Tag Archives: halliburton

Thursday Afternoon News Roundup

  • I’ll be on Local Edge Radio at 4 PM Eastern Standard Time today. If you have an opportunity, please tune in.
  • For years, I’ve been saying that Mitt Romney has a significant problem. Evangelicals make up a huge amount of the Republican base. They are a significant reason why George W. Bush won the 2000 election (the other significant reason being the Supreme Court). Many evangelicals do not believe that Mormonism is a “real” religion. They don’t see it as an offshoot of Christianity. Hence the problem. By the way, he’s in London trying to raise money and meeting with the Prime Minister.
  • Do you remember Jamie Leigh Jones? Several years ago she claimed that she was drugged and gang raped by her fellow contractors at KBR a subsidiary of Halliburton. Her trial is complex. It appears that in her contract she signed a mandatory arbitration clause which blocks employees from suing KBR. In spite of all the media hype it appears that significant holes have appeared in her story. This is extremely sad. The federal judge has thrown out large portions of her case.
  • I was actually waiting on news from this big powwow at the White House that President Obama called. Democratic and Republican leaders are at the White House trying to hammer out some sort of agreement so that the debt ceiling can be raised. Nate Silver points out the problem that Republicans have with compromise. Basically the Republican Party is completely and totally made up of conservatives. There are almost no moderates and no liberals. It is my opinion that Republican representatives here mostly for those ultraconservatives, which push the party even further to the right.

  • Rupert Murdoch‘s huge empire is embroiled in quite the scandal in England. You have to read the allegations in order to believe them. They’re still somewhat unbelievable. Basically they tried to manipulate events in order to increase circulation, as far as I can tell. The British Parliament has called for an official investigation. Today Murdoch has announced that he’s closing the paper. I don’t think that this is going to quell critics.
  • The Washington Post has five myths about the debt ceiling. This is clearly worth reading.
  • Could it be that the economy created many more jobs in June than we thought? This could be the first good news and several months.
  • Consumer bankruptcy filings decreased by eight percent. This is also good news.

60 Minutes – Oil Spill

60 Minutes interviews one of the survivors of the Deepwater Horizon – Mike Williams.


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Okay, so the guys on the rig knew that several parts of the blowout preventer were broken and it appears from Mike Williams’ story that nobody did anything about it. How can this be a good thing?


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Oh, the stupidity was everywhere. BP, TransOcean and Halliburton will be grilled over this.

This is a great segment.

This arbitration settlement against KBR seems a little light.

Many people have written about the lawlessness and chaos that existed under American rule in Iraq. The book Fiasco by Thomas Ricks chronicles one mistake after another that led to the lawlessness that we saw for almost five years. There are many other books (including Naomi Klein’s, Shock Doctrine) and magazine articles which document the chaos. For some reason, I thought the chaos stopped once you got inside places that were controlled by Americans. This obviously wasn’t true. An atmosphere of the wild West where every man had to think for and by only himself seems somewhat pervasive from Baghdad to Basra.

Tracy Barker can be thought of as the other woman who filed a lawsuit against Kellogg Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton. Jamie Leigh Jones has testified before Congress about her ordeal in which she was locked in some sort of shipping container after her rape. Ms. Barker tried to take her case to court stating that KBR had created an atmosphere where “boys will be boys.” Her story reads like a bad 1940s pornographic, male chauvinist novel. Pornography was posted on the walls. You have the lecherous boss who said he would be happy to protect her if she would sleep with him. Ms. Barker’s case was thrown out of court because she signed a contract which stated that she could not take her employer to court. In what can only be described as minor vindication, she won a $2.93 million settlement in arbitration against KBR.

It seems to me that these large corporations only understand one thing — money. $2.93 million is what they pay one minor executive. $293 million. Now, that would get their attention. We need to get their attention. Corporations have a responsibility. If they’re going to hire Americans and expect American productivity and work ethic, they need to provide an environment in which Americans can work. This means American women and men. There’s simply no excuse.