Brood Of Vipers
By Lazarus Wolf
The Republicans will accept, and spend record amounts of money from business this election cycle. They know if they lose this election, there will probably be a Democrat in the White House for the next decade. After the bitter defeat in their desperate attempted coup of the Presidency, and simultaneous self destruction in Congress, they will stop at nothing to grab the last jewel in the crown.
Five devastating areas of guilt are highlighted in this exposé of conservative avarice into Republican dogma.
One Selling Our Ecology
The 1990's were warmer than the 1980's, the hottest years on record, since scientists began keeping records in 1853, according to the Goddard Institute of Space Studies.
According to a report released in the fall of 1995, global warming is a fact. The cause "appears to be human ". Scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the authoritative international body charged with studying this issue, reached a conclusion in the Second Assessment Report, which summarizes the current state of scientific knowledge on global warming, also climate change. The report received contributions and peer-review from over 2,500 of the world's leading climate scientists, economists, and risk-analysis experts.
The exact impact on the earth's climate cannot be predicted, but agreement among most climate scientists about what is likely to occur suggests the planet will warm over the next century as carbon dioxide (CO2) doubles over the next 50 years from preindustrial levels, warming the earth enough to:
In the 1990's we have already seen more powerful storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods than ever before in recorded history. The Panel concluded that the observed increase in global average temperature observed in the last century "is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin" and that "the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate." (The conservative right wing Christian movement has shamelessly been manipulating it's Christian believers into the doctrine," severe weather is God's punishment for liberal sins." Have you no shame?!)
A Greenpeace report points to the problem. Around 98% of US CO2 emissions come from the combustion of coal, oil and gas; with oil accounting for over 40%, coal 35% and natural gas 22% of energy related emissions. The United States alone produces about a quarter of global CO2 emissions.
The fossil fuel companies convince politicians to give them exemptions from the limitations of law the old fashioned way...they bribe them, now legally. The Greenpeace report underscores the problem with the politicians, most notably the Republicans, who prove again, they are vastly more corrupt than their Democrat counterparts.
Oil and Gas Sector Total
Greenpeace evaluated sectoral donations
to members of three Senate
committees: Energy and Natural Resources, Environment and Public Works,
Science and Transportation. These three committees play a key role in
issues. Committee membership comprises 50 Senators, taking into account
The Oil Agenda
A report by Public Citizen and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), shows that between 1993 and 1998 the trucking industry bribed Congress with almost $29 million in political contributions and lobby expenses. As Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen said, "There are so many deaths and injuries because the trucking industry has used its influence to secure legislative exemptions from existing safety requirements".
Fatalities from large truck crashes increased by 10 percent from 1995 to 1997. Last year alone 5,300 people were killed in heavy truck crashes. An average of more than 100 per week. Another 141,000 were injured.
The study found that the largest single recipient of trucking industry money was Pennsylvania Republican Bud Shuster, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who received $145,400 from the trucking industry over the last six years. Members of his committee each received on average, $21,783 from trucking industry PACs during the six years studied. 73 percent more that the average $12,586 received by all other House members.
For their money, the trucking industry bought legislative exemptions from existing safety requirements, block legislation to improve truck safety, prevent any increase in fuel taxes, and to stop proper Congressional oversight of the Office of Motor Carriers (OMC), the report explained.
The OMC bases important safety standards on flawed research that it pays the trucking industry to conduct. The report highlights the OMC has significantly reduced the number of safety inspections, compliance reviews and fines imposed, as the number of deaths and injuries have increased along with the truck miles traveled.
The OMC is not the only agency created to protect citizens from business that would needlessly kill Americans in the name of profitability, Republicans are attacking. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), are all under conservative attack.
Its not just our environment and safety the Republicans in have sold out, Public Citizen had a few more interesting facts about the prostitutes in the House and Senate.
Three Selling Our Assets
Each year, U.S. taxpayers subsidize U.S. business with more than $150 billion. Examples such as Hershey International and McDonalds receive some $69 million each year in public funds for advertising campaigns and other promotions of their products as American agricultural exports.
"Commodity" timber sales section of the U.S Forest Service sell our trees to private timber companies for $5 dollars per tree, well below market value. The federal timber sales program actually loses money because the amount paid to the government by the private companies does not even cover the administration cost of preparing the sales. Add the cost of building 440,000 miles of roads built through National Forest Service lands (95% of the new roads built in public forests are logging roads, only 5% were for recreation and public use), and taxpayers pay $142.2 million annually.
The old boys in the mining industry take advantage of an 1872 law that allows mining corporations to pay no royalties on the billions of dollars worth of minerals they extract from public lands. Lands worth billions they buy at the 1872 price of $5 per acre. Annually, a $200 million cost to taxpayers. Adding insult to injury, taxpayers pay for clean up of the destruction left by private mining on federal lands, estimated cost $32 billion to $72 billion. Legislative efforts to address this burden on taxpayers have all been blocked in the Republican lead Congress.
The Department of Interior's Mineral Management Service estimates that the oil companies underpay by an estimated $66 million annually for oil extracted from public lands by undervaluing the oil from the actual market price.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides financial assistance to the tobacco growers through its price support program and with crop insurance. In 1998 the government gave $67 million for crop insurance.
When Republicans do vote on legislation to help our citizens they always insist on special clauses and amendments for the businesses that support them. Trent Lott, for example, insisting on a provision to the balanced budget act that allows cigarette makers to reduce their future liability in smoking-related lawsuits. Even allowing the Tobacco industry representatives to write and submit the document. According to a article in USA Today, Congress's chief tax writer told them, "Tobacco industry representatives wrote the provision of the budget law that allows cigarette makers to reduce their future liability in smoking-related lawsuits". Staff director of the Joint Committee on Taxation told them, "The industry wrote it and submitted it, and we just used their language". "...The proposal became law after House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott insisted on its inclusion in the balanced budget act". USA Today 8/29/97
This was not a unique event. According to an article in the New York Times (3/22/95), when talking about the Clean Water Act, "The bill's sponsors and a committee of lobbyists worked side by side on the bill, inserting one provision after another to satisfy industry groups like the Chemical Manufactures Association [and] companies like International Paper."
Campaign finance reform would address this scourge in politics. The McCain-Feingold bill in the Senate, and Shays-Meehan reform bill in the House, or versions of them, seek to put a cap on spending in congressional races in exchange for significant public resources (including free and reduced-priced TV), a ban on soft money (those unlimited and unregulated contributions from wealthy individuals, corporations and unions), reductions in the influence of special interest PACs, curbs on electioneering disguised as issue advocacy, and improved disclosure of campaign contributions.
Republican John Doolittle, when referring to the Democratic campaign finance reform discharge petition, which has 194 Democratic signatures and could force a vote on campaign finance reform said, "People who sign the discharge petition...are really committing treason against the party. That is how strongly I feel about that. That's a dangerous position to take and we need to end that talk." (ROLL CALL 5-13-99)
Four Selling Our Democracy
The conservatives have their own peculiar conception of treason. A vote to strengthen democracy can be labeled treasonous by their Republican comrades, yet sending William Casey as emissary for Ronald Reagan's election team to make a deal with the Iranians to hold the 52 American hostages until after the 1980 election does not seem treasonous to them. The hostages were freed on Jan. 20, 1981, just minutes after Reagan was sworn in. In fact, many TV stations had a split screen of the simultaneous events.
On Jan. 11, 1993, the Soviet Union sent a congressional task force, assigned to examine the allegations in 1992, their official intelligence files information from Moscow revealing the Republican secret activities with the Iranians in 1980. George Bush, Ronald Reagan, William Casey and Robert Gates were all implicated in the report. Corroboration was collected from senior Iranian officials as well as French intelligence officers, and intelligence from Israel and other Middle East nations. Since then, Yasir Arafat has admitted to former President Carter that he to was approached by the Republicans with a plan to delay the release of the hostages. (The Consortium 5-15-99 )
The Iran-Contra affair stands as a paradigm to understanding the mechanics of conservative corruption. When Congress passed a law in the early 1980's drying up funds for Reagan's filthy Contra war, clearly, the evidence proves that Ronald Reagan and his staff would not allow the law to slow the ambitious pursuit of their conservative handler's goals. In the view of the elite business class, the Central and South American countries are not independent countries with governments, they are markets to buy products made by American companies.
At the Iran-contra
trials, Reagan's Nation
Security aide, Oliver North was found guilty of altering and destroying
accepting an illegal gratuity, and aiding and abetting in the
obstruction of Congress. In
North's own journal he made a note,"14M [million]
to finance come from
Oliver North and John Poindexter both had their convictions overturned on appeal by the Reagan appointees, Judge Lawrence H. Silberman who served as a foreign policy advisor to Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign and Judge David Sentelle, who named his daughter Reagan, after the president. After ignoring Oliver North's treason their simplistic rationale, the evidence used to convict him was his Congressional testimony for which he was granted immunity. (Granting immunity is a tactic the conservatives use frequently. Starr would use it to design false and misleading testimonies from victims of his Clinton inquisition.)
convictions were overturned
by the corrupt conservative judges, the facts now
prove their guilt,
as well as the judges collusion in covering the odious crimes.
Secord, pleaded guilty to
making false statements to the Iran-contra committee.
deputy Secretary of State to
Central America, pleaded guilty to withholding information from
Thomas Clines, CIA, was found guilty for under-reporting his earnings to the IRS between 1985 and 1988. He also received illegal profits in Iran-contra.
Other White House officials narrowly avoided prosecution. Chief of Staff Donald Regan, even though he had participated in top secret meetings which dealt with the illegal sale of arms to Iran. CIA director William Casey died before any charges were brought against him.
Five Selling Judicial Integrity
Judge Sentelle's scent of corruption has marked other Republican scandals. After they were caught searching Bill Clinton's passport he gave the job of investigating the Bush administration to the resolute Republican Joseph diGenove, who, surprise, found no wrongdoing.
When the Supreme Court gargoyle, Chief Justice William Renquist replaced Republican George Mackinnin who ran the three-judge panel which picked special prosecutors, in favor of hyper-conservative Judge Sentelle, the coup d'etat of the new liberal presidency had begun. Sentelle, now in position, fired the first Whitewater investigator Republican Robert Fiske, who would not play dirty enough. Then he hired the dependable hatchet man Ken Starr, who had long ago sold his integrity to big business. Renquist, Sentelle, and Starr, all alumni of the Scaife funded Federalist Society cabal, had manipulated themselves in place to launch the shameful assault on the American electoral system, in the first, second, and third positions.
Sentelle then gave
Ken Starr unparalleled
freedom to pursue any petty infraction with the utmost pomp, authority
and, of course,
press. Starr leaked every lascivious detail they could scrape up or
make up. The Chief
Justice, playing grotesque ringmaster of his own cirque d'etat
spectacle, sadly, willing
to sacrifice his judicial integrity for such an ignominious cause,
into a pathetic caricature of imperial decadence cloned
Allegations of Connections Between CIA and The Contras in Cocaine Trafficking to the United States (96-0143-IG) Volume 1: The California Story www.odci.gov/cia/publications/cocaine/report/index.html
Allegations of Connections Between CIA and The Contras in CocaineTrafficking to the United States (96-0143-IG) Volume 11: The Contra Story www.odci./gov/cia/publications/cocaine2/index.html
The CIA-Contra-Crack Cocaine Controversy: A Review of the Justice Department's Investigations and Prosecutions (December, 1997) www.usdoj.gov/oig/igspecr1.htm
Fair's coverage of the Contra-drug connection over the years, go to www.fair.org/issues-news/contra-crack.html