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posted on Apr, 4 2004 @ 06:50 PM
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Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, III

Chairman & CEO
Marsh Crisis Consulting
"Experience
* Member, President's Homeland Security Advisory Council, June 2002
* Chairman, Marsh Political Risk Practice (2000 - present)
* Chief Operating Officer, Kissinger & Associates - Strategic Risk Consulting firm (1989 - 2000)
* Director, Air Products & Chemicals Corp (1993 - present)
* Director, Akzo Nobel NV (1997 - present)
* Trustee, Economic Club of New York (1993 - present)
* Director, Harvard Business School Club of New York
* Ambassador-at-Large for Counter-Terrorism, U.S. Department of State (1986 - 1989)
* Chairman, bipartisan National Commission on Terrorism
* Ambassador to the Netherlands (1983-86)
* 23-year career in the U.S. diplomatic service, including: Special or Executive Assistant to six Secretaries of State. Responsible for the State Department's Crisis Management and Emergency Response Center (for four years)

Education
* MBA, Harvard University
* CEP, Institut D'Etudes Politiques of the University of Paris
* BA, Yale University

Languages
* French
* Dutch
* Norwegian"

www.marshcrisisacademy.com...!_bremer_bio.asp

The following link provide some duplication of information, but it also includes links to headlines about Bremer:

"L. Paul Bremer III ("Jerry") has been Chairman and CEO of the Crisis Consulting Practice of Marsh, Inc., a subsidiary of the Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), since October 2001. Marsh Crisis Consulting assists corporations in planning for, managing, and recovering from a "full range of crises such as financial misconduct, natural disasters, product recalls, class action lawsuits and terrorism." Also see re Marsh.

In 2000, Bremer served on the National Commission on Terrorism. He also served on the National Academy of Science Commission to examine the role of science and technology in countering terrorism. He chaired the March 2002 Heritage Foundation study -- Defending the Homeland. He continues on the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for mass destruction terrorism. On June 11, 2002, Bremer was appointed to President George Walker Bush's Homeland Security Advisory Council. Bremer replaced Jay Garner as the top civilian administrator of post-war Iraq in May of 2003, carrying the title of Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

In 1981, Bremer was appointed Executive Secretary of the State Department by Secretary Alexander Haig. Bremer directed the State Department’s 24-hour a day crisis management and emergency response center. He was named Ambassador to the Netherlands in 1983 and, in 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed Bremer as Ambassador-at-Large for Counter Terrorism.

Bremer served at the Embassies in Afghanistan and Malawi, as well as service as Deputy Ambassador at the American Embassy in Norway. President Reagan named him as Ambassador to the Netherlands in 1983 where he served for three years.

Bremer was a Managing Director of Kissinger Associates, Inc.(1989-2001). Bremer joined Kissinger after serving twenty-three years of service in the Diplomatic Corps under six Secretaries of State.

Bremer is also the Founder and President of the Lincoln/Douglass Scholarship Foundation, which is a Washington-based non-profit organization that provides high school scholarships to inner city youths.

Affiliations

* Trustee, Economic Club of New York
* Director, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
* Director, Akzo Nobel NV
* Director, Harvard Business School Club of New York
* Director, The Netherland-America Foundation
* Senior Advisor, Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT)
* Member, International Institute for Strategic Studies
* Member, Council on Foreign Relations "


www.disinfopedia.org...



[Edited on 4-4-2004 by DontTreadOnMe]




posted on Apr, 6 2004 @ 08:55 PM
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I am flattered to be invited to be a part of this research project, Thanks DeltaChaos for your belief in my abilities.

Hello all, I am known as Phoenix on the board and I am a High- rise building engineer by trade. I have had a keen interest in politics and history since the Vietnam era.
I think that I can bring a long-term view to this research project with over 35 years experience watching the world unfold around us with tremendous change that is continuing today.

My concentration will be on the biographies and activities of Tommy Thompson, the current Secretary of Health and Human Services at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Whom I will concentrate on first for his history in government service.

Then, John Snow the current Secretary of Treasury.

Then, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Ann Veneman.

Let’s get off on the right foot by addressing Mr. Thompson’s initial biography.

Biographical information, Mr. Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Tommy Thompson was born: November 19, 1941 in Elroy, Wisconsin

Tommy Thompson’s Senate Confirmation occurred: January 24, 2001

Tommy Thompson was sworn in as Secretary of Health and Human Services: February 2, 2001

Tommy Thompson’s Education: B.S. 1963, J.D. 1966, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tommy Thompson’s immediate family: Married to Sue Ann with three children -- Tommi, Kelli and Jason

Secretary Thompson, most recently serving as governor of Wisconsin since 1987. Secretary Thompson made state history when he was re-elected to office for a third term in 1994 and a fourth term in 1998.

During his 14 years as governor, Secretary Thompson focused on revitalizing Wisconsin's economy. He also gained national attention for his leadership on welfare reform, expanded access to health care for low-income people, and education.





Secretary Thompson began his career in public service in 1966 as a representative in Wisconsin's state Assembly. He was elected assistant Assembly minority leader in 1973 and Assembly minority leader in 1981. Secretary Thompson has received numerous awards for his public service, including the Anti-Defamation League's Distinguished Public Service Award. In 1997, the Secretary received Governing Magazine's Public Official of the Year Award, and the Horatio Alger Award in 1998. The Secretary has also served as chairman of the National Governor’s Association, the Education Commission of the States and the Midwestern Governors' Conference. Secretary Thompson also served in the Wisconsin National Guard and the Army Reserve.

In 1996,Governor Thompson enacted Wisconsin Works, or "W-2," the state's landmark welfare-to-work legislation, which served as a national model for welfare reform. The program required participants to work, while at the same time providing the services and support to make the transition to work feasible and permanent. W-2 provided a safety net through child care, health care, transportation and training assistance. Wisconsin's monthly welfare caseload declined by more than 90 percent, while the economic status of those taking part in W-2 improved. The average family on AFDC had been 30 percent below the federal poverty line. However, at the average wage of people leaving W-2, families were 30 percent above the poverty line.

More recently, as governor, Thompson worked to extend health insurance to many low-income children and families. As of November 2000, The BadgerCare program - Wisconsin's Medicaid/State Children's Health Insurance Program for uninsured families - had enrolled more than 77,000 individuals. In addition, Wisconsin's Pathways to Independence was the nation's first program to allow the disabled to enter the workforce without the fear of losing health benefits. The program provides ready access to a coordinated system of services and benefits counseling. As governor, Thompson also created FamilyCare, designed to help elderly and disabled citizens, and allow them to receive care in their homes for as long as possible.

Also as governor, Thompson created the nation's first parental school choice program in 1990, allowing low-income Milwaukee families to send children to the private or public school of their choice. He also created Wisconsin's Council on Model Academic Standards, which implemented high academic standards for English language arts, math, science and social studies. Thompson also made unprecedented investments in the University of Wisconsin System through building projects and initiatives to attract and retain world-class faculty while keeping tuition affordable for students.

Since becoming Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary Thompson has launched major initiatives to respond to:

Strengthen the nation's preparedness for a bioterrorism attack;

Substantially increase funding for the National Institutes of Health;

Reorganize the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to encourage greater responsiveness and efficiency;

Clear the backlog of waivers and state plan amendments, approving 1,400 and thereby provide health insurance to 1.8 million lower-income Americans throughout the nation;

Urge all Americans to prevent disease by focusing on critical health areas, such as obesity, diabetes and health disparities; and

Take the next bold step to continue making welfare a path to employment and opportunity.

______________________________________________________________________

OK, I hope this is good for a start, I’ll get links and further in-depth info as I proceed along on my research



posted on Apr, 28 2004 @ 06:42 PM
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First of all I would like to thank everyone for the chance to participate in the project, I work a lot of night shifts and I will have plenty of time to do research. And now on to my project:


Office of National Drug Control Policy, Director John P. Walters

John P. Walters was sworn in as the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) on December 7, 2001. As the nation's "Drug Czar," Mr. Walters coordinates all aspects of federal drug programs and spending.
Mr. Walters has extensive experience at ONDCP. From 1989 to 1991, Mr. Walters was chief of staff for William Bennett, and was Deputy Director for Supply Reduction from 1991 until leaving the office in 1993. During his service at ONDCP he was responsible for helping guide the development and implementation of anti-drug programs in all areas. During that period overall federal spending for drug control programs increased by 61 percent. By 1992, drug use in the United States reached its lowest levels in the past 23 years.
From 1996 until 2001, Mr. Walters served as president of the Philanthropy Roundtable. The Roundtable is a national association of over 600 foundations and individual donors. It provides publications and programs on all aspects of charitable giving.
Before joining the Roundtable, Mr. Walters was president of the New Citizenship Project, an organization created to advance a renewal of American institutions and greater citizen control over our national life.
Mr. Walters co-authored-with William J. Bennett and John J. DiIulio Jr.—Body Count: Moral Poverty and How to Win America's War Against Crime and Drugs. During 1993 he was a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute, writing and speaking about anti-drug policy.
Between 1985 and 1988, he worked at the U.S. Department of Education, serving as Assistant to the Secretary and leading the development of anti-drug programs for the Secretary and the Department. He was also the Secretary's representative to the National Drug Policy Board and the Domestic Policy Council's Health Policy Working Group.
Mr. Walters served as Acting Assistant Director and Program Officer in the Division of Education Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1982 to 1985. He has previously taught political science at Michigan State University's James Madison College and at Boston College. He holds a BA from Michigan State University and an MA from the University of Toronto

Institutional Affiliations
• New Citizen Project: Former president
• Philanthropy Roundtable: President (1996-2001) (2)
• New Citizen Project, Inc.: Former president (2)
• Hudson Institute: Visiting Fellow (1993) (3)
• Madison Center: Founder and Executive Director (1988-1989) (3)
• National Endowment for the Humanities: Acting Assistant Director and Program Officer in the Division of Education Programs (1982-1985) (2)
• Michigan State University's James Madison College: Former Instructor (2)
• Boston College: Former Instructor (2)

Government Posts/Panels/Commissions
• Office of National Drug Control Policy: Director (2001-current) (1); Chief of Staff to Director (1989-1991) (1); Deputy Director for Supply Reduction (1991-1993) (2)
• U.S. Department of Education: Assistant to the Secretary; Representative to National Drug Policy Board; Representative to Domestic Policy Council's Health Policy Working Group (1985-1988) (1)

Education
• Michigan State University: B.A. (1)
• University of Toronto: M.A. (1)

Highlights & Quotes

Before taking over as head of White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, John Walters spearheaded a number of key right-wing organizing efforts. He was the president of the New Citizen Project, a Bradley-funded project whose other associates have included several neocon bigwigs from the Project for the New American Century, including William Kristol, Thomas Donnelly, and Gary Schmitt (2, 4, 5); he founded the conservative Madison Foundation, an institute that works on early childhood education and drug abuse prevention; and he served as president of the Philanthropy Roundtable, an association of conservative donors and activists. Walters was also a fellow at the rightist Hudson Institute.

Walter co-authored, with William Bennett and John Dilulio, the 1997 book Body Count: Moral Poverty and How to Win America's War Against Crime and Drugs. According to People for the American Way, "In the book, Walters and company see the 'moral poverty' of today's youth as the root of all violent crime and drug abuse in the country. They call for a moral awakening brought about through religion and education to ward off the coming wave of youthful 'super-predators,' members of 'the youngest, biggest and baddest generation any society has ever known.' Co-author DiIulio has since backed off both the book's recommendations for heavy prison sentencing and tone, which he called 'dehumanizing.'" (6)

According to Salon.com, "In his 1996 book on the drug wars, Up in Smoke, Dan Baum quotes Walters as saying, 'The health people say 'no stigma,' and I'm for stigma.' Baum writes that Walters 'took the position that marijuana, coc aine and heroin 'enslave people' and 'prevent them from being free citizens' in a way that tobacco and alcohol do not.'" (7)

Sources
(1) American President.org: Presidency in Action: John P. Walters
ap.beta.polardesign.com... e.shtml

(2) The White House: Office of National Drug Control Policy, Director John P. Walters
www.whitehouse.gov...

(3) Senate.gov: Testimony of John P. Walters, President of the Philanthropy Roundtable before the Committee on Finance, United States Senate, March 14, 2001
www.senate.gov...

(4) Guidestar.org: New Citizenship Project, Inc. (2001)
www.guidestar.org...

(5) Mediatransparency.org: New Citizenship Project, Inc.
www.mediatransparency.org...

(6) People for the American Way: John Walters
www.pfaw.org...

(7) Daniel Forbes, "Bush's new drug czar?" Salon.com
dir.salon.com...

(8)Right Web
rightweb.irc-online.org...



posted on Apr, 28 2004 @ 07:06 PM
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Paul Bremer at CFR.org

"How can we prevent Iraq from deteriorating into civil war or worse? Our best chance is to come to grips with the mistakes we've made along the way and then change course...

...The administration compounded the problem by appointing Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, who had no background in the Arab or Muslim world, to head the U.S. reconstruction effort. (He was ambassador to The Hague.) Bremer made a bad situation worse by disbanding the Iraqi army and police force. Then he made himself a lame duck by agreeing to the president's demand that sovereignty be turned over to the Iraqis by June 30,..."

www.cfr.org...
_________________
This an interesting site, in that it also refer you to article mentioning Bremer.

"As administrator of Iraq, Bremer's job is to oversee the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq until the country is deemed to be in a state in which it can be once again governed by Iraqis. Upon the advice of his subsidiaries, Bremer is empowered to issue decrees to modify Iraq's society and infrastructure. Some notable decrees have included his outlawing of the Ba'ath Party, removing all restrictions on freedom of assembly, and establishing a Central Criminal Court of Iraq. www.cpa-iraq.org..."
encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com...

"L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, said in a speech six months before the Sept. 11 attacks that the Bush administration was "paying no attention" to terrorism.

"What they will do is stagger along until there's a major incident and then suddenly say, 'Oh my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this,'" Bremer said at a McCormick Tribune Foundation conference on terrorism on Feb. 26, 2001."


www.newsmax.com...

[Edited on 30-4-2004 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 11:53 PM
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I'm sorry I haven't written up in quite some time, I feel bad for not writing and researching as much I should be. I could give some really kcik ash excuse, but it really doesn't matter, so I'll goahead and get on with it.

A Few Quick Notes:

A short time ago, Richard Clarke's book, Against All Eneimes, was released into book stores. At the same time, Clarke participated in the September 11 hearings. Clarke was on countless shows, from 60 Minutes to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. However, disregarding all of his other contributions, only one statement from Clarke needs to be truly focussed on, and I agree with Clarke, it should be addressed. In a nutshell, Clarke asked why he, the messenger, is being interviewed, getting media coverage, and why is it that his name is better known than his cause? Though Clarke should be given much more credit than simply the title of a messenger, he's right. Why are we interviewing him more than we are researching what he's said, interrogating, theorizing, GETTING SOMETHING DONE FOR ONCE?

Clarke, I applaud you. And I agree, get the cameras off the messenger, and start pointing them at the message.



posted on May, 2 2004 @ 12:33 AM
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A more about the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP):

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a component of the Executive Office of the President, was established by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.

The principal purpose of ONDCP is to establish policies, priorities, and objectives for the Nation's drug control program. The goals of the program are to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing, and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences. To achieve these goals, the Director of ONDCP is charged with producing the National Drug Control Strategy. The Strategy directs the Nation's anti-drug efforts and establishes a program, a budget, and guidelines for cooperation among Federal, State, and local entities.

By law, the Director of ONDCP also evaluates, coordinates, and oversees both the international and domestic anti-drug efforts of executive branch agencies and ensures that such efforts sustain and complement State and local anti-drug activities. The Director advises the President regarding changes in the organization, management, budgeting, and personnel of Federal Agencies that could affect the Nation's anti-drug efforts; and regarding Federal agency compliance with their obligations under the Strategy.

The Following is the Legislature that enables the ONDCP to do what it does.

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 established the creation of a drug-free America as a policy goal. A key provision of that act was the establishment of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to set priorities, implement a national strategy, and certify federal drug-control budgets. The law specified that the strategy must be comprehensive and research-based; contain long-range goals and measurable objectives; and seek to reduce drug abuse, trafficking, and their consequences. Specifically, drug abuse is to be curbed by preventing young people from using illegal drugs, reducing the number of users, and decreasing drug availability.

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 extended ONDCP's mission to assessing budgets and resources related to the National Drug Control Strategy. It also established specific reporting requirements in the areas of drug use, availability, consequences, and treatment.

Executive Order No. 12880 (1993) and Executive Orders Nos. 12992 and 13023 (1996) assigned ONDCP responsibility within the executive branch of government for leading drug-control policy and developing an outcome-measurement system. The executive orders also chartered the President's Drug Policy Council and established the ONDCP director as the president's chief spokesman for drug control.

The Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997 authorized the Office of National Drug Control Policy to carry out a national initiative that awards federal grants directly to community coalitions in the United States. Such coalitions work to reduce substance abuse among adolescents, strengthen collaboration among organizations and agencies in both the private and public sectors, and serve as catalysts for increased citizen participation in strategic planning to reduce drug use over time.

The Media Campaign Act of 1998 directed ONDCP to conduct a national media campaign for the purpose of reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998 expanded ONDCP's mandate and authority. It set forth additional reporting requirements and expectations, including:

Development of a long-term national drug strategy
Implementation of a robust performance-measurement system
Commitment to a five-year national drug-control program budget
Permanent authority granted to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program along with improvements in HIDTA management
Greater demand-reduction responsibilities given to the Counter-Drug Technology Assessment Center (CTAC)
Statutory authority for the President's Council on Counter-Narcotics
Increased reporting to Congress on drug-control activities
Reorganization of ONDCP to allow more effective national leadership
Improved coordination among national drug control program agencies
Establishment of a Parents' Advisory Council on Drug Abuse

Drugs and Sports Task Force. Executive Order 13165 (2000) created the White House Task Force on Drug Use in Sports, which authorizes the Director of ONDCP to serve as the U.S. Government's Representative on the Board of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA).

More to come.
-Muzz



posted on May, 2 2004 @ 12:53 AM
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Also the ONDCP Sponsors the following web-pages(most likely by funding):

The Anti-Drug
DrugAnswer.Com
DrugStory.Org
Explore Space ... Not Drugs
Freevibe
Teachers' Guide
Help Your Community
iCount Advisor
LaAntiDroga.Com
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
The School Zone
Straight Scoop News Bureau

I'm in the process of getting teh budget from Fiscal Year 2003.

-Muzz

[Edited on 5-2-2004 by muzz]



posted on May, 10 2004 @ 09:37 PM
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I would like to take this opportunity to thank DeltaChaos and Advisor for allowing me to take part in this research project. I think it’s important to understand the manner in which our leaders ascend to power and how their actions shape this country. My research will concentrate on the United States Secretary of the Treasury, John W. Snow. Initial posts will provide an outline of his educational and professional life. I will then define the job of Secretary of the Treasury of the United States so we can have a better understanding of the duties and influence of this position, continuing with specific details of his working life and influence he has asserted while serving this country.

Thank You,

kinglizard



posted on May, 10 2004 @ 10:07 PM
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John W. Snow
Secretary of the Treasury



AGE: 63

BIRTH DATE: Aug. 2, 1939

PLACE: Toledo, Ohio

FAMILY: Wife, Carolyn; three sons, Bradley, Ian and Christopher


Education:

  • University of Toledo; Kenyon College 1962 (Bachelor's degree)

  • University of Virginia 1965 (Ph.D. in Economics)

  • George Washington University 1967 (law degree)


Work History:

  • President and chief executive officer, CSX Corp., 1985-present (chairman since 1991)

  • Vice president, CSX, 1977-85

  • Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1976-77

  • Deputy Undersecretary, Department of Transportation, 1975-76

  • Assistant secretary for governmental affairs, DOT, 1974-75

  • Deputy assistant secretary for policy, plans and international affairs, DOT, 1973-74

  • Adjunct professor of law, George Washington University Law School, 1972-75

  • Assistant general counsel, DOT, 1972-73

  • Wheeler & Wheeler law firm, 1967-72

  • Assistant professor of economics, University of Maryland, 1965-67


Business and Professional Affiliations

Director: CSX Corporation; Bassett Furniture Industries Inc.; Circuit City Stores, Inc.; NationsBank Corp.; Textron Inc.; USX Corporation; U.S.-Japan Business Council; Association of American Railroads Board of Trustees: The Johns Hopkins University; University of Virginia Darden School Foundation Member: Business Roundtable; Executive Committee, The Business Council; Virginia Business Council; National Coal Council

Distinctions and Past Affiliations

Distinguished Fellow, Yale University School of Management; U.S. Department of Transportation, Secretary's Outstanding Achievement Award, the department's highest award; President Ford's Domestic Policy Review Group; Governor Reagan's four-man advisory group on regulatory policy during the 1980 presidential campaign; Vice Chairman-Transportation Transition Team, appointed by President-elect Reagan; White House Conference for a Drug Free America; Services Policy Advisory Committee of U.S.Trade Representative; Co-Chair of National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement; National Commission on Intermodal Transportation; National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform; Trustee, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Member, Richmond City School Board



posted on May, 11 2004 @ 11:31 AM
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Before we explore the details of John W. Snow it’s important to understand the responsibilities of the Secretary of the Treasury and how his decisions and input to the President affect the stability, well being and financial future of this country.


Responsibilities and Job Discription of the Secretary of the Treasury

The Treasury head is essentially the chief financial officer of the United States. Like corporate CFOs, the secretary oversees the nation's accounts, including Social Security and Medicare, and manages debt—if a creditor's looking to get paid by Uncle Sam, it's technically the secretary's responsibility to see that the checks get written. He's also the official boss of such departmental bureaus as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Secret Service, as well as nominally responsible for making sure the manufacture of coins and cash goes smoothly.

The Treasury secretary doubles as the president's chief economic adviser and thus assists with such important matters as preparing the federal budget and shaping fiscal policy. He is expected to serve as the public face for the administration's economic programs, which involves constant trips to Capitol Hill to get legislators on board.
Congressmen aren't the only folks who get the Treasury secretary's hard sell. Snow will be powwowing with Fortune 500 executives, foreign leaders, and banking magnates, too, as he tries to get them to go along with the Bush agenda. The job's political dimension is especially important when a crisis hits, like the recent rash of corporate accounting scandals. In a bid to boost investor confidence, the secretary is supposed to make the rounds and preach an optimistic message. When that message stops working, as Paul O'Neill recently found out, it's time to start polishing the résumé.


Paul O'Neill Resigns as Secretary of the Treasury

"From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," O'Neill told CBS, according to excerpts released Saturday by the network. "For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap."

O'Neill, who served nearly two years in Bush's Cabinet, was asked to resign by the White House in December 2002 over differences he had with the president's tax cuts. O'Neill was the main source for "The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill," by former Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind.

Suskind said O'Neill and other White House insiders gave him documents showing that in early 2001 the administration was already considering the use of force to oust Saddam, as well as planning for the aftermath.

"There are memos," Suskind told the network. "One of them marked 'secret' says 'Plan for Post-Saddam Iraq.'"

O'Neill is quoted as saying he was surprised that no one in a National Security Council meeting asked why Iraq should be invaded.

"It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this,'" O'Neill said.

O'Neill also said in the book that President Bush "was like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people" during Cabinet meetings.

One-on-one meetings were no different, O'Neill told the network.

Describing his first such meeting with Bush, O'Neill said, "I went in with a long list of things to talk about and, I thought, to engage [him] on. ... I was surprised it turned out me talking and the president just listening. It was mostly a monologue."


John W. Snow takes Office

The current Secretary of the Treasury is John Snow, who was appointed by President George W. Bush. He was sworn in as the 73nd Secretary of the Treasury on February 3, 2003.

Snow, 63, is in a good position to sell the Tax plan, given his close ties to the Bush administration, business leaders, and Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan. An attorney who holds a doctorate in economics, he was deputy undersecretary of transportation during the Ford administration and has served as chairman of the Business Roundtable, an influential group of chief executives of the nation's top companies.

Snow is a skilled bureaucratic operator who sidled to the top level of a large company from government posts. As a rule, these access capitalists are prized not for their business acumen but for their ability to open doors in Washington and foreign capitals. They work primarily in highly regulated industries or in ones that depend largely on government contracts for their sustenance: defense, pharmaceuticals, oil, and, in Snow's case, railroads.

When Snow took charge of CSX (railroad transportation), it owned a range of business unrelated to railroads. He divested most of them but held on to one seemingly noncore asset: the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. Snow loves golf—he's ranked No. 40 on Golf Digest's list of duffer CEOs and was, until recently, a member at Augusta National. But that's not why he kept the Greenbrier. The resort, within easy driving distance of the Capitol, is the discreet retreat of choice for lobbyists and members of Congress. Snow became known, in part, for holding seminars—read: junkets—for Washington players. By doling out access to the greens and access to the green—CSX has made more than $1 million in political donations in each of the last four election cycles—Snow made CSX a Washington player.


As a businessman, however, Snow was mostly a bust. He successfully lobbied to have CSX gain a huge chunk of Conrail but then botched the execution of the merger. He also managed to have Washington block a merger of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. and Canadian National Railway Co. and forestalled efforts by freight customers to obtain better bargaining terms. But all that didn't translate into much for shareholders. In the past decade, CSX's stock is off 17 percent while the S&P 500 is up 111 percent. Snow is leaving the company with more debt than it has had at any time in the past seven years. Today CSX has difficulty generating sufficient cash to meet all its obligations. And this is the man President Bush has hired to manage the nation's debt? As Jesse Eisinger sharply notes in today's Wall Street Journal: "Mr. Snow is clearly a guy who understands deficit spending."

CSX Transportation Inc.: CSX paid $5.9 million in September 1995 to settle a whistleblower lawsuit that said the company had inflated labor and equipment charges for work done to maintain and repair highway railroad crossings for the government.

"CSX will pay whistleblower $1.18 million," Barry Meier, The New York Times, 9/30/95.
"CSX to settle $5.9 million claim," Charles Slack, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/30/95.
"CSX unit to settle ex-employee’s suit for $5.9 million," Daniel Machalaba, The Wall Street Journal, 10/2/95.
"Deals and suits: United States ex rel. Nelson v. CSX Transportation Inc.," Jonathan Groner, Legal Times, 10/9/95.



slate.msn.com...

www.cnn.com...

money.cnn.com...

slate.msn.com...

www.ustreas.gov...

www.hispanicbusiness.com...

[Edited on 11-5-2004 by kinglizard]



posted on May, 11 2004 @ 12:11 PM
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Mortgage giants Fannie, Freddie top lobby efforts

When Treasury Secretary John Snow called on Congress in September to create a "world-class" regulator to crack down on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest buyers of U.S. home mortgages were ready for him.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between them had hired 46 lobbying firms in the first half of this year, including seven of the 20 largest, to reinforce their permanent staffs of 20. They spent at least $9.7 million on lobbying during that time, more than any other company or association, according to PoliticalMoneyLine.com, a nonpartisan group tracking such funds.

It wasn't just the numbers, it was the names. Among other recruits, Freddie Mac took on Patrick Cave after he resigned in January as a top official in the Treasury office that's seeking authority over the companies. It hired Terry Haines after he quit that same month as staff director for the House Financial Services Committee, which is considering the legislation.

The companies "are in a class by themselves," with the most potent lobbying force in Washington, said Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H. Sununu, 39, co-sponsored a bill that would strengthen oversight, in response to accounting errors that led to a $5 billion profit restatement by Freddie Mac this year.

The lobbying effort paid off. A month after Snow's Sept. 10 testimony, the House Financial Services Committee indefinitely postponed a vote on a bill that would have allowed Treasury to oversee new business, capital standards and other aspects of what Snow calls the companies' "safety and soundness."

For the Bush administration, that delay underlined its warning that without stricter supervision the companies may threaten U.S. financial stability because of their vulnerability to interest-rate shifts and combined $1.75 trillion debt. They own or guarantee 42 percent of the $7 trillion U.S. mortgage market. Advertisement

"It's important to have a regulator that is strong, capable and competent and able to deal with the risks they could present," Snow said in a Dec. 12 televised interview with Bloomberg News.
The shareholder-owned companies, chartered by Congress to increase financing for housing, buy mortgages from banks with proceeds from bond sales. They profit from the difference between their debt costs and the return on their mortgage holdings.

They lobby so hard because they "owe their very life to Congress," said Jonathan Koppell, a professor at the Yale School of Management.

Congress has exempted them from state and local taxes and authorized the Treasury to buy $2.25 billion of their securities in the event of possible default. That "implied guarantee" allows the mortgage buyers to hold down annual funding costs by more than $15 billion, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin told the Senate Banking Committee on Oct. 23.

The crackdown gained momentum in Congress in January when Freddie Mac, the smaller of the two companies, disclosed that it needed to restate earnings. The company said last month it underreported income for 2000-2002 to hide earnings volatility. That prompted a $125 million fine by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the companies' regulator.

In October, Fannie Mae disclosed a $1.1 billion accounting error in its third-quarter earnings statement.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sought to fend off a congressional backlash by "moving into full-bore opposition" to regulatory changes, said Representative Richard Baker, 55, of Louisiana, a senior Republican on the Financial Services Committee.

Through a campaign of letter-writing and meetings with lawmakers, they rallied the National Association of Homebuilders, the National Association of Realtors and other groups that profit from expanded mortgage finance, Baker said in an interview.

The Fannie Mae Foundation in 2002 gave $38 million to more than 1,000 affordable housing associations, including $700,000 to the Local Initiatives Support Corp., a nonprofit group that seeks to revive low-income neighborhoods.

The companies "manipulated" the Financial Services Committee, said Rep. Christopher Shays, 58, another Republican committee member, in an interview. They use such tactics as paying firms not to lobby against them, Shays said.

Cave, 32, Haines, 46, and other lobbyists declined to comment. Freddie Mac spokeswoman Sharon McHale said she has never heard of the company hiring lobbyists not to work against them.
McHale said Freddie Mac is "very well outgunned" and must vie for lawmakers' attention against more powerful rivals. These include Wells Fargo & Co., the largest U.S. mortgage lender, GE Capital Corp. and other companies that support FM Policy Focus, a group that seeks to prevent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from expanding into new areas of mortgage finance.

Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Franklin Raines said that while the company supports "having a strong, credible, well-funded regulator," the authority must "also preserve our mission, which supports the housing finance system."

"Congress needs to be extraordinarily careful to avoid changes that would undermine our mission and stifle the flow of low-cost mortgage capital and mortgage innovations," Raines, 54, said in a speech this month in Washington. "No one wants to harm homeowners."

To protect its interests, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac enlist as lobbyists former senior staff at the White House, Treasury and congressional committees.

David Horne, a former counsel with the House Financial Services Committee, registered this year as a Freddie Mac lobbyist. So did Recording Industry of America Chairman Mitch Bainwol, a former chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Among other hires, they were joined by Richard Roberts, a former commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission and aide to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, who guides company-related bills in the Senate.

Fannie Mae took on two other former Shelby aides, Lendell Porterfield and Raymond Cole. It hired Ken Duberstein, a Fannie Mae director and former chief of staff for President Ronald Reagan, and Steve Ricchetti, a deputy chief of staff in the Clinton administration.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lobbyists this year have also focused on other banking and finance issues unrelated to the oversight legislation, including a tax credit promoting homeownership among low-income Americans.

Two weeks before the Financial Services Committee postponed a planned Oct. 8 vote on tightening regulation, Fannie Mae gave $1 million to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
The donation was the seed money for a program to increase homeownership among Latinos in 63 congressional districts. Five members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus serve on the House Financial Services Committee.

"It's the kind of largesse that gets noticed, that people remember," Sununu said.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "work more comprehensively to insure against political risk than any other companies in America," said Rep. James Leach, a 61-year-old Iowa Republican on the House Financial Services Committee. "They are the most effective on the Hill today."

www.home-mortgage-loan-refinancing.com...



posted on May, 11 2004 @ 01:05 PM
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One of John W. Snow’s first duties after taking office was to push Bush’s new tax cut plan. This administration could care less about the poor, middle class or the elderly. Their only concern is for themselves and their rich friends in the “good old boy club”. Let’s take a look at his tax plan.


Bush Tax Cuts


Many members of the Bush administration stand to benefit handsomely from the new cuts: "Treasury Secretary John Snow tops the list with a $275,000 windfall... Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld could pocket an extra $184,000. And not far behind is the $181,000 that could go to Secretary of Commerce Don Evans," according to AFSCME.

In fact, many Senators themselves are likely to reap enormous windfalls. For example, Bill Frist, the Senate Republican leader, has an estimated net worth of $20 million.


"And the new treasury secretary, what a record we have here! John Snow, chairman of a champion corporate tax-dodger. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, Snow's company, CSX Corp., a railroad, paid no federal income tax at all in three of the past four years. Instead of paying taxes, CSX supplemented its over $1 billion in pretax profits (Los Angeles Times) over the four years with a total of $164 million in tax rebate checks from the federal government. Just the guy we need at Treasury — makes a profit, pays no taxes and gets tax rebates on the taxes he didn't pay. During the same period, CSX gave Snow $36 million in salary, bonuses, stock and options, and forgave a $24 million loan so he would not lose money along with other shareholders as the company's stock price declined. Lends a whole new meaning to 'Snow job.'

"Snow's appointment also enthused our friends at Public Campaign, who found that under Snow's leadership, CSX became one of the 100 biggest overall campaign contributors from 1989 to the present. 'The company consistently ranked in the top 10 among transportation companies in influence-buying, giving $5.9 million in that period. Republicans got 72 percent of the total.'

"But what a payoff on the investment! A mere $5.9 million in campaign contributions over 13 years and they got $164 million in the last four years in tax rebates without ever paying taxes. I'm telling you, this guy Snow is a genius, and I have perfect faith that as the Bush team moves ahead to cut more taxes for the rich — because we already have deficit — fight a $200 billion war and increase defense spending, the books at Treasury will balance nicely."


Think because you have money in the stock market you might have a stake in eliminating the dividend tax, the centerpiece of the president's tax cut — $300 billion over 10 years? (You probably think you have money in the stock market because your 401K keeps going down — that would be 40 million Americans.) But no! This tax break doesn't apply to your dividends! The money in your 401K from both savings and dividends are tax sheltered until you withdraw the money — then all of it gets taxed as ordinary income. You don't get any tax break on your dividends — that only goes to the investor class. According to Kevin Phillips, 1 percent of investors pocketed 42 percent of the stock-market gains between 1989 and 1997, while the top 10 percent of the population took 86 percent. These people need a tax cut! They haven't been getting their share!

According to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the effect of eliminating dividend taxation is that the average benefit for those making less than $10,000 would be $6, and average benefit for those making more than $1 million would be $45,098. Quick, high-schoolers, let's practice up for the those SATs by figuring out by what percentage $45,098 is bigger than $6.

Bush also wants to accelerate the income-tax cuts slated for 2006. Look at this folly. The top 5 percent of taxpayers would get 70 percent of the benefits on that one. The bottom 80 percent would get 6.5 percent of the benefits. Ditto with accelerating the 2004 tax cuts: 64.4 percent to the top 5 percent of taxpayers; 7.7 percent to the bottom 80 percent.

One of those people who can't handle numbers, need something visual to work with? Find the Urban-Brookings charts published in the Jan. 7 New York Times showing who gets how much of this tax cut. You can bareley see the lines that measure the relief until you get above the 99th percentile.

Naturally there will be a lot of spinning on these tax cuts in the weeks ahead, with numbers being tossed around like confetti. We'll probably need John Paulos, the innumeracy guy, to referee. I recommend the Center for Tax Justice (www.ctj.org), whose computer model is widely respected.

Speaking of damn lies and statistics, one of the little games being played in Washington is that the Republicans want to switch to Enron accounting on the economy. They're leaning on both the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation to change the way they make their economic estimates. According to the R's, "static scoring" — as opposed to your "dynamic scoring" — overestimates the cost of tax cuts by ignoring their role in boosting economic growth. Why, claim the R's, tax cuts pay for themsleves! If that's so, why are all the states going broke? Bring on Arthur Andersen and mark-to-market accounting — that'll perk up the economy.

The only good part of the Bush's tax cut plan is the $400 increase in the tax credit per child — at least that spreads it around a little. Naturally, that's the one part of the plan right-wingers hate.

As we all wade into these numerical battles over exactly how much of this tax cut goes to the very rich, the more fundamental question is whether it's a good idea — either economically, or in terms of social justice, to have the very rich get very much richer than they already are.

Contrary to the paranoid fantasists on The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, populists are not motivated by some burning resentment of the rich — we don't spend our lives in an envious funk that someone else is better off than we are. "No skin off my nose" is the general attitude, with others coming in at "Lucky them" or "Good for them." The problem is that the rich are screwing up our democracy. Less than 0.1 percent of the U.S. population gave 83 percent of all itemized campaign contributions for the 2002 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. According to the Houston Chronicle, just 48 wealthy Texas families provided more than half the campaign funds for the major Republican state candidates this fall.

How dumb do you have to be not to be able to connect the dots here? Law, policy and regulation are consistently shaped to favor the rich over the rest of us, and that, dammit, is not fair, it is not right, it is not the country we want and for which we are asked to sacrifice.


Tax Plan Keeps Big Tax Breaks for Wealthy


The tax cut plan approved by House and Senate negotiators last night offers the wealthiest
one percent of Americans an average of almost $100,000 in tax reductions each over the next
four years. At the same time, the final bill sharply scales back the already modest middleincome
tax cuts included in earlier bills, by phasing out those provisions after two years.

A computer analysis of the Republican tax plan by the Institute on Taxation and Economic
Policy finds that over the next four years:

  • Almost two-thirds of the bill’s tax cuts will go to the best-off 10 percent of all
    taxpayers, and well over half will go to the top five percent.

  • In contrast, the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers will get only 7.8 percent of the tax
    cuts, averaging less than $100 a year over the next four years.

  • The average tax reduction for the richest one percent over the next four years will total
    $96,634. Over that period, this tiny but wealthy group will enjoy 36 percent of the tax
    cuts. Starting in 2006, when only the reduction in taxes on capital gains and dividends
    would be in effect, the best-off one percent will get 53 percent of the bill’s ongoing tax
    benefits.


“Congressional Republicans and President Bush have made it clear who they really care about,
and it’s not the average taxpayer,” said Robert S. McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice.
“This bill’s extravagant tax cuts for the very rich will come at the expense of everyone else and
our children, who’ll have to pay back, with interest, the hundreds of billions of dollars that the
government will borrow because of this irresponsible and unfair bill.”


The Final Tax Cut Bill Would:


  • Accelerate the reductions in the top four tax rates enacted in 2001, making them
    effective in 2003, rather than partially in 2004 and fully in 2006.

  • Accelerate the expansion of the size of the lowest, 10 percent tax bracket to 2003 and
    2004, but then revert back to the prior levels thereafter.

  • For married couples, make already scheduled increases in the standard deduction and
    the level at which the 25 percent tax bracket begins partially effective in 2003 and 2004
    only, and then revert back to the prior levels thereafter.

  • Increase the per-child tax credit to $1,000 in 2003 and 2004, and then revert back to
    the prior levels thereafter.

  • Temporarily increase the alternative minimum tax exemption, in 2003-04 only and then
    revert back to current law thereafter.

  • Starting in 2003, cut the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 15 percent.

  • Expand business tax write-offs through 2005 — a $60 billion tax cut over the next two
    calendar years.


The bill would also provide a relatively small amount of aid to state governments.



RESOURCES:

www.ctj.org...

www.disinfopedia.org...

www.ctj.org...

www.commondreams.org...


[Edited on 11-5-2004 by kinglizard]



posted on May, 12 2004 @ 01:11 PM
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John Snow began his business career as a Washington lobbyist. John Snow is the former chairman of the Business Roundtable, a powerful trade group made up of some of the biggest corporations in the country, comprised of 250 chief executive officers of the nation's largest companies. The group has spent millions of dollars lobbying issues including trade and tax reform. Meanwhile, CSX, under his leadership, has contributed nearly $5 million to federal parties and candidates since 1989, mostly to Republicans.

The Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading corporations with a combined workforce of more than 10 million employees in the United States and $3.7 trillion in annual revenues.

During his tenure as Chairman from 1994 through 1996, he played a major role in supporting passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Health Benefits Coalition, for example, is underwriting the July 4 advertising campaign with the Business Roundtable, which represents the biggest U.S. corporations. The coalition is made up of such lobbying heavyweights as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Health Insurance Association of America, the National Association of Manufacturers and Aetna U.S. Healthcare. The coalition has spent $2 million this year trying to blunt support for the mandate allowing workers to sue employers.
__________________


When you dedicate you life to representing the interest of big business and lobbying for favorable decisions in support of these groups how can the American public believe that he has changed his “tune” and is now working in the interest of the working class public.


RESOURCES:

www.washingtonpost.com...

www.brtable.org...

www.disinfopedia.org...


[Edited on 12-5-2004 by kinglizard]



posted on May, 12 2004 @ 02:39 PM
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Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham

A brief background;

Born in East Lansing, Michigan on 6/12/1962, graduated from Michigan Law School in 1986. Spencer Abraham was chairman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1983 til 1990.Between 1990 and 1991 Abraham was Deputy Chief Of Staff to Vice President Dan Quayle. He was then co-chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee from 1991 til 1993. Abraham was elected into the senate in 1994, representing Michigan from 1995 to 2001.
In January 2001 Abraham was sworn in as Energy Secretary.

While representing Michigan in the Senate Abraham authored several pieces of IT related legislation; the Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act, the Government Paperwork Elimination Act and the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, as well as 18 other pieces of legislation.

Abraham is a founder member of the Federalist Society, an organisation that appears to be very right wing, against civil rights for ethnic minorities, gays and women.

As Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham has made Yucca Mountain the USA's first nuclear waste store, launched a big fuel cell research program to try to reduce cars, and tried to increase the departments role in international nuclear non-proliferation.

While sitting on the senate Abraham proposed scrpping the Department of Energy, the deartment he now heads.

Political stances

Abortion: anti;voted YES for bans on military abortions and partial birth abortions in 1999 and 2000

Budget: voted YES on prioritizing reducng national debt over cutting taxes.(2000)

Civil rights: anti; Voted NO on expanding hate crime to cover sexual orientation(2000), NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation(1996), YES on prohibiting same sex marriage(1996), YES on ending special funding for minority and women owned business.(1997)

Crime; favours harsher punishments, voted YES on limiting death penalty appeals(1996), YES on limiting product liablilty lawsuits(1996), voted YES on $1.15 per year to the COPS program(1999)., supports harsher punishments for gun crime.

Drugs: anti; supports harsher punishment; voted YES on increasing penalties for drug offences (1999).

War; voted yes on using all force necessary in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Poverty: supports welfare reform.

Immigration; believes in allowing immigration; giving visas to skilled workers; but supports lmiting welfare for immigrants.

HOMELAND SECURITY:
Voted NO on adopting the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. (Oct 1999)
Voted NO on allowing another round of military base closures. (May 1999)
Voted YES on cutting nuclear weapons below START levels. (May 1999)
Voted YES on deploying National Missile Defense ASAP. (Mar 1999)
Voted YES on military pay raise of 4.8%. (Feb 1999)
Voted YES on deploying missile defense as soon as possible. (Sep 1998)
Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex basic training. (Jun 1998)
Voted NO on favoring 36 vetoed military projects. (Oct 1997)
Voted YES on banning chemical weapons. (Apr 1997)
Voted YES on considering deploying NMD, and amending ABM Treaty. (Jun 1996)
Voted YES on 1996 Defense Appropriations. (Sep 1995)

SOURCES:
www.whitehouse.gov...
www.opensecrets.org...
www.mediatransparency.org...
www.infoplease.com...
www.climatescience.gov...
www.factmonster.com...
www.house.gov...
www.issues2000.org...


The COPS program
www.cops.usdoj.gov...

[Edited on 12-5-2004 by minimi]



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 04:10 PM
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John W. Snow is a failure and a thief just like many top CEO’s in this country.


For 12 years Mr. Snow was the chairman of the CSX Corporation, the railroad company. During his 12 years with the company he received more than $50 million in salary. Since 1997 Mr. Snow's pay has increased by 69 percent. The stock price of CSX has fallen 53 percent from its 1997 high, including a dramatic nose dive in 2000. And it was in the year 2000 that the company did what the trustee of the United ESOP should have done. It reversed a $25 million loan it had made to Mr. Snow. Here is how it worked.

In 1996 Mr. Snow and other executives were permitted to buy stock in CSX using money they had borrowed from the company. Mr. Snow borrowed $25.4 million from CSX, and put up shares worth $7 million as a down payment. Explaining this slightly odd transaction, the company explained that by having executives own lots and lots of CSX stock, their interests were closely aligned with other CSX shareholders and they would, therefore, be more inclined to act in the best interests of the company. In justifying the odd arrangement the company said that the officers who took advantage of the deal were at considerable risk because in Mr. Snow's case, for example, he remained liable on the $25.4 million loan until it was fully paid and would thus, presumably, suffer should the stock price drop.

That was 1996. Then along came 2000. The stock had by then fallen 40 percent from its 1996 levels. The company concluded that the program in which Mr. Snow participated was not as good as it seemed in 1996. So it cancelled the program. It took back the shares Mr. Snow had purchased, returned the $7 million worth of shares he had used as a down payment (which by then were worth only $4 million) and cancelled Mr. Snow's $25.4-million note. That was a very nice thing for Mr. Snow since he didn't have to pay back the $25.4 million.


www.commondreams.org...



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 02:58 PM
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HOW TO PERCEIVE THE AGENDA OF WASHINGTON



An excellent example exposing the connection:


[align=center]This article shows how those who fund the elections control the politicians' policies. It is through the BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE.[/align]

By John B. Judis, In These Times, February 21, 1994



The Roundtable is little known outside Washington, but in 3 decades it has become the nation's most powerful lobby on economic issues. It reflects the views of the biggest U.S. Companies. The Roundtable has shaped the laws governing labor unions, corporations, and financial institutions. It was the prime mover behi9nd the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The rise of the Business Roundtable reflects the decline of the American pluralsim. From the '30s through the 60s, business had the loudest but by NO means the onlyvoice in government. Key decisions were also influenced by other competing interests, including labor, farmers, small business and professionals. In the 6Os, economist John Kenneth Gaibraith argued that government served to mediate between the countervailing powers of business and labor. But Gaibraith could not make that claim today, when one voice increasingly drowns out the rest.

The Business Roundtable was founded in 1973 by John Harper, the head of Alcoa Aluminum, and Fred Borch, the CEO of General Electric. Harper and Borch were concerned about growing public hostility toward corporations evidenced by support for government regulation of the workplace and environment and about the power of unions to squeeze corporate profits in an increasingly competitive international market. On a trip to Washington, the two CEOs talked with John Connally, Nixon’s secretary of the treasury, and Arthur Bums, the chairman of the Federal Reserve. Connally and Burns advised them to set up a lobbying organization that would specifically represent large banks and corporations.

It hadnt been done before. Big business had its own organization, the Business Council, but the council did not lobby. In Washington, large banks and corporations lobbied on their own or through trade associations. They could also work through the Chamber of Commerce, but that organization was dominated by smaller firms.

For the most part, big banks and corporations maintained an amicable relationship with labor leaders, working together to raise the minimum wage and to introduce Medicare and other social legislation. But Harper and Borch now saw the need for a single lobbying organization that represented corporate America against the demands of labor unions, consumers and environmentalists. Economist Kim McQuaid later described it as a super holding company for big business political influence.

By design, the Roundtable was small and select consisting of some 200 CEOs from the largest banks and corporations. Harper was the first president, followed by Thomas Murphy of General Motors, Irving Shapiro of Du Pont and Clifford Garvin of Exxon. From the beginning, the Round-table enjoyed remarkable success. It played a key role in defeating an anti-trust bill in 1975 and a Ralph Nader plan for a Consumer Protection Agency in 1977. And it helped dilute the Humphrey-Hawkins full employment bill.

But the Roundtables most significant victory was in blocking labor law reform. Increasingly stymied by employers who ignored the National Labor Relations Act, labor unions sought to strengthen labor law to make it more difficult for companies to intimidate workers who wanted to form unions. Fearful of defeat, the AFL-CIO produced a timid bill that, after it was unveiled in 1977, passed the House easily and won the initial support of several large unionized corporations, including General Electric and General Motors. But the Roundtable voted to oppose the bill, and its members, including GM and GE, followed suit. Through its aggressive lobbying, it prevented the bills Senate supporters from rounding up the 60 votes in the Senate necessary to withstand a filibuster.

The defeat of labor law reform signaled the end of New Deal-style pluralism in Washington. From then on, almost every major government economic initiative bore the distinct mark of the Roundtable. In fiscal policy, for example, the Roundtable was responsible for broadening Reagan’s tax cut plan to include a sharp reduction in corporate taxes.

The Roundtable defined the reach of trade policy, which, it argued, should be focused on opening foreign markets to American trade and investment but not on regulating either foreign investment in the United States or American overseas investment. The Omnibus Trade Act of 1988 identified with the Democratic Congress in fact reflected most closely the thinking of the Business Round-table. In 1990, the Roundtable urged George Bush to initiate a free trade agreement with Mexico. Last year, the Roundtable lobbied for NAFTA and against any strong side agreements on labor and the environment. It provided the money and leadership for the main pro-NAFITA lobby, USA*NAFTA [sic].

The Roundtable also continued to block economic reform efforts. During the Reagan and Bush years, it successfully opposed changes in corporate governance that would have made boards of directors and CEOs more accountable to stockholders. In 1986, the Roundtable convinced the Securities and Exchange Commission to forgo new rules on merger and acquisitions rules that might have prevented the speculative bust of the late 80s. Last year, the Roundtable got Clinton to water down his plan to impose penalties on excessive executive salaries. Citicorp CEO John Reed, the chair of the Roundtables Accounting Task Force, argued that Clintons plan would have had negative effects on U.S. competitiveness. Don’t ask how.

The Roundtable began sticking its nose into the health care debate during the Bush administration. Its Health, Welfare and Retirement Income Task Force, chaired by Prudential Insurance CEO Robert C. Winters, cheered Bush’s anemic plan, which consisted mainly of subsidies to the health care industry. The nation’s health care system works well for the majority of Americans, the Roundtable announces in a June 1991 statement. We believe the solutions lie no in tearing down the present system, but in building upon it.

Last March, Winters presented the Roundtables position before the White House Health Task Force. The group, Winters said, opposed requiring employers to insure their employees. It also opposed any price controls on insurance premiums or on doctor and hospital fees. Quick fixes or illusory savings through price controls or government imposed limits on health care spending will not work, Winters argued.

According to Winters, the main way to reduce costs would be to force Americans to join managed care networks and health maintenance organizations. Winters Prudential, of course owns many of these facilities.

Once Clinton presented his own health plan last fall, Winters task force recommended that the Roundtable endorse a rival plan drawn up by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN). Coopers bill would eschew government price controls; it would not require that employers buy insurance for their workers; and it would make insured employees pay taxes on benefits that exceed those of a bare-bones plan. Echoing Winters position, Coopers bill would cede direct control of health care to large insurance companies.

After pleas from Clinton, the Roundtable delayed a final decision on endorsing a health plan until after the State of the Union address. On February 2, in spite of furious lobbying from the administration, the Roundtable came out in favor of the Cooper plan. GM, Southern California Edison and several other corporations had backed the Clinton plan, but its not clear whether they’ll break now from the Roundtables line.

If the past is any guide, the Roundtables opposition to Clintons bill will convince the president that he must reach a compromise with Cooper tossing aside price and premium controls, perhaps delaying indefinitely the employ~ mandate for small business. Like Jimmy Carter, who woo~$ the Roundtables Irving Shapiro, Clinton has bowed and scraped before the Roundtables leadership. Last June, in his address to the Roundtables annual meeting in Washington, he described the organizations members as the most enlightened leaders of our nation, in any walk of life.

After the Roundtables rejection of his plan, Clinton merely expressed his disappointment, rather than using the occasion to point out the narrow self-interest of the CEOs. One White House official explained that the president doesn’t like to bash corporations and likes to govern by consensus. But the question raised by the Roundtables clout is who really sets the terms of the consensus.


The Article


[Edited on 22-5-2004 by kinglizard]



posted on May, 30 2004 @ 02:54 AM
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Guys this thread is going very well, I am happy to have assisted some in this project. Are we still interested in future publication? If so, how do we want to work on proofreading, proofread up to date of publication, or leave it as is?

Any other initial thoughts from anyone else in the project? I haven't gotten anything from Autority or Delta Chaos lately and still want to know if this is a go or if it has fallen into the opposite spectrum.


Feel Free to U2U me, I would love some feedback on my part, as well as anyone who wants feedback on their stuff to email me and I'll be happy to help em



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 12:26 PM
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I think that I have found the last info of John P. Walters that I could, I have studied all that I could find, and I think that this is it.

John P. Walters was nominated by President George W. Bush as Director of National Drug Control Policy (referred to as the "Drug Czar"). Walters had previously served as deputy drug director under President George Herbert Walker Bush.[1]

Walters served as the chief of staff to William J. Bennett, and later served as Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Office of National Control Policy.[2] He "served as acting drug policy director briefly in 1993. He quit in protest when President Bill Clinton sharply reduced the office's staff and announced that he was redirecting antinarcotics policy to focus on hard-core users, while de- emphasizing enforcement and interdiction. ... Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1996, Mr. Walters was scathingly critical of what he called 'this ineffectual policy — the latest manifestation of the liberals' commitment to a therapeutic state in which government serves as the agent of personal rehabilitation.'"[3]

Walters "previously worked at the Department of Education, where he headed the Schools Without Drugs prevention program and then served under William J. Bennett, who was drug czar in the administration of Mr. Bush's father. More recently Mr. Walters has been president of the Philanthropy Roundtable, an association that advises more than 600 donors to charities. He has also served as president of the New Citizenship Project, which promoted the role of religion in public life."[4]


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"The position of drug czar is a crucial one, directing the federal government's $19 billion in anti-drug programs and serving as a moral leader in the just-say-no campaign focused on America's youth. But the need to rally around the flag [following the events of September 11, 2001] and fill an important job do not compensate for Walters' many failings:
"He wants to escalate U.S. military involvement in the Latin American drug war at the expense of funding for domestic drug treatment and education (which have repeatedly proved to be the most cost-effective way of reducing drug use).

"He opposes reform of racially imbalanced sentencing guidelines, such as those that are 100 times stiffer for crack than for powder coc aine.

"He says he will use federal authority to punish doctors in states such as California who prescribe medical marijuana.

"In a Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month, Walters underwent a typical 'confirmation conversion,' trying to curry favor with his critics by recanting or downplaying some of his extreme views. His track record is too long and too distasteful to be cleaned up that easily, however.

"Confirmation of Walters would reverse the nation's trend toward giving priority to drug treatment and education programs. These new policies, which California boosted last year with approval of Proposition 36, are the most effective, economical and humane ways of fighting the scourge of drug abuse."

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, October 30, 2001.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote:
"What really drives the battle against law enforcement and punishment is not a commitment to treatment, but the widely held view that, first, we are imprisoning too many people for merely possessing illegal drugs; second, drug and other criminal sentences are too long and harsh, and third, the criminal justice system is unjustly punishing young black men. These are among the great urban myths of our time." -- Source: May 2001.

Source: www.disinfopedia.org...

I think that I'm ready to start another person.



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 01:28 AM
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I was just wondering since it's been over a month since anyone has said anything, is this project is still alive or not. Have all Sources been exhausted? -Muzz



posted on Aug, 17 2004 @ 09:35 PM
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If this thread dead???? If so someone please tell me, I enjoyed working of this post. -Muzz






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