« Posh Digs if You Can Get 'em | Main | Sali: Pro-invasive Species? »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

be

incredible - this guy's gotta go... you think he even read the bill?

MountainGoat

Obviously a partisan vote but replacing him won't be easy. That's why shedding light on this sort of thing is so important.

Joki

One angle of this issue is: who are the troops we are supposed to support with our billions of taxpayer funds? I personally do not support these privatized actors in our Iraq war, and see them as a means for continuing the war. The Dems inCongress are now dealing with Bush's Iraq budget with nary a reservation about mercenaries. They should force Bush to provide an itemized budget instead of the vague junk he sends them that they are reviewing right now!

Read about the role of privatized mercenary soldiers and contractors in Iraq:
http://gdaeman.blogspot.com/2007/02/privatizing-war-in-iraq.html
[This site is the most recent information on Blackwater mercenaries dawing down billions from our treasury, that I can find so far.)
"...Currently in Iraq, more than 40 percent of the total occupying force comprises private contractors. For President Bush and his political allies, war has become just another industry to be outsourced, with contractors providing a backdoor means of expanding the occupation through the deployment of private armies.
In his State of the Union address in last month, Bush mentioned a major new initiative in the U.S. disaster response/reconstruction/war machine: a Civilian Reserve Corps. Bush said: “Such a corps would function much like our military Reserve. It would ease the burden on the armed forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them.” But this is precisely what the administration has already done, largely behind the backs of the American people and with little congressional input. Private contractors constitute the second-largest force in Iraq, about 100,000 strong, of which 48,000 work as private soldiers, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

...The problem is that firms such as Blackwater rely primarily on large, taxpayer-funded U.S. government contracts to stay in business, not on the business of private sector customers or clients. Blackwater has a $300-million, no-bid contract (from 2003) with the State Department to guard diplomats in Iraq. Thus, tax dollars are used first to pay to train the troops, then to pay them a lot more to do basically the same job with a private contracting firm, and finally to pay hefty profits to the contracting firm.

...Many of the 48,000 U.S.-funded mercenaries in Iraq are not Americans, and their deaths are not tracked by the Labor Department.
Blackwater and other U.S.-based military contractors have created a private military melting pot by hiring not only Americans, but also mercenaries from Bosnia, Chile, Colombia, the Filipeans, and South Africa. Many of these soldiers-for-hire are veterans of repressive military regimes, including that of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and South Africa’s former apartheid government. Other recruits are impoverished former military personnel desperate for a paying job (Blackwater has a recruitment center in the Philippines)."

The comments to this entry are closed.

Quotes For 2010

  • "The main thing is to keep everybody going down that road as we try to find the answers and solutions to all these problems. It'll be fun! We'll get it done." — Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R-Star) when asked in an Idaho Reports broadcast how the State House will handle making tough budget decisions this year, 1.29.10.

Quotes For 2009

  • "[Some politicians] wouldn't recognize the Constitution if it fell in their laps and called them Daddy." — Rep. Lenore Hardy Barrett (R-Challis) at a tea party tax protest.
  • "Just, you know, putting beans on the table." — former Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) when asked by Nate Shelman (670 KBOI) what he's doing these days.
  • "I said yesterday we hope and pray things will get better before they get worse. It's obvious to me some of you need to do a better job of praying." — Sen. Dean Cameron (R-Rupert), Joint Finance-Appropriation Committee co-chair on the grim economic forecast facing the committee.
  • “We’ve been called a lot of things but we’ve never been called sneaks before.” — Rep. Maxine Bell (R-Jerome) in a budget dispute with the governor's staff over legislators' computer funding.
  • "I’m not wearing rose-tinted glasses. But I am a glass-half-full kind of guy." — Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter attempting to remain optimistic while delivering tough economic news in his State of the State/Budget message.

Quotes For 2008

  • "I am not ashamed that we use a lot of energy in this country. It has made us the most prosperous Nation on the face of the planet. ... Using energy makes us prosperous." — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) during debate on an energy bill that, among other things, invested in alternative and renewable energy sources and repealed tax subsidies for large oil companies. (H.R.6899)
  • "If [Oversight Committee Chairman] Henry Waxman was interested in doing more than just showboat, we'd be there in a heartbeat. It's political grandstanding." — spokesman Wayne Hoffman explaining why Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) was absent from congressional oversight hearings into the financial crisis where, among other things, it was learned that AIG executives indulged in a lavish retreat a week after the bailout.
  • "You know what, campaigns are fast and furious, I accept responsibility that we don't have the right citation there, but the facts I stand by - we are correct about that." — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) reacting to a campaign commercial fact-checking report.
  • "There are people out there without health care, and we need to address that, but it's not as big of a problem as some people would make it out to be" — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) in a Lewiston, ID debate
  • "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power." — President Bill Clinton in a speech at the 2008 DNC
  • "To my supporters, to my champions, to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits, from the bottom of my heart, thank you." — Senator Hillary Clinton in a speech at the 2008 DNC
  • "The America that we know, that the founding fathers envisioned, will cease to exist." — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) speaking at the state GOP convention about the possibility of a Democratically controlled White House and Congress.
  • "Sometimes the problems have to get larger before you can solve them. We can still drive around the potholes, so they must not be big enough." — House Speaker Lawerence Denney (R-Midvale), explaining that lawmakers still need to be convinced about the extent of road maintenance problems before they'll agree to tax or fee increases.
  • "Those people that believe in shooting animals through the fences . . . ought to turn the rifle the other way." — Former Governor Cecil Andrus, at sportsmen's rally, decked out in full camouflage, urging opposition to "shooter bull" operations on domestic elk farms.
  • "GARVEE is like swallowing a raw egg - it seems to be one of those things that's really hard to stop in the middle of." — Rep. Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian), in comments on a package of transportation bills introduced by House GOP leaders at an emergency committee meeting.
  • "I'm a professional dairyman. I have milked and milked everything I can possibly milk." — State Police Maj. Ralph Powell, arguing that the state crime lab's bare-bones operation has reached its limit and now costs the state money as testing is sent to private labs.
  • "Idaho is ranked last in the nation in protecting the safety of children in day care centers." — Sen. Kate Kelly (D-Boise), in support of an unsuccessful move by Senate Democrats to force a daycare standards bill out of committee.
  • "This [anti-discrimination bill] is something we will propose every year until it passes." — Rep. Nicole LeFavour (D-Boise), responding to the latest BSU Public Policy survey in which 63 percent of Idahoans think it ought to be illegal to fire someone for being gay or seeming to be gay.
  • "I assumed it would be a bunch of radical college students, so to fit the part, I grew a goatee, got a revolutionary T-shirt and put on some ratty jeans." — Rep. Curtis Bowers (R-Caldwell) in an Idaho Press-Tribune opinion explaining how he disguised himself to uncover alleged communist plots.

Quotes For 2007

  • "Divorce is just terrible. It's one of Satan's best tools to kill America." — Rep. Dick Harwood (R-St. Maries) describing the work of the Idaho Legislature's Family Task Force.
  • "I am not gay; I never have been gay." Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) in a statement responding to news of his arrest and subsequent guilty plea to disorderly conduct after an incident in an airport men's room.
  • “Most of the hospitals in this country have Christian names. If you think Hindu prayer is great, where are the Hindu hospitals in this country? Go down the list. Where are the atheist hospitals in this country? They’re not equal.” — Rep. Bill Sali (R-ID-01) to the Idaho Press-Tribune editorial board in response to criticism of his views regarding Hindu prayer in the Senate.
  • "We are all Nintendo warriors today. Remember that game, that electronic game, a few years ago, push buttons zim, zam, boom and it was all over with? That is not the way you fight war, although we as a society have grown to believe that." — Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) during debate on an amendment to a bill providing for defense authorization.
  • "While we are Democrats and Republicans, in our hearts we are all Idahoans." — Sen. Clint Stennett (D-Ketchum), reaching out to Republicans while outlining the Democratic agenda for the 2007 legislative session.
  • "One of the hardest things we've had to do here is taking off our party hats." — Rep. Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian) on a proposal to restrict Idaho's primary elections.
  • "This is outrageous. The people of Idaho are entitled to have their representatives base their votes on the merits of a bill, not on who backed the loser in a speaker's contest." — Former GOP Gov. Phil Batt responding to accusations of political retribution taken by House Speaker Denney (R-Midvale) on other members.
  • “There was one of those six projects that was removed altogether. Why? Because the senator and the representatives from that district were from the wrong political party. We need to take a step back" — Sen. Dean Cameron (R-Rupert) to the Senate when debating the GARVEE bill.
  • "I'm prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself." — Gov. Butch Otter, speaking to a hunters' rally at the Statehouse.
  • "To get a kick out of smoking industrial hemp, it would take a cigar the size of a telephone pole." — Rep. Tom Trail (R-Moscow), downplaying the relation between hemp and its cousin marijuana
  • "I guess I would just make a plea saying we need the money. You know we need the money on roads." — Rep. JoAn Wood (R-Rigby), on proposed bill to collect gas tax from sales on Indian reservations.
  • "No one wants to carry the canoe bill." — Rep. Eric Anderson (R-Priest River), agreeing with Gov. Otter that non-motorized boats should also pay registration fees, but noting any such proposal will be a tough sell.
  • "I don't think we should let the threat of a lawsuit force us to implement something that's not well thought out." — Abbie Mace, Fremont County Clerk, testifying against a "modified-closed primary" bill being pushed by GOP leaders.
  • "There's a lot of things that I pointed out in my State of the State (address) that haven't passed. Unfortunately, I can't think of one that has." — Gov. Butch Otter, addressing reporters on the legislative session so far.
  • "I say let's have a hearing and take our clothes off and go after it." — Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, trying to get lawmakers to print his bill.
Blog powered by Typepad

  • The 2007 Weblog Awards
    Best Political Coverage