Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Big Business Crony Capitalist Competition: George W. Bush v. Barack Obama

Let’s compare former President George W. Bush’s alleged big business bias and crony capitalist accusations with those of current President Barack Obama. To do so, please consider the following news story from The New York Times, paying special attention to the last paragraph:

“Since the American-led invasion of 2003, Iraq has become one of the world’s top oil producers, and China is now its biggest customer.

“China already buys nearly half the oil that Iraq produces, nearly 1.5 million barrels a day…

“‘The Chinese are the biggest beneficiary of this post-Saddam oil boom in Iraq,’ said Denise Natali, a Middle East expert at the National Defense University in Washington. ‘They need energy, and they want to get into the market.’

“Before the invasion, Iraq’s oil industry was sputtering, largely walled off from world markets by international sanctions against the government of Saddam Hussein, so his overthrow always carried the promise of renewed access to the country’s immense reserves. Chinese state-owned companies seized the opportunity, pouring more than $2 billion a year and hundreds of workers into Iraq, and just as important, showing a willingness to play by the new Iraqi government’s rules and to accept lower profits to win contracts.

“‘We lost out,’ said Michael Makovsky, a former Defense Department official in the Bush administration who worked on Iraq oil policy. ‘The Chinese had nothing to do with the war, but from an economic standpoint they are benefiting from it, and our Fifth Fleet and air forces are helping to assure their supply.’”

Remember now: this is Iraq we’re talking about, the country that the evil mastermind George W. Bush and his oil-baron Vice President, Dick Cheney, supposedly invaded for its oil alone. Ponder that carefully before moving on to an article from the Washington Examiner about President Obama

“Washington’s think tanks often serve as incubators for administrations-in-waiting. Leave the White House when Democrats take over, spend four or eight years waiting at Heritage or American Enterprise Institute. Lose your Treasury job thanks to a Republican winning, sit tight at Brookings. Sure enough, Obama found a ton of appointees among the ranks of the Center for American Progress, and at least a few have left the Obama administration for CAP.

“But it seems the Obama administration also swaps staff with Google.

“Bloomberg reports that Obama 2012′s data team has moved to Google. But it’s not a buyout out of nowhere. Google CEO Eric Schmidt was part of the Obama campaign all along, according to this Bloomberg story:

“‘During the 2012 campaign, Barack Obama’s reelection team had an underappreciated asset: Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt. He helped recruit talent, choose technology, and coach the campaign manager, Jim Messina, on the finer points of leading a large organization. ‘On election night he was in our boiler room in Chicago,’ says David Plouffe, then a senior White House adviser…’

“This may surprise you if you believed Obama’s campaign rhetoric about him fighting against big business and wealthy executives. But the Google-Obama alliance is long-lasting and intimate.”

Isn't it interesting that Bush/Cheney's big oil didn't profit all that much from the Iraq War, yet big tech – which had been paying next to nothing in taxes, incidentally – is benefiting so greatly under Obama?

It seems safe to conclude then that Bush was either far too incompetent to pull off an international intrigue the size of the Iraq War, getting Congress and other nations on board as he did… or it wasn’t really ever about oil in the first place.

As for the Obama story, well, he’s been a crony capitalist’s best friend all along, snuggling up in bed with General Electric and General Motors, among others since the very beginning. So this isn’t really news at all.

It’s also not difficult to figure out that Bush loses this round to Obama. In a landslide.

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