The one thing I enjoy about being a free-lance journalist is the fact I can write about whatever subject matter that comes to mind. I don't wait for my editor to hand me a mundane assignment such as "I want you to cover the story at City Hall. The one where the dog bites the hand that feeds him." Now that would really excite me all to ....! You get my point. One name keeps popping up in my research of various topics and I just can't seem to get away from it. And that name is George W. Bush Jr.
For example, there I was looking for the perfect solution to hunt quail (no pun intended here) and there was his administration being publicized, albeit a minor drop in on page 29 bottom left corner of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in an 'oops' situation. "Bush's Vice-President Cheney Shoots 78 year-old Texas Attorney, Harry Whittington By Accident." And another. Researching the Wild West pioneers, cattle ranching and the good old Texas Rangers I couldn't believe my eyes. The first website to come up was "Bush Pioneers and Rangers" What? Yes sir Pilgrim. That there be right me cowpoke. Just keep reading the following shortened items that received virtually little attention by the national media but did make a huge impact in American politics and American lives.
- At the state level, Metabolife, manufacturers of an ephedra-based (an extract of the plant Ephedra sinica), ECA stack supplement called Metabolife 356 contributed $10,000 to then-Governor of Texas, George W. Bush who intervened to stop regulation which would have banned over-the-counter sales of 'ephedra'. Bush subsequently returned the $10,000 after Metabolifes co-founders, Michael Ellis and Michael Blevins' methamphetamine convictions.
- Passed by the House of Representatives 283-144. and signed into law on October 26, 2005 by President George W. Bush, the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” was a federal law giving the gun industry a broad, nationwide immunity from legal responsibility for its actions. Gun makers and dealers now enjoy a level of protection from tort liability shared by no other industry in North America. --(Does this not ring an alarm bell in what just happened in Arizona to Gabrielle Giffords, 40, killing two other government officials, a nine year old girl, 3 senior citizens and injuring a dozen more some seriously?)--
- The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (also called the Medicare Modernization Act or MMA) is a federal law of the United States signed by President George W. Bush on December 8, 2003. In the year leading up to the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill, the drug company PAC, employees, and their families gave more than $3 million in political contributions. Of these contributions, how much did industry lobbyists earn? Plenty! Bush received $891,208 of the $3 million.
- Bush Pioneers are people who gathered $100,000 for George W. Bush's 2000 or 2004 presidential campaign. Bush Rangers and Super Rangers, were supporters who gathered $200,000+ or $300,000+, respectively. Six Pioneers have been convicted of politics-related crimes. New York Times, October 23, 2003: "A study to be released today shows that the financial community has surpassed all other groups, including lawyers and lobbyists, as the top industry among Mr. Bush's elite fund-raisers. The list of those generating $100,000 and $200,000 now includes chief executives like Henry M. Paulson of Goldman Sachs, John J. Mack of Credit Suisse First Boston and Stanley O'Neal of Merrill Lynch. No wonder they needed a bailout through T.A.R.P.
- Did George W. Bush lie or did he plead the 5th Amendment? Jack Abramoff is a former American lobbyist and businessman convicted in 2006 of mail fraud and conspiracy, was at the heart of an extensive corruption investigation that led to the conviction of White House officials J. Steven Griles and David Safavian, U.S. Representative Bob Ney, and nine other lobbyists and Congressional aides. Although President Bush has said that "he doesn't recall meeting convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the two have reportedly turned up in photos together," according to the Washingtonian and the TIME magazines, which "have reported the existence of about a half-dozen photos showing the two together," the Associated Press reported January 22, 2006. March 2006 stated that: "...Abramoff recently granted a rare press interview to Vanity Fair Magazine, where he asserted President Bush and other prominent figures in Washington knew him very well. He called them liars for denying contact with him". Well, there you have it for today. Tomorrow, I'll discus the ongoing saga of Homer's 'Iliad'. Now that ought to be fun reading. (Yawn)