks way up there…and protection of our basic liberties (the core “freedoms”)…And how far do we want government to go to insure they are doing the job we want? I for one am going to start defining and refining my answers to these questions and hope there will be political candidates out there that measure up whether they be republican, democrat, green, etc.

Posted by: Bill at September 12, 2005 9:21 AM
Comment #79856
Didnít say you made anything upÖI put the numbers in perspective,thatís all

How so, SE? 82.5% of all containers rated “high risk” are NOT being inspected at either end. Put that into perspective for me.

Reed, good call on the economy. The CBO just reported that President Bush will fail to halve the budget deficit by the end of his term.

d.a.n, thanks for your version of the report card. It’s a rare person who can see a silver lining like that. :)

bugcrazy, that FactCheck article makes it clear that Vice President Cheney would lose up to $8 million if Halliburton stock started sliding.

I for one am going to start defining and refining my answers to these questions and hope there will be political candidates out there that measure up whether they be republican, democrat, green, etc.

Bill, I hope everybody does that. That’s one of the reasons I started keeping score on homeland defense and the war on terror.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 12, 2005 11:32 AM
Comment #79897

Steve Smith:

“I do not know how many seats are up for grabs out of the some 535.”

All 435 House seats are up for re-election, and 33 Senate seats.

R^2

Posted by: Arr-squared at September 12, 2005 1:57 PM
Comment #79919

Arr-squared,

Thank you for correcting my typo on the Congressional seats. Of the 33 Senate seats I believe that 17-18 are presently held by Democrats and 15-16 are presently held by Republicans.

With the present breakdown of 55 (R) and 45 (D), the Democrats will have to hold the 45 seats they now have and win a minimum of 6 Rebublican seats to regain a Senate majority.

I do not have figures on Congress.

Posted by: steve smith at September 12, 2005 4:12 PM
Comment #79956

steve,

The numbers for the House are deceptively simple.

There are 231 sitting Republicans, 202 sitting Democrats, 1 sitting independent (who caucuses as a Democrat) and 1 open seat. Since all Representatives run every two years, the Democrats would have to pick up about 16 seats in aggregate.

However, it’s a very different question how many of those seats are actually contestable. I don’t know that.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 12, 2005 5:41 PM
Comment #80085

Mike P:
It appears by the factcheck.org article that Cheney is not violating the law and has set it up so that he has no gain coming from the company.
However, I wonder if he’ll go back to Halliburton once he leaves office…

Posted by: Cole at September 13, 2005 12:29 AM
Comment #80101

I don’t know, Cole. If Halliburton stock started slipping, Cheney would lose up to $8 million.

So if he doesn’t have an incentive to increase Halliburton’s stock price, he definitely has an incentive not to let it flounder.

And there’s no doubt in my mind that Cheney will return to Halliburton in some manner. Probably as a highly-paid lobbyist.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 13, 2005 2:23 AM
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