Monday, August 29, 2005

NYT: "Amry Contract Official Critical of Hialliburton Pact Is Demoted" (Erik Eckholm)

A top Army contracting official who criticized a large, noncompetitive contract with the Halliburton Company for work in Iraq was demoted Saturday for what the Army called poor job performance.
The official, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, has worked in military procurement for 20 years and for the past several years had been the chief overseer of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that has managed much of the reconstruction work in Iraq.

The demotion removes her from the elite Senior Executive Service and reassigns her to a lesser job in the corps' civil works division.

The above is from Erik Eckholm's "Army Contract Official Critical of Halliburton Pact Is Demoted" in this morning's New York Times.

BuzzFlash selected Greenhouse for their Wings of Justice honor last Wednesday and you can read that here.

Erika e-mails to note Saul Landau's "Reagan and Bottled Water" (CounterPunch):

In my youth, I don't recall people drinking from plastic bottles. We used public fountains. Before privatization, bottled water couldn't have competed with tap water. The triumph of bottled over tap water symbolized the decline of the political alliance between the poor majority and the government: the New Deal, that informal pact between unions and other groups of poor people and their representatives in national office. In the mid 1960s, this alliance included including civil rights and inspired the only other meaningful American reform of the 20th Century: the Great Society Program.
Lyndon Johnson's Great Society expanded the New Deal. Between 1964 and 1966, he pushed through The Civil Rights Act and Equal Opportunity Act of 1964, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Medicare Act and Voting Rights Act of 1965, plus programs like Head Start to help poor children of pre-school age, and laws giving legal and medical help to the needy.The most activist sectors of the corporate world had had enough. Led by extreme anti-liberals like Richard Mellon Scaife In 1963 he began supporting the American Enterprise Institute. Other inheritors of fortunes, like Lynde and Harry Bradley, Joseph Coors, Castle Rock Foundation and the Olin Foundation, set up the Heritage Foundation and other think tanks with well-paid "conservative" intellectuals to undo the momentum generated by three decades of liberalism. This anti-New Deal campaign selected its villain as "big government," which they presented as the corrupt waster of taxpayer money.
They represented their vilification of the federal national government as a step to returning power to citizens. Ironically, weakening the government does not return more control to the citizenry. Instead, the great corporations and banks become stronger as government regulations fades. Arthur Schlesinger Jr phrased it as "Getting government off the back of business simply means putting business on the back of government."

Democracy Now! today will offer continued coverage of Camp Casey.

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