Tuesday, June 14th — When our dear chum, Henry Kravis sent out invitations for a tony $28,500-a-plate shindig at the 21 Club, all to raise money for John "100 More Years" McCain, we Billionaires were thrilled! It was a perfect opportunity to launch our new "Lobbyists for McCain" campaign. (Of course, all Billionaires For Bush are registered lobbyists. It's a birthright, like being a Halliburton board member.)
Undeterred by the purple-shirted rabble chanting from their free-speech pen across the street, our Billionaire cohort followed McCain into the club shortly after 6:30pm. Thurston Howell IV, dashing in yacht attire complete with captain's hat, strode into the cocktail area, sampling a pig-in-a-blanket from a passing tray. "I'm sure these appetizers are meant to be ironic," he commented to a fellow billionaire. "I'm looking forward to the Congressional Pork Medallions and Chickenhawk Cordon-Bleu, myself." Overheard elsewhere: "I heard Cindy McCain's Ahi Tuna was on the menu, but they pulled it when they found out it was lifted from the Food Network website."
Meanwhile, trouble was brewing outside. The SEIU and Working Families Party demonstrators had grown more vocal, proclaiming that billionaires like buyout kingpin Henry Kravis should NOT pay a lower tax rate than their servants. Preposterous! The First Amendment is such a bother. The Billionaires rushed outside to defend McCain and his pet fundraiser Kravis, telling protesters, "Buy your own president!"
Before long, it was time to regroup and head for the St. Regis Hotel for the after party–only for fundraisers who have raised $100,000 or more for McCain's campaign. Secret Service and New York's Finest waved us a fond farewell as we drove off in our stretch Hummer, leaving a chant of "We're here, we're rich, get used to it!" floating on the breeze of the hot summer night.
Tags: Billionaires for Bush, John McCain
Unreasonable Man Ralph Nader makes it easy. Sure, he's owned corporate stock, dissed the Green Party, and been accused of "spoiling" the election chances of Democrats paddling towards the callow middle — but what can he do for the Billionaires? The splash page for his website asks "which side are you on?" On one side: "Nader/ Gonzales '08." On the other: corporate greed, corporate power, corporate control, the health insurance industry, agribusiness giants, corporate criminals, nuclear power, big banks, drug companies, corporate Democrats, polluters, unionbusters, war profiteers, credit card companies, Wall Street, Big Oil, and corporate Republicans. Have I died and gone to Halliburton? Sign me up for Column B!
Corporations Are People Too
An unprecedented double strike-out in this category. Ralph Nader is single-handedly responsible for giving America safer cars, safer drinking water, safer workplaces and safer food. It was so much more profitable when we could ignore consumer safety…sure, a few consumers would die from time to time, but there are always more in the pipeline.
Loyal to Big Oil
Speaking of pipelines, Big Oil is right there on Ralph's enemies list, along with Big Banks and Agribusiness Giants. Have Nader's Raiders turned into the corporate fat police? ExxonMobil can't help it if it's big boned.
War Profiteering Is Not a Crime
Nader has suggested that the military budget could be cut by $62 billion just by trimming waste and fraud. Ummm….how could I pay for my new chain of islands without waste and fraud?
Clean Air — Can't Sell It, Who Needs It?
Nader has been instrumental in passing the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act, the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, and the law that created the Environmental Protection Agency. Sickening. In fact I just threw up a little in my new Prada clutch. Thanks a lot, Ralph.
Wealth Care, Not Health Care
According to Ralph, health care is a universal right, and he's a staunch advocate of real single-payer health care, unlike the leading Democratic contenders. He once said "the pharmaceutical industry is suffering from a malaise where corporate profits are more highly valued than people's health." I don't need to speak French to know that sounds fantastique to me.
Widen the Income Gap
Nader has criticized "Corporate Welfare Kings," and suggests denying government subsidies to corporations who pay their CEOs more than thirty times what their lowest-paid workers make. That means if I want to keep my prudent and reasonable $600 million salary, my scullery maids would be making $20 million a year. Preposterous — what would a scullery maid do with that kind of money?
It's a Class War… And We're Winning
In The Good Fight, Nader writes "Giant corporations roam the Earth, pitting societies against one another in search of the lowest costs from serf labor…pulling down standards of living in more democratic countries." Again with the giants! Ralph is 6'3", so it can't be a short man's complex…perhaps he had an unfortunate run-in with a giant as a child. Fee Fie Fo Fum!
Tags: Billionaires for Bush, Ralph Nader
As voters in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia head to the polls this Tuesday, Hillary Clinton is trying to convince middle class primary voters that her corporate past and war-boosting present are good for America. But what can she do for the Super Rich?
Hillary is what we call a "blue chip stock". The payoff won't be spectacular, but it'll be reliable. George W. Bush was a show horse: huge dividends, surprise bonuses, and all that Connecticut-via-Texas brush-clearing glamour. Easy to love. But a canny investment strategy includes some workhorses too, and that's where Hillary comes in. True, she talks a progressive line on some issues�and she even believes a lot of it. But she started out as a Goldwater Girl, and we can overlook the appalling talk about universal health care as long as she maintains such deep and meaningful ties to the corporate elite. Plus, her husband brought us NAFTA and GATT, and though she has distanced herself from his legislation, we think she's friendly enough with our corporations to keep the door revolving. And as my friend Monet Oliver de Place notes, it's been Bush or Clinton or Clinton or Bush in the White House for so long, it'd be so much easier not to change the locks.
Four More Wars
Anyone endorsed by comedienne Ann Coulter is bound to offer some advantages to the avid warmonger. Ms. Clinton still stands by her vote for our war, and has avoided saying anything about a timeline for bringing all the troops home. Instead she says that within the first 60 days of her administration, she'd have a big meeting and start bringing troops home. No problem–bring one guy home and you've already started!
Block the Vote
Hillary has a whole section on her website deceptively titled "Strenghthening Our Democracy." Billionaires, this is code. The section is devoted to honest and open elections, complete with paper trails and a national holiday to make sure people can get to the polls. There are 482 billionaires in America, and 80 million voters. My math homework was always done for me by a team of professionals, but even with my rudimentary skills I can calculate that if all of us voted our interests, and all of them voted their interests, we'd lose. Every time. We can't leave these elections to chance! It's rig or lose!
Corporations Are People Too
Hillary was a proud member of the Wal-Mart Board of Directors from 1986-1992, smiling benevolently as other members called unions "blood-sucking parasites." "I'm always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the way we do it better than anybody else," she gushed at a 1990 board meeting. That kind of loyalty can't be bought… Oh wait, yes it can.
One Dollar, One Vote
Unlike certain finicky Democratic candidates, Hillary loves to take PAC money. She's accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from companies like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Pfizer�in fact, she's taken more money from Big Pharma than anyone else in the Senate! Talk about an apple a day. Of course, she says she's not at all influenced by lobbyists even though she takes their money. Just like me with Mumsie and Daddykins' billions.
Destroying Public Services
Madame Clinton is not the plutocrat's pal in this category. Her support for quality public education is grossly apparent, and she's proposed a universal health care plan that seems like it might actually work. Prescription: In case of a Hillary Administration, carry a few extra congressmen in your pocket to counteract any harmful legislation.
Who's Media? Our Media
Clinton is clearly a fan of media consolidation, at least on a personal level�just consider her "caught on tape" conversation with Edwards about excluding other candidates from televised debates. Plus she's cozy with Rupert Murdoch, and she's accepted millions of dollars in donations from the media and telecom industry�how about a little Return On Investment, Hill? Close your eyes, and you can hear the investors chanting: R-O-I…R-O-I…R-O-I…
Tags: Billionaires for Bush, Hillary Clinton