As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It's The Money

Right from the outset I've stated that this Dubai deal is about the dark underbelly of privatization and global trade, realpolitik on a fiduciary scale. We all know that money can blind you to a lot of things. It sets up strange bedfellows; to take another example, it's like an Orthodox Jew ex-lobbyist and the anti-Semitic ex-leader of Malaysia getting together:

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Monday that disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was paid $1.2 million to organize his 2002 meeting with President Bush, but denied the money came from the Malaysian government.

Mahathir told reporters he was aware a payment was made to Abramoff, but he didn't know who made it. He said he had been persuaded by the U.S. think tank Heritage Foundation to meet with Bush at the time.

"It is true that somebody paid but it was not the (Malaysian) government," Mahathir said. "I understood some people paid a sum of money to lobbyists in America but I do not know who these people were and it was not the Malaysian government."

Mahathir said the Heritage Foundation believed he could help "influence (Bush) in some way regarding U.S. policies."

The Blog of the NJDC expands on this, and shows how there's been quite a bit of projection coming from Team Bush on this one:

In 2004, the Republicans had the gall to accuse John Kerry of an alliance with Mahathir, a vicious anti-Semite...

Let's get this straight -- Republican superstar lobbyist Jack Abramoff works his mojo successfully with the Bush Administration on behalf of vicious anti-Semite Mahathir... and Karl Rove and his minions sent out this libelous piece of mail to Jewish voters?

For more on why Mahathir's access to the Bush Administration was so good, consider this recent LA Times article:

One such GOP outreach featured Mahathir pictured beside Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John F. Kerry and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat above a Kerry quote in which he said "foreign leaders" wanted him to win the election. The campaign mailer suggested Mahathir and Arafat, "renowned for their hatred of the Jewish people," supported Kerry.

On one occasion, Abramoff — an orthodox Jew and a supporter of Israel — was asked whether he was comfortable representing a country led by a man known for anti-Semitic comments.

Abramoff responded, "They pay their bills on time."

Yes, it's the money. And it's also an object lesson for Democrats: whatever the Republicans are using to slander you, you can bet there's the same evidence against them, two-fold.