Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I was listening to NPR this morning and there was a story about Halliburton being investigated for over charging for work in Iraq.  At the end of the story, the announcer said, "Halliburton was once run by Vice President Dick Cheney."  Why was this information added?  When Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburon in 1999, he deferred his salary to be paid in fixed installments of about $162,000  over five years from the point of his retirement.  These payments are fixed and don't go up or down based on Halliburton's performance.  In fact, Cheney purchased an insurance policy that will kick in and pay him that money even if Halliburton goes bankrupt.  So there is absolutely no reason to mention Dick Cheney in a story about Halliburton over charges.  It would be as if Senator Edwards' name was thrown out every time a story about a large settlement in a trial came down.  "The plaintiff's were awarded twelve million dollars for the nerve damage suffered by their daughter when the doctor saved her life.  The doctor, unable to afford his malpractice insurance increases, has decided to enter research.   John Edwards was once a trial lawyer." 
Throwing Cheney into the mix every time Halliburton is mentioned in a bad light (and Halliburton, which is a company America should be extremely proud of, is always mentioned in a bad light) is the same as throwing Terese Heinz Kerry's name out there everytime John Kerry wins support from some group to which Terese's Heinz Foundation gives money (and her foundation gives money to nearly all the groups who support him). 
It's just like the Catholic Church being continually smeared with the sex scandal but never credited with the good that occurs in Catholics lives.

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