President Bush picked up his Maxwell Smart shoe phone to call an old “Ranger” buddy for help with international affairs. No, not a Texas Ranger but a Bush/Cheney fundraising Ranger, the label given to those who raise over $200,000 for the campaign. Using the old recess appointment trick, Bush slid Sam Fox, private equity underwriter into the ambassadorship of Belgium.
How did the President do this? In a move worthy of a brutally fought 3 am Yale RISK game, Bush feinted by withdrawing Fox from Senate consideration of the Belgium ambassadorship. Then while abusing the Congress for being gone 2 weeks (while a Republican controlled Congress took a break over 3 times as long last fall to the President’s silence), Bush used the double secret recess appointment trick to lodge a multimillion dollar Republican fundraiser into positions career diplomats used to occupy.
For what is Belgium famous? It’s known for diamond trading which has a distinctly Jewish flavor. The U.S. government has a distinctly pro-Israel stance as evidenced by the recent AIPAC meeting attended by “rock stars” from both major parties. Future Presidential candidates competed for the “who loves Israel” prize.
Belgium also serves as a financial center for the European continent. From this base the United States monitors world wide financial transactions for evidence of terrorism. The SWIFT program is based in Brussels, Belgium. In an eerie coincidence another private equity firm, The Carlyle Group purchased a financial software and services company that very country last fall. FRS Global markets unique products that help banks and financial institutions with “regulatory compliance”. Does that include helping Uncle Sam root around in our financial drawers?
For what is Sam Fox famous? Besides taking over distressed companies and turning them around for massive gains, Sam likes to fund a political winner at any cost. Remember the “Swift boat veterans for truth” negative ads against John Kerry? Sam kicked in a yacht load of money to run the ads. This act held up Fox’s nomination in the Senate.
Sam Fox might the perfect ambassador for a dirty playing, heavy handed, Israeli loving government that wants to contract almost any government service to its buddies. The international monitoring program SWIFT should be broadened to include U.S. politicians, their fundraising and legislative voting patterns. But the Bush “open and transparent” government wouldn’t have such a thing.
One would think in America, the freest country on earth, citizens would have easy access to such information to make informed votes. In this case the people’s representatives didn’t even get to vote as King George used a procedural move to get his way.
Don't worry America is still the finest democracy on Earth, with the freest people? Would you believe we're a pretty good democracy, with mostly free people? How about an average country with obedient citizens? OK, a country run by rich landowners who send business to their friends and don't trust the people to select a President by majority vote, thus the Electoral College...