Monday, September 19, 2005

How Liberal Legends Spread

This is how political insinuations passed around as urban legends somehow eventually become fact.

Michelle Malkin reported over a week ago how CNN, and other media sources, were suggesting that rebuilding contracts were going to firms because of their political contacts in the administration.

At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

One is Shaw Group Inc. and the other is Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton.

Of course, as Malkin points out, the Shaw Group Inc. is lead by Jim Bernard, the Chairman of the Lousiana Democratic Party! Hardly seems a likely candidate for a White House insider.

So of course Molly Ivins, who I doubt reads Michelle Malkin, continues this insinuation one step further.

But Cheney has nothing to do with the Halliburton contracts -- that, friends, goes through none other than the noted lobbyist and former head of -- of all things -- the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Since Joe Allbaugh, who was Bush's campaign manger in 2000, left FEMA in December 2002, he has been busy making sure reconstruction contracts in Iraq go to companies that give generously to the Republican Party.

Now, aren't you ashamed of yourself for thinking there's something wrong with that? Besides, Allbaugh is now with a big-time Washington lobbying firm, where he also represents Shaw Group Inc., and -- viola -- Shaw Group, too, already has a $100 million emergency contract from FEMA for housing management and construction, and a $100 million order from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Katrina repair.

Somehow I doubt if the CEO of the Shaw Group were a Republican operative the media would fail to report that. But hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good story?