BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS. . . .
My copy of HANDBOOK OF EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY just came in the mail, but I don’t have time to look into it yet. I’m deep into a philosophy course at Spokane Community College, started this week, and I’ve got lots of reading there. Was reading Dostoevsky for the class and had forgotten how powerful his writing is. The philosophy course, of course, is based in Continental Philosophy and will feature existentialism which I am, an existentialist, but never formally.
CHENEY CLINKING BIG CHANGE IN HIS POCKETS
The following came to me via the internet. Just passing it along. We all know how dishonest these guys are. Do you think Bush can be compared to Ulysses S. Grant and his time as president, though history has it that Grant just wasn’t aware how dishonest the people around him were? Something tells me that Bush is perfectly aware that he’s surrounded by untrustworthy scoundrels. If that’s so, then Bush is a scoundrel too whereas Grant was only a patsy. Being a Texan, Bush probably believes it’s better to be a scoundrel than a patsy. Bush is perfectly happy to let his fundamentalist base be the patsies.
[Open quote] Cheney's Haliburton Stock Options Soar to $9.2 Million
WASHINGTON -- Senator Frank R. Lautenberg reiterated his call for Vice President Dick Cheney to forfeit his continuing financial interest in the Haliburton Co (HAL), in light of the surging value of Vice President Cheney's Haliburton holdings. Vice President Cheney continues to hold 433,333 Haliburton stock options, now worth $9,214,154.93 (at close yesterday.)
"As Halliburton's fortunes rise, so does the Vice President's, and that is wrong," said Senator Lautenberg. "Haliburton has already raked in more than $10 billion from the Bush-Cheney Administration for work in Iraq, and now they are being awarded some of the first Katrina contracts. It is unseemly for the Vice President to continue to benefit from this company at the same time his Administration funnels billions of dollars to it."
All of Vice President's Cheney's stock options are "in the money" for the first time in years. According to the Vice President's Federal Financial Disclosure forms, he holds the following Haliburton stock options:
100,000 shares at $54.5000 (vested), expire 12-03-07 33,333 shares at $28.1250 (vested), expire 12-02-08 300,000 shares at $39.5000 (vested), expire 12-02-09
The Vice President has attempted to fend off criticism by signing an agreement to donate the after-tax profits from these stock options to charities of his choice, and his lawyer has said he will not take any tax deduction for the donations. Valued at over $9 million, the Vice President could exercise his stock options for a substantial windfall, benefiting not only his designated charities, but also providing Haliburton with a tax deduction.
The Vice President also continues to receive "deferred salary" from Haliburton. While in office, he has received the following salary payments from Haliburton:
Deferred salary paid by Haliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2001: $205,298 Deferred salary paid by Haliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2002: $162,392 Deferred salary paid by Haliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2003: $178,437 Deferred salary paid by Haliburton to Vice President Cheney in 2004: $194,852
In September 2003, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a memorandum to Senator Lautenberg concluding that holding stock options while in elective office does constitute a "financial interest" regardless of whether the holder of the options will donate proceeds to charities. CRS also found that receiving deferred compensation is a financial interest.
The CRS report can be downloaded here.
The CRS findings contradict Vice President Cheney's puzzling view that he does not have a financial interest in Haliburton. On the September 14, 2003 edition of Meet the Press in response to questions regarding his relationship with Haliburton where he was employed as CEO for five years, from 1995 to 2000, Vice President Cheney said:
"And since I left Haliburton to become George Bush's vice president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest. I have no financial interest in Haliburton of any kind and haven't had, now, for over three years." [Close quote]
America will not be safe until the average American takes back his country from the greedy rich. Note, I’m not saying all rich persons are bad for our country, just the greedy ones, the ones for whom no amount is enough and for whom the means of getting don't matter.