Fist and Factotum are at it again -- that is, Senators Bill Fist and Rick Factotum. They were the prime movers behind the silly, ultimately insidious bill to give all Americans a one-time hundred dollar "rebate" equivalent to about nine months of gasoline taxes. That was their response to voter complaints that the major oil companies are gouging and that the government should pass a windfall profits tax, hold hearings on overreaching by Exxon et al., and come up with some sort of plan to deal with the damage being done by three dollar gas at the pumps of America.
Why should anyone be surprised to learn that this plan had "linkage"? Yep, as the wire services explained, "Frist (sic), last week linked the $100 rebate to an energy-relief package that included...a call for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a proposal the Senate frequently rejects." Boy, does all this SMELL, and not just of "sweet" crude. It stinks of nothing less than bribery. That's right. Approve the "rebate" and the Senate gets to award special interests (read: big oil) with more than a windfall, a veritable motherlode of black gold. In all likelihood, Fist has Exxon et al. in his blind trust of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, and what about Kerr-McGee, a subsidiary of Halliburton. Whose blind trust is going to swell in the wake of passage of the proposed rape of Alaskan wildlife? Why, none other than Prick Chaney.
Surprisingly, the new majority leader (no stranger to K Street type graft him), John Boehner, made reference to the Fist plan as "insulting." He didn't clarify that remark so far as I know, but presumably he saw the tit for tat for what it was: a brazen attempt to get the American tax-payer predisposed to the same shenanigans practiced by their elected officials. Exchange of rebates for environment-busting oil exploration is precisely the sort of thing Jack Abramoff was up to. At least some Republicans are smart enough, and sensitive enough, to recognize a scam when they see it. Boehner was expected to be just as corrupt as Tom Relay, but he's a lot smarter it seems.