Wednesday, September 28, 2005


As right-wingers bloviate about which ever lie they can spin at the moment, the real looting takes place in Washington -- from the usual suspects.

And this time its not the "boogeyman" nor the stereotype -- nope, its straight graft and theft:
As fiscal hawks surrendered, would-be government contractors were meeting in the Hart Senate Office Building to figure out how to get a share of the money. A "Katrina Reconstruction Summit," hosted by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and sponsored by Halliburton, among others, brought some 200 lobbyists, corporate representatives and government staffers to a room overlooking the Capitol for a five-hour conference that included time for a "networking break" and advice on "opportunities for private sector involvement."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) sent his budget director, Bill Hoagland, who cautioned that federal Katrina spending might not exceed $100 billion. But John Clerici, from a law firm that helped sponsor the event, told the group that spending would "probably be larger" than $200 billion. "It's going to be spent in a fast and furious way," Clerici said.

Sipping coffee from china cups and munching on doughnuts, the corporate crowd heard Joe McInerney, president of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, predict: "I think we'll see Mardi Gras in New Orleans to some extent this year."

Small Business Administration official Herbert L. Mitchell told them to think of the SBA as "really the federal government's disaster bank." Mitchell said his payroll has gone from 800 to 2,300 since the storm and he is adding 200 people a day as he tries to increase maximum payments to small businesses.

No real budget cuts and certainly no tax increases, and I'm betting a majority of this money goes to corporate friends of the GOP who will find a way to funnel some of this money back to the Party that is bankrupting the nation.

Is the Federal Government covered by the new Bankruptcy Law?

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