Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thought in passing

Just some thoughts from the news this week, or more so later in the week.

First, executive salaries. The Washington Post reported the Boys and Girls Club of America lost $13 million in 2008 (no 2009 report filed yet). This while getting over $100 million in federal money and the CEO earning $1 million in salary, expenses, travel and retirement savings. And this while the club closed 24 offices and clubs and fired 10% of the staff.

Where is it acceptable to see CEO skimming the cream while the carton is leaking from the bottom? Where is it allowed that CEO can drive a company into the ground, or bankruptcy, or government takeover, and still make money? Aren't CEO supposed to earn how the company goes?

Yeah, we know it wasn't on Wall Street, they only lied, fudged the numbers and skimmed billions for false profits. But ordinary companies or organizations who are supposed to do good, like this one? How can a CEO say they're good when the results aren't there?

And we wonder what's wrong with CEO's? Or maybe that's the obvious they don't see? It's not about what's wrong but what's right about CEO's.

The recent Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate campaign financing. One person jumped ahead of the curve. Why buy a sitting or prospective Representative or Senator in Congress, when you can simply be a corporate one? Murray Hill, who owns his (self-named) company is running for Congress. He isn't holding back he's a corporate candidate.

While in innovative to say the least, it's scary it's the future. A lot of sitting representatives and senators better take notice that the next competitor in your next election won't be another person seeking office to represent the people, or more so represent corporate interests, but simply a corporate candidate.

This isn't new. Several CEO's and other corporate individuals have run for office, Senator Linda Cantwell for one (former software executive). Most do well for awhile but run into Washington politics and change. And it is a requirement that all elected people separate themselves legally and financially from their corporate ownership or holdings, usually put into a blind trust.

But now we will see blatant corporate candidates, following former Vice President Cheney's practice not to do that, despite the law. He, if you remember, when elected and told to follow the law to separate this financial interests, including salary, responded with a less than diplomatic, "Go fuck yourself."

Yes, he collected his annual dividend and interest from his Haliburton holdings and former job (CEO) while being VP. He also refused to recuse himself in the decisions to issue billions of dollars worth of contracts to Haliburton its subsidaries for the war in Iraq. Yes, he personally profited by the war.

He was the best war profitter in history. He was instrumental in starting it for that very reason. Not patriotism but greed. Pure and simple greed. Get our money, sacrifice American soldiers, and in 8 years smile all the way to the bank. And now we'll see more political savy candidates do this very thing.

All thanks to Cheney and the Supreme Court.

And lastly, lying Republicans. Yes, like they don't know how to do anything else. The senior Republican in the Senate yesterday again announced plans to defeat the healthcare reform bill, citing the lack of public support. Except every poll has shown the public wants healthcare reform and wants the public option.

It's that simple. We don't want the status quo which is causing 45 million people to be significantly underinsured or uninsured and causing another similar number to be less than fully insured, denied coverage for critical medical needs, or denied insurance due to pre-existing conditions.

But the truth has never stopped the Republicans on the healthcare debate. And some Democrats too, like Mr. Stupak and Nelson. They also lied whenever they spoke about it. It's not that they picked and choose what from the information or the polls, they simply lied or made things up. None of what they said was true.

But it's the Republicans in mass who are the biggest liars on this issue. Every time they stepped in front of the microphones or cameras. They're the answer to the often asked question, "How can you tell when someone it lying?" Their lips are moving.

And so goes the news in America. Not good but our ordinary lives continue.