So much news! Another debate! Another endorsement! Another reason invading Iraq was the WORST DECISION SINCE UH LIKE MAYBE THAT WHOLE DRUG WAR THING. Oh, and who's that in the pic w. pretty skirt-wearing Hillary? That's right, it's another presidential candidate who knows that shady Chicago slumlord! Unrelated: doesn't Hill look sooooo like a Republican in that picture? (Check Drudge to see the whole thing.) So, today, instead of talking about the scary fact that ROMNEY IS LEADING in Florida and we all know how Florida decides elections, or the curious fact that the New York Times did not mention Bill once in its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president, we mostly wound up talking about the Dubai Ports scandal. How things have changed since all that fearmongering terrorist crap, right? MY HEATING BILL FOR ONE.

MOE: Okay, Tony Rezko: hot or not?
JUST KIDDING

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MEGAN:I have to say, as much as I like beards and goatees, I can't get on board with a 'stache.

MOE: Yeah he's a seventiespornstar
Okay, so we have photographic evidence that Rezko and the Clintons hung out. And apparently he's friends with Obama too. I have to say that I love how campaigns always thrust these dumbshit hucksters whose knack for shady deals might be impressive if they weren't such ultimately small shady deals into the limelight.
I mean, you live in a big city (that is not, like, Phoenix) and you pay even the slightest attention to municipal politics and you meet a Tony Rezko every day. That's my uninformed opinion.

MEGAN:I think, too, that it's because the vast majority of big donors are all Tony Rezko - rich, but not old/huge money, that are doing it for the boner they get from access to power.
Like, why spend $2,000 to fund an unknown candidate for state Senate?
So, like, a level of shadiness is to be expected. At least with lobbyists you know why they're there.

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MOE: Funny you should mention lobbyists, former lobbyist!

MEGAN:Is it sad that I started reading and went, "Oh, well, finally they got their shit together!"?
I mean, the ports debacle was this brilliant combination of timing and sneaky, sneaky lobbying by the company that was poised to lose big time in the deal.
They ginned up the controversy over teh A-rabz taking over our ports and letting the terrists win in order to prevent losing a subcontract there because they sucks

MOE: Okay, and that inspired the UAE to hire former Clinton campaign aide Richard Mintz to spearhead this $15 million lobbying effort — and $15 million is a lot in Washington — but they still don't have any press kits and their director of publicity is PREVENTED FROM SPEAKING TO THE PRESS.
Is that my hangover?
Did I read that correctly?

MEGAN:Well, $15 million is a good sized chunk of change, but I'm betting that Mintz is overcharging because he can. You know, being the former adviser of the woman seemingly likely to become President.
Anyway, I just found the article that I was referencing that talks about all the shady lobbying that scuttled the Dubai Ports deal.
So that people don't think I'm talking out of my ass.
But, in answer to your original question, you did read that right, but it's $15 million over 3 years, some of which is intended for redistribution to other groups in town so it's a nice payday for Hillary's boy but not unheard of.

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MOE: Okay, so the Dubai Ports scandal was cooked up by a company in Florida that, among other things, got in trouble for bankrolling a $900,000 romance between the CEO and the widow of its founder in 2000. So yeah, a little lobbying for a good cause probably wasn't much skin off their nose. I wonder who the Eller folks are supporting in the election, since they're based in Florida and there's about to be a primary there. And Romney is in the lead on the Republican side...
Also, should Hillary Clinton not get shit for knocking that Dubai ports deal with one side of her sexy mouth while she applies for dual citizenship or whatever with the other?

MEGAN:Oh, you mean the whole part where her husband is invested there through Burkle's company and stands to make a zillion dollars?
I mean, calling any current politician out for being a flip-flopping hypocrite is like calling them... a politician.

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MOE: Right. I mean, I don't care I guess. We need Dubai and their money. Now, the US economy is not where I would spend my sovereign wealth fund, but I am not one of those believers in capitalism. I mean, a few days ago Drudge made this really big deal about how this stood to be the first BILLION DOLLAR CAMPAIGN wherein a billion dollars were spent on marketing and advertising, and I wanted to point out at the time that that is only about a half billion dollars shy of Nike's annual advertising and marketing budget. NIKE. Not Apple or Microsoft or P&G or the fast food industry, which all spend much more. Money in politics is actually not as the money that is not in politics. At least, with the money in politics, some people pay attention.

MEGAN:Although, I have to say, except when I have to watch them for a job, I ignore campaign commercials. I bail on network TV before an election because no one bothers running political ads on Discovery or Animal Planet.
And I've never worn Nikes.

MOE: Oh are you an Adidas girl?
SPEAKING OF SHOPPING..... what are you doing with your stimulus package?

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MEGAN:Honestly, I'd have to find them and look. I think they might be New Balance. I bought them at DSW for $20
Um, I'm currently not full-time employed. I hear "free money" I think "student loan payment."
Or "new brakes."

MOE: Um, because I just got it, I'm thinking... my utility bill!
I have to ask. How much is yours?

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MEGAN:My utility bill? Or my student loan payment?

MOE: Both!

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MEGAN:My student loan payment is $400 a month for about the next 15 years, give or take. My gas bill is usually about $10-$15 and my electric around $30, but my heat and hot water are included in the condo fee, so it's not an accurate representation.

MOE: Oh. Condo fees. The American Dream, right. Well, it may hearten you to learn that a dropout renter paid more than your student loan payment to heat my TINY MOTHERFUCKING APARTMENT last month.

MEGAN:Ooh, ouch. I lived with a girl in grad school who WOULD NOT ever turn the heat down from 80 in the winter, not that it's really cold here. The month of December when I wasn't around much, she ran up a $330 heating bill, and that was back in 2000.

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MOE: Yeah we keep it pretty warm etc. etc. I'm not going to lie. Does this mean my carbon footprint is, uh, deeper than I thought? Or that that whole global warming thing is a crock of shit anyway?