Energy Firms Lavish Funds on Inauguration
By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - More than $4.5 million from the corporate world has flowed to President Bush's inauguration fund, much of it from the energy industry and some of its executives in contributions of $250,000 each.
Outside the energy sector, New Orleans Saints football team owner Tom Benson gave $50,000 and his companies gave $200,000, the fund reported Friday. Northrop Grumman Corp., the world's largest shipbuilder and second-largest U.S. defense contractor, donated $100,000.
Michael Dell, chairman of Dell Inc., the world's largest personal computer maker, gave $250,000. So did United Technologies, maker products ranging from escalators to aircraft engines.
Investment banking firm Stephens Group Inc. of Little Rock, Ark., gave $250,000. And the education loan firm Sallie Mae gave $250,000.
Occidental Petroleum Corp., whose business stands to benefit from the president's actions concerning Libya, donated $250,000, as did Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company. Exxon Mobil reported record third-quarter profits, thanks to higher prices for oil and natural gas.
In April, Bush took steps to restore normal trade and investment ties with Libya, enabling four American oil companies, including Occidental, to resume commercial activities there after an 18-year absence. Bush's action was a reward to Moammar Gadhafi for eliminating his most destructive weapons programs.
Other donors from the energy sector included Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, who gave $250,000; and former Enron President Richard Kinder, who left the firm five years before it collapsed and now is CEO of one of the largest energy transportation and storage companies in the country. Kinder also gave $250,000. Energy provider Southern Co., which owns utility companies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, gave $250,000. The Nuclear Energy Institute, the policy organization of the nuclear industry, gave $100,000. (my emphasis)
Well it's one week before Christmas and I can't seem to find myself too excited this year. My husband is away in the "frozen North" (Canada) stalking some "celebrity-type" person with a reporter. Lord knows what they are up to.
It is Tobin's birthday today as well. His husband Bob is throwing a drinks party this evening to celebrate it. He's 50 today! I swear we all look (at least to me) like we haven't aged a bit, except for a little gray hair here and there.Not much of note today so far. I have been scanning the news services that I keep an eye on and there is little new. The President and his flunkies are still screwing things up... The media is still reporting the bromides of "the economy is charging forward" and "the war in Iraq is a model of war planning", even as insurgents level election offices in Kurdish controlled Northern Iraq. Elections by the end of January? Believe that and I'll be happy to sell you an election.Something interesting in Massachusetts today...From The Boston Globe:
Some of the largest employers in Massachusetts have decided not to extend health benefits to spouses of gay and lesbian employees, saying their federally regulated health plans are not bound by the Massachusetts court ruling permitting gay marriage. (see story here) It seems FedEx, NStar, Adecco, and General Dynamics have decided not to offer same-sex married couples the benefits they offer their heterosexual couples. It's a disgrace and a slap in the face to all of us who have been married in Massachusetts and those who have worked diligently for those companies over the years. They feel that because the Federal Government doesn't recognize the validity of their marriages, then they should not have to give benefits. I feel that a little NYC-style Massachusetts government intervention is required. Why not have all companies in Massachusetts that do any business with Massachusetts be required to provide benefits, like the NY City Council has just ordered? Now you might feel that "Twit" Romney may not sign such legislation if it came to his desk, but if I recall Bloomberg vetoed the Council's proposal and the Council overrode his veto. There's enough opposition to Romney in the Massachusetts legislature to override him, isn't there? I would hope so.
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