The real leaders of the “free” world…

Posted by: on Aug 23, 2003 | No Comments

A presidential election is around the corner, and the circus has come to California. The American public has apathetically learned the names of those who may boldly lead us into tomorrow: Arnold, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, and a fat bald guy named Cruz. And of course our current “leader of the free world,” George W. Bush. Howard Dean graced the cover of both Time and Newsweek simultaneously — and it’s not even primary season.
But I got to thinking: do you know the real leaders of the free world?
How about the CEO of Phillip Morris, a company which spends $50M a year on lobbying Washington to brush those 400,000 dead Americans under the carpet?
Or perhaps the board of Verizon, a company which gleefully spends $40M a year insuring they’ll be the next pre-breakup AT&T by stifling local competition while simultaneously demanding access to sell long distance service?
What about the CEO of ExxonMobile, who’s $35M a year makes sure your next vehicle relies on already scare fossil fuels? (Side-note: the price of gas went up 30 cents in just the last week here in California.)
Then there’s Halliburton, which now benefits from a avalanche of no-bid government contracts thanks to a $33.7M investment (er, retirement package) in former CEO Dick Cheney. (Dick hasn’t let down, awarding contracts before we even dropped the first bomb in Iraq. Wasn’t that convenient!)
Well, every one deserves a fair chance to be heard in Washington, no? I mean, I’m sure that all the hard-working Americans in Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle’s constituency get the same voice as his wife, Linda, a highly paid lobbyist working for the likes of American Airlines and Northwest Airlines, right?
Let’s not forget Chet Lott, son of Mississippi Senator Trent Lott, who went from pizza-franchise owner to powerful lobbyist on behalf of Verizon. No conflict of interest there!
Well, perhaps now you know… or at least have a better idea.

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