Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nope, No Conflict Here!

Carlos Slim, World’s Richest Man, Gets Richer Supplying ‘Obamaphones’ to Poor
A Mexican telecom mogul who holds the title of world's richest man, and one of President Obama's top donors are both getting even richer from the U.S. government program that supplies so-called "Obamaphones" to the poor.

Carlos Slim, who has an estimated net worth of $70 billion, owns a controlling stake in TracFone, which makes $10 per phone for each device it provides to poor Americans. The company, whose president and CEO is Frederick “F.J.” Pollak, also makes money from extra minutes and data plans it sells to subscribers who get phones and service through the government's Lifeline program. The program, which began in the mid-1980s, has exploded in the past four years after being expanded from supplying landlines to the poor to providing cellular phones.
I'm sure it's pure coincidence that Slim happens to be a major Obama donor, and his wife is an Obama bundler, and they throw thousand-dollar-a-plate fundraiser dinners at their mansion, right? Interesting, is it not, that George Bush was lambasted for giving contracts to Halliburton because Dick Cheney once worked for them, whereas this is all but ignored. It is simply fascinating to see the raw, naked bias of the media exposed over and over again this election cycle - because if you think that a Republican handing over millions of dollars in government money to a wealthy donor would be kept quiet like this, I have some oceanfront property in Wyoming to sell you...

What's interesting is the comment from US Rep Tim Griffin about the Lifeline program and TracFone:
“I’m not against a company making a profit," Griffin said. "If they are making money off the program, the blame goes to the federal government for creating the program."
I'm hoping they quoted Griffin out of context here, because from my reckoning there's a helluva lot of places that make money off of programs run by the Federal government. Heck, Raytheon, GE, General Dynamics, Boeing, and hundreds - if not thousands - of other private companies make money off of defense contracts. Defense of the US, of course, being one of the few things that the Federal government is actually supposed to do. I'm hoping Griffin had additional comments - like "the program set up to give folks luxury items that should never have existed in the first place" - that would make his statement less likely to indicate he has no idea how the private sector operates...

But, really, the meat of the issue is that here we have a rich guy - a multi-billionaire - making more money off of a government program that skyrocketed once Obama took office. He and his wife donate heavily to Obama and the Democratic party, host fundraisers, etc. - they do all those things that the Democrats routinely accuse the Republicans of doing - and yet the media is curiously silent. Gas prices rose under George Bush and he was accused of collusion with oil industry buddies without a lick of evidence - it just had to be that way! - and yet here we have a clearcut case of someone currying favor with the President of the United States in exchange for lucrative contracts, and there's a collective yawn from the lapdog media.

Once more, with feeling: The only good thing about Mitt Romney winning next month will be that the media will actually start caring about blatant abuses of government programs...

That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)

6 comments:

Roger said...

Ahhh Jay, your comments on the press are so accurate. After Romney wins, you can be certain that the LSM will immediately discover the error of their ways & commence to fully cover all of the actions and policys of the Romney administration. This coverage will be with incredible attention to details, criticism of any & all expenditures with a zeal & vigor similar to their joy at the election of their sainted most magnificent "ONE". The foaming at the mouth and hysterical shrieks of rage about even the smallest item will persist until such time as a new "ONE" descends from heaven to accept their fealty and worship.

Bubblehead Les. said...

What bugs me is the fact that the article doesn't say whether those Phone Contracts were "No Bid." If they were, you mean to tell me that "Slim" was the ONLY ONE to get the Contracts? And that they haven't come up for Renewal/Review?

I thought Elizabeth Warren took care to prevent that kind of stuff from happening when she was working for Barry.

Anonymous said...

Carlos Slim was the sole owner of CompUSA who shut down and sold off portions of the electronics retailer because he was unsatisfied with an 8% return on his invested cash.

Tam said...

"if you think that a Republican handing over millions of dollars in government money to a wealthy donor would be kept quiet like this"

Well, your link wouldn't have gone to FoxNews.com, if it was. ;)

Fiftycal said...

Uh, isn't Slim, the RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD, a MEXICAN citizen? As such, why is he "donating" money to ANY U.S. candidate? Last I heard, "foreign" contributions were ILLEGAL! Just ask the Chinese guy in the Club Fed PRISON that "gave" to the Klintons.

Larry said...

^^this^^

I was wondering this exact same thing.