Monday, September 26, 2005

Col. Tom Parker : Elvis :: Joe Allbaugh : America

When Elvis died, his rapacious manager Col. Tom Parker was asked, "What will you do now, Tom?" And Parker didn't hesitate to reply, "I'll keep making money off him just as I've always done."

It seems Bush & Co. are ripping a page from the Col. Parker playbook when it comes to the Gulf Coast. Reuters reports, "More than 80 percent of the $1.5 billion in contracts signed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to clean up after Hurricane Katrina were awarded without bidding or with limited competition, the New York Times reported on Monday." (OK, it is odd that Reuters is reporting what the NYT says and can't get off its own lazy reportorial ass and figure things out. Reuters will just be a blog soon, if it keeps that up.)

It gets better, of course (which means worse, since irony is about all we have left to fight them, the bastards):

Already, the Times said, questions have been raised about the political connections of two contractors -- the Shaw Group and Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton that have been represented by lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President George W. Bush's ex-campaign manager and former head of FEMA.

Let's not forget that Allbaugh was the man who gave us his roommate Mike Brown as head of FEMA, when Allbaugh himself went off to Iraq, figuring someone had to rebuild after we shocked and awed them into rubble. Not to mention someone had to reap the government contracts. Here's what his company there sees as its mission:

New Bridge Strategies, LLC is a unique company that was created specifically with the aim of assisting clients to evaluate and take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East following the conclusion [sic] of the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Its activities will seek to expedite the creation of free and fair markets and new economic growth in Iraq, consistent with the policies of the United States Government*. The opportunities evolving in Iraq today are of such an unprecedented nature and scope that companies seeking to work in that environment must have the very best advice and guidance available.

*And the policies of the U.S. Government are that markets are fair only if we--that is, New Bridge Strategies, LLC--make a huge profit from them. Free markets are no-bid markets, where we come from. Remember, I was the campagin manager for Bush-Cheney 2000. Someone owes me, big time.

As for Bush & Co.--bad poll numbers? They're laughing all the way to the bank. Which they own.


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