March 10, 2008
by: jovial_cynic
A delightfully libertarian video. It's amusing in its presentation and infuriating in its content.

np category: politics


The Conservative Manifesto said:
So when the Clinton administration gave no-bid contracts to Halliburton and others in the 90s, they were doing so to fund the neocons?


March 10, 2008

The Conservative Manifesto said:
p.s. Besides, Halliburton wasn't awarded a no-bid contract in the manner in which the video producer (and the American public in general, for that matter) obviously believes. So the point is actually quite moot.
March 10, 2008

Ken said:
Well CoMo, the information I am prviy too says that Halliburton has gotten dozens of exactly the kind of no bid contract you say they haven't.

Of course, I'm sure your sources of information are much less fallible than mine :) I'm just not in the habit of believing their press releases or those of the pentagon. Every writer is a propagandist. Even (especially?) those who write for the military industrial complex.

If the statement "Depleted Uranium is perfectly safe to humans," doesn't make you question your paradigm, I'm sure nothing will.

March 10, 2008

The Conservative Manifesto said:

Who said Halliburton hasn't received no-bid contracts? I certainly didn't. (In fact, it is usually the Left that forgets that even the Clinton administration awarded Halliburton no-bid contracts.)

I said "Halliburton wasn't awarded a no-bid contract in the manner in which the video producer (and the American public in general, for that matter) obviously believes."

At what point did you translate that statement into "Halliburton has not received no-bid contracts from the United States government"?

I digress...

To the average American, the term "no-bid contract" denotes that the contract was awarded without competition. As if our government/military woke up one day and said "Oh crap, we're going to war! Here Halliburton, you can run things."

In actuality, it's a bit more complicated than that.

I don't know if your "sources" told you this, Ken, but there is a contract system our government uses known as the U.S. Army Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP).

This system of awarding contracts came about from the need of our military to complete complex jobs - often with very little notice. I'll spare you the rest of the details and get right to the meat of it all...

LOGCAP is, in effect, a multi-year super contract. In it, the U.S. Army makes a deal with a single contractor to perform a wide range of unspecified services during emergency situations should and when they arise. The last competition for LOGCAP came in 2001, when Halliburton won the contract over several other bidders.

So while "no-bid contract" has become a trendy talking points term of the anti-Iraq-war Left, those who use it rarely, if ever, understand what it actually entails.

March 11, 2008

Ken said:
you ask "at what point did I translate that statement into "Halliburton has not received no-bid contracts from the United States government"?

Well, I didn't. Had you read "the information I am prviy too says that Halliburton has gotten dozens of exactly the kind of no bid contract you say they haven't." You would have answered your own question.

Please CoMo, if you're going to condescend to me and de-value my points, try to read and comprehend them first.

You bring up the Clinton a lot, I don't understand the fixation with him. After I have stated "Every writer is a propagandist" you mention him again in connection with the left. As someone who considers myself of the "Left," I can tell you that he was about as "Left" as John McCain. His record also shows that he was the most conservative president since Nixon.

Through my "sources" (i like the way you infer their fallibility by placing quotes around them, cute) I have learned that KBR, the division of Halliburton that handles civil logistics, was stripped of their contract in 1997. The independent auditing arm of Congress, the GAO, had determined that Halliburton had inflated the original contract price by over 32%. Halliburton's largest competitor DYNCORP was then awarded the contract.

In 2001, DYNCORP was terminated and KBR got the contract back. Halliburton's revenue from LOGCAP increased from $320 million in the second quarter of 2003 to over $2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2003. A tidy profit!

Regarding Oil reconstruction contracts in Iraq: In February 2003, Bunnatine Greenhouse, a top contracting specialist for the Army Corps of Engineers argued that the five-year term for the contract, which had not been put out for competitive bid, was not justified, that it should be for one year only and then be opened to competition. The contract-approval document arrived the next day for Greenhouse's signature, the term was five years.

I won't bore you with all the sordid details, there's a lot of information to ingest. Greenhouse went public, and a year later the contact was redone as 2 seperate contracts. Halliburton winning the larger of the two. Tip of the iceburg.

CoMo, my "sources" tell exactly what I stated in the first post, "Halliburton has gotten exactly the kind of no bid contract you say they haven't.

March 11, 2008

Luke said:
Not too compelling to me. Nice and general. I'd like to know who's standard of living has gone down? The vast vast majority of Americans are financially and job-wise better off than they were in 2000.

I don't doubt that some of that can go on because it's government. Of course it's no more a 'Neocon' issue than it is a 'Liberal' problem. There's corruption everywhere in government. It's also silly to make the assertion that they created a war to make money though. That's more delightfully naive.

March 15, 2008

jovial_cynic said:
Economists are saying we're in a recession. The US dollar is lower than it has ever been before. The feds just threw us another quarter today to try to get the economy back on track. The national debt is up at 9.4 trillion dollars.

You really think that most Americans are doing better today than they were in 2000?

March 16, 2008

jovial_cynic said:
... and the Feds gave the financial institutions another quarter today to help bail them out.

And this: As feared, foreign bond holders have begun to exercise a collective vote of no confidence in the devaluation policies of the US government. The Federal Reserve faces a potential veto of its rescue measures.

March 17, 2008

Luke said:
The federal government is worse off, and some things are affecting us but over all based on US census data and scientific polling almost everyone says they're better off than they were 8 years ago. I am, you are, everyone I know is (barring those who made terrible financial decisions which is another thing altogether).
March 17, 2008

jovial_cynic said:
You're going to need to site some sources.

The dollar has plunged in value, decreasing my buying power. I buy things from oversees, and the exchange rate is making an impact. Additionally, anybody that invests at all (including in retirement/pensions) is feeling the pinch as the stock prices are tumbling -- I have co-workers who planned to retire this year, but are going to hold off until after the economy picks up, because their retirement income is directly related to the investments of their retirement portfolio.

I'm better off because my employer isn't a stock company, and because auto insurance is compulsory, and you're better off because you work for the state, and because you guys are on a ticketing rampage to bring more money into the state. ;) But I don't think that *most* people are better off.

March 17, 2008

jovial_cynic said:
Oh, I didn't even mention the inflation rate. It's been going up since 2002, but had been going down for a number of years prior.

annual inflation chart

And that decreases our buying power, too. So with increasing costs of EVERYTHING, everybody's buying power is decreasing unless they happen to work for a corporation that can afford to pay out inflation-matching salary increases.

March 17, 2008

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