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They cost you too…
The drop in payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2% results in a savings of about $1000 a year to every wage earner.
(If truth were widely known, that tax cut is actually a bad idea. It hemorrhages a dying social security fund, requiring the eventual death of the program or an expensive emergency last ditch surgery in the future.)
But it is hard not to give a $1000 present to every voter. Even if it only comes out as $19 dollars and change each week… But, still again, if your electric bill is $198 and you only have $189 in your account, that additional amount is, well, a lifesaver…..
But, Republicans in the House, even after Republicans in the Senate voted passage, overwhelmingly voted….. not to vote on the measure…
They didn’t vote against it… THEY VOTED NOT TO VOTE ON IT……
(speculation is that they lacked the votes to keep it from passing)..
So, how does that relate to you?
House Republicans (read Tea Party) just voted NOT TO VOTE on whether or not you will be losing an extra $20 a month out of your next paycheck.
Imagine what this is doing to payroll clerks around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to family budgets around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses who rely on consumer spending around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses heavily involved in the financial sector, around this country?
So what would normally happen?
Normally a group that can’t find agreement, acknowledges the sad fact, and long before the deadline, announces that they failed to reach agreement and that things would continue as they were on a temporary basis, to unfortunately allow for more time to solve differences.
But NOOOOOOOOOOOO, …. WE ARE STUCK WITH A TEA PARTY THAT FUCKS THINGS UP.
Instead, we have a vote not-to-vote, then get all sorts of very lame excuses from those who are delaying, none of which apply to the real problem that Social Security is doomed unless drastic action gets taken (higher rates, not lower), and we get nothing….
The tax cut will expire…
It is like sequestering a jury in a room, where everyone after much fact-covering argument has agreed to a judgment, except for one person who’s been bought off. And nothing, nothing, logic, emotional appeal, bullying, snuggling up to, befriending, produces any change. And you go years, every working day, to the same court house, the same jury room, they same chair at the same table, hear the same arguments, hoping against all odds, that today, he will see the light and switch. You go the next day.
That is today’s Congress. Held hostage by Tea Party Republicans who live in a dream world untouched by the reality of living under $185,000 a year. Like that bought-out juror, every day, they hold up progress with the unjustified belief that, if they wait long enough, the other 11 jurors will give up and sway over to the sole juror’s way….
Two things can happen… 1) return to the public and announce a hung jury, and do a complete retrial.. or 2) sneak up to that one juror, put a gun to his head, say nothing, pull the trigger, clean up the mess, dispose of the body, then go out to the public and announce what the 11 of you have decided…..
One is the nice way, sanctioned to due process of law. The other is the American Way.
It’s time to initiate the kavipsian policy of expression or what is otherwise known as “Show Us How You Really Feel”… Who knows? It could become the next great movement? The next time someone you know (or don’t), says anything about how millionaires should keep their tax cuts and the poor should pay, nod your head in agreement, smile a little bit, then hit them as hard as you can in their mouth, I mean as hard as you can! Put them flat on the ground holding their jaw… Then loudly say, “Don’t every talk that stupid way to me again!” Who knows, if 99% or all 303,930,000 would respond that way to our fellow congressional delegates, and the other 3.9 million of their like who advocate such madness, we might actually get the very progress we need, not because of intimidation, but because such policy is right….
For those who argue expression of violence is un-American, I’ll remind them that tonight, is John Wayne Night on AMC: view it!… I argue that such action is VERY American and perhaps it has been the lack of such spontaneous expressions of frustration from working American people, that has caused the logjam where nothing gets done because of one holdout, who thinks he can sway the world to his opinion and face no consequences… ….
Practice now, by punching brick walls.
It was as if the whole town was getting excited about the new Wal*Mart coming in on it’s edges, and the town council votes to allow it, only if the owner of that town’s businesses, can be in charge and set Wal*Mart’s prices.
What then is the point?
That, my friends, is what Health Care Relief is, without the public option…
Don’t take my word for it: Here are the words of Republican chairman Michael Steele, in an recent ad lit piece seeking donations to the RNC….
“Obama and liberal Democrats in Congress are pushing for a government-run, health-care scheme that is inefficient, limits choices and hemorrhages taxpayer money like the Post Office,”
Great Point: It costs me, if I use Federal Express, $7.95 for them to come to my door and pick up a letter… It costs me .44 cents if I choose to use the inefficient, choice limiting, and taxpayer hemorrhaging U. S. Post Office to drop by and pick up the same letter…
If the same were true for health care, which would benefit you for the same service? The cheaper inefficient, choice limiting, and taxpayer hemorrhaging bureaucratic public option, that happened to be much cheaper, or a service that charges 1700% more for the same option, which no one can afford?
The sprawling bureaucracy is starting to look good…
It is obvious why Steele brings up this point. The Democratic reform plan modifies the current price structure and that threatens their enormous profits, generated from hospital charges like $6,000 a day for semi-private rooms, $30 for two aspirin and a single round of chemotherapy for $13,000. Of course such costs are ridiculous; but they get collected every day, because there is no other option for citizens to turn to…
Public option is the only way Health Care can be reformed… There can be no relief, no lowered costs, and by default, no hope for America, if the public option is not somewhere in the Health Care Plan that passes Congress.
Private only? Might as well not build that Wal*Mart on the town’s edge if your going to keep the same high prices Colonel Potter charges in his downtown businesses, simply because he can….
Public option is the Wal*Mart of Health Care… Without it. We’re poor.
Despite the economic downturn, Wal*Mart has done well…
It would make sense to use the same approach with health care… Of course Wal*Mart is a private corporation…. But since no private corporation is willing to jump into the fray of reforming health care, it befalls the people, through their representative government to do it for them…
Biden decribed how it works
“So, the profits might not be as high per person they cover, but there will be a much larger pool of paying customers,” he said.
That is exactly how Wal*Mart works. Each of us pays much less for each of our individual products. We see savings. However as a whole, enough of us shop there allowing Wal*Mart to do rather well, compared to most other entities…
Some say the public option will bankrupt those private ones… Examples? None. Examples of the alternative? FedEx, DHL. and UPS all compete with the U. S. Postal Service. You get what you pay for..
So all those protesting the public option who use the post office to spread their literature, are really arguing against what works best for them… Kind of hard to take them seriously, isn’t it?
A public option lowers rates for everyone… Of course some people will be hurt… Those current Health insurance executives with 7 or 8 homes, will only be able to afford 4 extra homes now. But you and me? We will be able to afford going to the doctor….
As I pulled up to the pump this morning, due to a set of bizarre circumstances, I was able to remember exactly the price of gas I paid for at the same time, at the same gas station this time last year. For those of you with long memories you also may remember at this time in 2006 we were paying around 3.29 per gallon of regular.
Of course with public outrage, we were told there was nothing that could be done about it. Refineries were off line. Crude was too high, world wide demand was forcing up the price. We grumbled and willingly paid and then found out that Big Oil scored a 35 billion profit in one quarter.
No one mentioned the real reason. That was because republicans controlled all three branches of government. There was no way the people could investigate and determine whether they were paying a fair price, or being gouged. And for some unknown reason, any attempt by a Democrat to hold a public hearing, was squashed by both Hastert and Frist.
Face reality. If there is no reason to not to raise prices, why would one forgo the extra money pouring into the corporate coffers? And because of the tremendous amounts of money funded to “W” for both his campaigns, and the tight connections between Cheney and the Big 4 oil executives, they were guaranteed no interference from any of the branches of our republican government.
But that changed in November. Due to Rove’s miscalculation and an underestimation of the number of fake votes needed to win the election, Democrats were able to gain the upper hand in both the House and Senate.
Of course the republican complicity in this was brought up at election time. And of course the republicans tried hard to dismiss it, but the voters this time, did not buy it. Perhaps more than any other reason, dissatisfaction with republican leadership over this one issue, caused massive defections over to the other side.
So where are the facts? If you take a hard look at this chart, anyone with a smattering of economic knowledge will see that for all intents and purposes, that the price of gas should be even higher this year than last, not 50 cents per gallon lower. So by default, that means that whereas gas was 3.29 a gallon, it really could have been sold fairly at say 2.79 a gallon.
The same excuses use by republicans last year to pump up the costs, are even higher this year. The only difference between the two summers is that during this summer, we have Democratic control of the Congress. For this alone, Americans need to hold republicans accountable for all the lost money that was robbed from them last year.
How much was that? At 50 cents a gallon times each 40 gallon fill-up, that would be an extra 20 dollars per fill-up. At two fill-ups per week times the twelve weeks of summer, the republican gasoline scam cost most families around 480 dollars last summer.
So ladies and gentlemen,…. the Democrats, ….just by being in control of only one branch of government, have saved every American family at least 480 dollars over this summer. I don’t know about you, but that is what I call ……real politics………………
Fake politics is deciding to drop the price the day campaign season starts in earnest on Labor Day. A summer of profit taking, …….that’s all it was.
Remember the movie Matewan? When courageous West Virginian miners stood up to the union busting coal companies, and risked everything to win their right to live as Americans should? Today, American unions aren’t the same. Perhaps spoiled by their success during the twenty’s, today they rarely show that much muscle and instead pat themselves on each others backs whenever they finagle an agreement that often capitulates to corporate owners, but, in turn, increases their own personal net worth as wealthy individuals.
Fortunately that is not the case in Iraq. In a little known story, the unions of oil workers, located in the southern area of Iraq near Basra, organized and stood up to first Bremer’s coalition government, then Halliburton’s storm troopers, and now the puppet government of Maliki. As we now are coming to realize, the current military buildup or Surge as it is called, which we all knew had little chance of overall success, is simply a political move to apply pressure and force Iraqi passage of the Hydrocarbon’s Act, which as mentioned elsewhere, guarantees a whopping 70% instead of a normal 10% of Iraqi oil profits to American oil companies. The surge is there not just to protect a few American supporters, but is intended to intimidate and to suppress any Iraqi opposition that would naturally be expected to occur whenever one nation is forced to give up its national treasure to another. But as is often the case, when one pushes too hard to exert a pressure, a counter-resistance grows beneath their thumb.
So it is with the Iraqi unions. Their broken country is saturated by corruption, fed by the US interests, Exxon-Mobil, Phillips-Conoco, and Chevron, all of which exert a strong influence upon those “oil ministers” who were groomed on these shores months before this war began. In this environment, it is only the labor unions who have found the moral courage, as did Americans of old, to stand up against impossible odds, and proclaim “no, this just isn’t right.”
What bravery those unions are showing against impossible odds, is even more admirable when compared to the ethics of those at home, right here in our “land of the brave”.
Unfortunately, the moral courage, once possessed by our reporters and newsman on which many of us were weaned during the Nixon-Watergate years, now seems to have ebbed somewhat. Today if one wants truth, only the blogs are speaking it.
Just recently Kucinich’s magnificent 50 min speech which only got to the floor by a rare parliamentary move, outlines for the first time on the hallowed floors of Congress, exactly the horrific terms we are forcing upon the Iraqi’s with this Hydrocarbon Bill. Any mention of this historical event was buried deep on the back pages of America’s mainstream media, or worse, met with silence.
But bloggers jumped all over it. One must shake his head in shame. How can one honestly explain why newspapers, which of course, are primarily funded through advertising revenues, could possibly be loathe to print, and want to bury, a news story that now rivals the Watergate cover-up as the prime example of our government going over the edge? Does not this Hydrocarbon Bill, developed here inside the Beltway’s oil-funded think-tanks, and now being forced through the Bush administration’s approved and appointed Iraqi ministers, when read fully, prove without a doubt that we went to war for oil? Can any reasonable person assume a different outcome? Can anyone also explain why none of 2008′s front runners, also funded primarily through large corporate donors, have dared to mention this outrage in any of their campaign whistle stops?
Afraid of something they must be.
“PSAs are the oil industry’s equivalent of sharecropping contracts. As with the latter, economic theory suggests that PSAs are inefficient contract forms because the FOC
does not receive its marginal product. Thus, the question arises how and why this inefficient form of an oil contract flourishes. Principal-agent theory helps to explain
how risks and rewards have to be balanced in order to nonetheless let this type of arrangement prosper. The fact that PSAs are one of the dominant exploration and
development agreements points towards their efficiency as an institutional arrangement for risk sharing even if they are inefficient in terms of economic theory. In that sense it can be argued that a PSA is a political rather than an economic contract.”
What this says in “Oxford”ese, is that PSA’s are simply one sided agreements, like slavery, that cannot occur in free markets where both parties are willing. They can however, occur in forced arrangements.
We have taken the Matrix pill. And now it is clear. This is why we went to war. This is why we are spending a Trillion Dollars. This is why Rumsfeld hamstrung the Pentagon so success on the ground could not happen. This is why Cheney was so adamant not to release the Energy Task Force’s documents to the GAO. This is why the Vice President went to such great lengths, resulting in his imprisoned chief of staff, to discredit the notion that Iraq did not have nuclear weapons. This is why, against US law, records of who visited the Vice President, were erased. This is why Wolfowitz was put in charge of the IMF. This is why, when the officers on the ground, who we were repeatedly told were the ones being listened to, said emphatically that the surge was a waste of men and money, many names were passed over until a military commander was found who would say, even if only indirectly, that he could support it.
But enough about cowardly squeamishness. I came to praise the Iraqi Oil Unions….
Just last week they received concessions from the Maliki government, and a strike was averted. This threatened strike would have, if it had occurred, shut down all oil flowing onto tankers out of southern Iraq. Those of you who understand Moslems, know that they place great symbolism upon certain numbers. Very important to them is the number 14. Article 14 in their demands states as follows:
14- Submit the draft of the new oil law for our union to study; we have reservations and questions concerning it.
If one continues reading one soon finds this clause in their list of initial demands.- Make a determination on oil companies’ profits margins on the basis of the amendments to which you agreed and to determine those margins according to the certification/attestation from the south region financial/tax jurisdictions, not according to the formula adopted by the Minister that has been deemed detrimental to our membership.
In American prose, that means “Don’t go with the American plan.” Perhaps I alone am guilty of showing my personal ignorance in my assuming that the barbarity of Saddam’s regime flowed through all Iraqis, and that the cruel bombings of civilians showed a lack of polish on their entire culture. I was somewhat take back by the civilized beauty of this statement.
It was our hope, after the fall of that statue, to witness the dawn of a new era marked by the recognition of the legitimate rights of our members in the oil sector. This sector that for so long has suffered injustice and been denied equity. Since the advent of this new era, we focused our efforts into effectively thwarting all attempts to exploit this sector and tamper with our resources. You have been informed of how we stalled foreign companies in their attempts to control our oil fields and refineries, and how we forced them to leave. In addition, we worked hand in hand with the ministries and agencies to accelerate the pace of oil production, and to safeguard the means of production, and raise awareness amongst workers of investing to boost the chances of success for the new era. Unfortunately, our demands for entitlements were ignored, despite four years of continued promises by ministry and government officials. In fact, we took our demands to the highest levels of the government.
We kept the prime minister apprized of our demands, but were disappointed when we came to realize that our demands fell on deaf ears. Throughout this period we worked to defuse anger and resentment and address criticism leveled by our members who mistakenly thought of us as the ones failing to put forth their legitimate demands.
In a joint statement, the Iraqi Labor Unions demand that the new oil laws be renegotiated. Knowing more than anyone else, what was at stake, this group has tried everything possible to convince rational human beings that these laws are not fair to the average Iraqi citizen.
In some commentary spoken in London, Hassan Juma’a, President of the General Union of Oil Employees in Basra, gave some illuminating testimony.
Particularly he provide some insight how Iraqi’s feel towards us when it comes to our actions with their oil. One can see the heavy hand of Bremer was instrumental in many of the problems we face today.
Paul Bremer’s decrees banned the formation of trade unions and associations in order to protect US interests. [They said that the 1987 decree remained in force]. We expected that the living standards of the workers would increase, but a table of wages was issued by Paul Bremer with eleven steps, where the oil workers’ wage was set at the equivalent of $35. That was strange for a country which has the second largest oil reserves in the world.
Meanwhile, workers brought from Asia by KBR [a subsidiary of the US corporation Hallliburton, granted contracts by the occupation authorities for reconstruction] were getting twenty times as much.
Then, in subtle understatement he describes the struggle, that must have mirrored the struggle at Matewan.
In the oil union we objected to the wages decision. The US administration refused to listen to us, so we staged a strike on 10 August 2003. We stopped oil exports for three days. It forced the Americans, the Oil Ministry, and the Finance Ministry to scrap the two lowest scales in the wages table.
We think it’s important KBR gets out, because we believe that US strategy is that military occupation should be followed by economic occupation.
So why has it taken so long for oil revenues to pay the cost of rebuilding Iraq. The finger again points to Cheney. According to the Union:
The Federation has announced it “will endeavor to to prevent exploitation by foreign companies and their flagrant interference in production and exports,” blaming the companies for “exploiting the current political vacuum and chaos in the country.” They claim that the Iraqi oil industry, far from needing external investment, is in fact being deliberately starved of funds to the tune of $4.5 billion this year, simply to worsen the country’s negotiating position as infrastructure slowly collapses. In fact the unions have been active in voluntarily maintaining infrastructure to fend off the need for external investment. They are also working on publicizing these secretive deals and building resistance.
As evidence accumulates one story at a time, the trend becomes very disheartening to any American familiar with the story of our founding Fathers. It will be hard to explain to our children, our complicity in letting Cheney do to Iraq, what we rebelled against Great Britain for doing to us.
Cheney took us in to rape Iraq. That is the only conclusion one can reasonably assume when presented with all of the unadulterated evidence.
It is truly ironic that American values are much more prevalent in a labor union halfway across the globe, than they are here within our hallowed halls of government.
1) Republicans want the surge to last till September. Why?
2) Dick Cheney is off somewhere in the middle east, on another secret mission, immediately just after Rice got back. Why?
3) We still do not have oil flowing from Iraq, four years after ‘mission accomplished”, Why?
Is there a connection between these three threads?
Now four years after the war was won, we still do not have a contract with a legitimate Iraqi government to remove the oil from Iraqi sands. What is wrong with those Iraqi’s. Don’t they want our oil revenues to rebuild their country?
The holdup seems to be what is known as the PSA’s (production sharing agreements). These clauses guarantee US oil companies 70% of the profits up to amortization and 20% after that, whereas the going standard rate is 10% of profits to oil companies, and 90% to the country. This oil bill must be passed before the Iraqi congress goes on recess May 31st, just 21 days from the date of this posting.
The oil companies estimate that it will cost between 1$ and 1.50$ to extract a barrel of Iraqi gold, the premium of all crudes. At today’s prices of 75$ a barrel this rate of return would be equivalent of kicking a baby in its face and stealing its candy.
Iraqi resistance understands this. And yet this insider’s fact has not even made our evening news.
This is not the result of a random compilation of events.
As we moved in immediately after the invasion, instead of allowing Iraqi’s oil engineers to redevelop their own oil fields, (we are talking about the same men who kept the oil flowing during the sanction years to the amazement of the world, with little more than ingenuity), two Texan companies, Halliburton and Bechtel, were both put in charge. As recent congressional hearings have discovered, these non-bid corporations were paid on a nominal cost-plus basis, meaning they used the most expensive technology available, thereby running up the costs as well as their percentages, and then stopped, unfinished, right before the wells were working. Now, at this point in time, no one else but either of these two companies can “turn on ” the wells, with the quick installation of one or two mother-boards. They sit now, bidding their time, while they wait for a “legitimate contract” which once passed, will guarantee at least 70% of the substantial profits.
This is actually the fuel that flames the insurgency. Iraqis want the oil developed, not stolen. The bomb we saw that killed the Iraqi Vice President Mahdi, a feverish PSA oil law supporter, was detonated at the same time while the preliminary oil bill was being debated in their congress. As with all Arab attacks, the timing of these events is important; it is meant to send a message. Again, as far as I know, no one in the US news media, has yet made the connection.
This rape of the Iraqis’ oil rights, finally explains why Iraqi sentiment shifted so drastically after the war. In the beginning the Iraqi’s welcomed us with open arms, (Viva George Bush) until they realized we really were moving in on their oil. This also explains the timing of the insurgency, and why the fighting continues, as well as to why there is a Civil War.
The Sunnis benefit if the oil bill is to pass, since they will get 10% of the profits: (1/3 of 30%); Sunni’s have little or no oil resources on their territory if the country splits into three federations. The Shiites, and Kurds, both who have an abundance of oil, want Iraq to develop their own oil at contracts similar to their neighbors, with oil company’s taking a paltry 10% of the profits, and 90% coming back to Iraq.
So what’s behind the Cheney visit? Why now?
Last week, the Kurds signed deals with both Norwegian and Turkish companies to develop new oil fields in their province. These were not at 70% PSA rates.
This electrified Cheney and his Iraqi leadership, which said that any contracts signed before the new law was passed, would be invalid and illegal.
Right now the Kurds hold 58 out of the 275 seats in the Iraqi Congress. At a 29.10 % voting bloc, the oil bill can be passed without one Kurdish vote, if the Sunnis decide to hold firm and in one bloc vote together. Hence Cheney’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and now Iraq.
He needs to persuade (pressure) those governments to lean on the Iraqi Sunnis and force them to line up behind the Oil Bill, so that none of the votes of the Kurds are needed.
In a democracy it is commonly assumed that open discussion will generate the best results. However as of May 6, the Iraqi legislature had not yet seen a draft of the Oil bill that Cheney wants passed by May 31st. Who has seen it? Here is what Chinese intelligence had to say about it:
The law was in essence drafted, behind locked doors, by a US consulting firm hired by the Bush administration and then carefully retouched by Big Oil, the International Monetary Fund, former US deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz’ World Bank, and the United States Agency for International Development. It’s virtually a US law (its original language is English, not Arabic).
The right to self determination in a democracy apparently does not apply to oil. Condoleeza Rice was ineffective in her tactics of persuasion and now Cheney (not as Vice President, but as a representative of “Big Oil”), has gone to play hardball. Expect him to say behind closed doors: “Our meters are on your wells. You will have NO oil, and no income period, unless you give me the PSA’s. If you refuse, you no longer have our confidence in your leadership. Without our protection, you are at the mercy of your own people…….”
And we saw what happened to VP Mahdi even with our protection.
With this much pressure being placed by the US on this one bill, we can now understand why Cheney and his supporters told us the surge was so important. He needed it to provide enough stability in Baghdad so this bill could pass. It is now clear why Republicans are saying “wait till September”. At that point we will have our 70% rate of return. We can further decipher why Democrats are saying “we will know by June”. They are implying you’ve got till May 31st, Mr. President, or we are pulling the plug.
In the meantime, people who we were told are terrorists, continue to fight a nation who seems intent on stealing their livelihood from out of the very ground they stand on.
Thanks to Chatterjee and CorpWatch for this reporting. This is one more grain of evidence that this war was fought not for the benefit of America, but for the benefit of Cheney’s stock futures which expire in 2009, well after his current term has ended. Harsh as that statement may sound on its surface, if one uses this frame of reference as a polarizer, then the “idiotic decisions” that have led this country to its current situation inside of Iraq, actually make financial and rational sense.
What idiotic decisions? Those very decisions that seem to prolong the war, instead of resolving it.
The trail starts with a map found in Cheney’s drawer showing Iraq carved up into parcels of real estate. It runs through the Energy Task Force, through his private “Iraqi reading room” in Langley Field; it continues through deliberately misleading America in the case to invade Iraq, through micromanaging the personnel decisions within Garner’s team at the onset of the Iraqi reconstruction, through the shifting of funding from successful Iraqi programs to unsuccessful ones, through his insistence of “no-bid” contracts, and now through these new revelations.
What was revealed six days ago was that the meters measuring the Iraqi crude now being pumped into tankers at the mouth of the Euphrates, do not work. And have not worked since the invasion in 03. The responsible party is none other than Halliburton. This supposedly quick fix, is still pending. Basically no one, no one, can monitor how much crude is leaving Iraq.
According to this contributor at the Stars and Stripes, a back of the envelope calculation, that every centimeter lowering of a tanker equals 6000 barrels of crude, is how business is done. A miscalculation by a couple of inches, can mean the difference of 30,000 barrels or oil or at today’s price of 75 dollars a barrel, 2 ¼ million unreported dollars.
If you don’t already have stock in Halliburton, you need to invest today. In fact, being a betting person, I would say the odds are good that Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Mike Castle, and every other congressperson who votes in line with Cheney on this issue, has some Halliburton hidden somewhere in their portfolio. For they are certainly not voting for the American people.
For if truth is to be known, as long as there is chaos in Iraq, Halliburton will continue to reap enormous profits. Ironically, it is only when we actually do succeed, and the Iraqi’s can proclaim their own self rule, will the bonanza end for all of those holding stock options in Halliburton. Ending the war early, will no doubt cost Republicans dearly, literally.