Saturday, September 10, 2005

The hot (not so) new game: two degrees of Bush Administration

Modeled after the now famous six degrees of Kevin Bacon game, this one is much easier to play. Where shall we start: Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR); The Shaw Group or Bechtel? All three have highly connected political patrons and FEMA has contracted them to do the clean-up & reconstruction work from Hurrican Katrina.

In addition to being a subsidiary of tricky Dick Cheney's former company Halliburton, KBR is a client of a lobbyist by the name of Joe Allbaugh - Michael "BDrownie" Brown's old college chum. The Shaw Group another of Allbaugh's clients, though I'm sure the relationship had nothing to do with the contracts since not all of the contracts went to Allbaugh clients.

Well, those were just too easy. . . let's see if Bechtel is any harder - nope:

Bechtel's current CEO was named to the Export Council & the former CEO of Bechtel Energy in charge of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation by King George himself. I'm sure all parties with conflicting interests have completely divested themselves of all stock and other potential earnings from their respective companies.

Patronage is common in politics since many people leave government positions to cash in on connections to ensure lucrative government contracts but the current administration takes the cake, especially with regard to Halliburton which hasn't done well by the country when audited and yet continues to get contracts (often of the no-bid variety).

I wonder if the shrub would have suspended the Davis Bacon Act if he thought non-cronie companies might get the contracts?

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