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Showing posts from October, 2005

Exxon Profits At Unprecedented High

Still more evidence that it pays to have friends in high places . . . the Associated Press reported today that oil giant Exxon's third-quarter profits were a new record for any company ever. Third quarter profits were almost 75% higher than a year ago - up to $9.92 billion - and their $100 billion in total quarterly sales was also an all-time record for any company in history.

I really don't have much more to say about this . . . it's distressing but not surprising. I guess my conservative friends out there would argue that the free market is working its magic on the American public once again. So, the American public should just smile and get out the KY-Jelly, which is another fine petroleum derivative - while oil execs shop for more multi-million dollar homes and corporate tax shelters.

I'm wondering why such a huge, profitable industry couldn't invest some of their vast profits into some research and development toward creating more efficient ways to fuel our m…

County Commissioners and Nov. 8 Election

I attended a teacher meeting this week in which two of the three County Commissioners and the Springfield police chief spoke about an upcoming November 8 ballot issue called the Community Safety Initiative (CSI). County Commissioners Dave Coonrod and Harold Bengsch and SPD chief Lynn Rowe took turns talking about why they support the proposed 1/4 cent sales tax.

The proposed tax would ante up about a nickel on a $20 purchase and would raise about $10 million in year one for various crime prevention and law enforcement programs.

Did I hear a yawn? I know. This is usually the kind of thing that I have trouble supporting - yes, they want to build a new crime lab and provide funding for more police officers, blah, blah. But the part that caught my attention, and the primary reason they were pitching this to a group of school teachers, was the $3 million that was to be spent on a proactive early childhood program that was linked to 50 elementary schools in Springfield. It would also create a…

Still More Evidence of Cronyism in Bushland

I was trying to find a link to one of my favorite news shows when I ran across this article posted on Media Matters for America. The New York Times article explores how Harriet Miers worked a dual role after being appointed by Bush to head the Texas Lottery Commission, which was supposedly suspected of shady dealings. It looks as though some of the questionable activity centered around an employee who had information about Bush's own shady National Guard experience. Here's a clip:

"Allegations about political favors playing a role in Bush's National Guard career first arose in the midst of a lawsuit filed by Lawrence Littwin, the former executive director of the lottery commission who was both hired and fired during Miers's tenure. Littwin had reportedly been investigating what he considered improper political contributions made by Gtech, a company which had a contract to run the Texas lottery. In his lawsuit, Littwin claimed that Gtech pressured the commission to …

Our Girl Harriet

President Bush managed to piss everybody off with this one. The Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination has been roundly panned by pundits from virtually the entire political spectrum. I can almost see GW smirking after he and his trusty advisors came up with this one. This ought to throw everybody for a loop, yuk, yuk. One thing I've got to hand GW, he has shown an uncanny ability to top his daddy when it comes to boneheaded presidential moves. The elder Bush at least had the good sense to avoid a protracted war in Iraq after Desert Storm, while Boy George boldly ventures forth on a misguided crusade to build a democratic state in the heart of the Middle East. Is that conservative? Seems like I remember W criticizing the Clinton/Gore administration for their "nation building" in Bosnia. You don't hear much about Bosnia these days. I guess it depends on your point of view about this nation building concept - if a Democrat is doing it, it's nation building, if a R…