Back in the 1980s, protest signs sported the slogan "Ed Meese Is A Pig."
Twenty years later, the slogan still applies
Former Attorney General under Ronald Reagan Edwin Meese has become
an unofficial adviser for New Orleans area reconstruction. Meese has a close
working relationship with Karl Rove, the newly-appointed White House point man
for Gulf Coast rebuilding. The major link is Meese's leadership position
in the Christian big business and fascism-rooted Fellowship Foundation. Headquartered
in Arlington, Virginia, the Fellowship Foundation is a powerful and wealthy
tax-exempt religious foundation financed by defense contractors and other corporations
that uses "Jesus" as a corporate logo in the same manner McDonald's
uses the "Golden Arches" and Microsoft uses a multi-colored window
Meese, a Heritage Foundation public policy fellow, recently helped author a policy
paper on Katrina recovery, a blueprint that is beginning to influence the White
House's plans for New Orleans. Meese's criticism of FEMA's plan to distribute
$2000 debit cards to hurricane victims likely led to the last minute cancellation
of the program. FEMA, instead, said it would transfer the money to victims' bank
accounts -- held in bank branches that are now closed and in accounts not available
to evacuees who have been transferred to other states.
The Meese plan emphasizes tax credits and vouchers in lieu of cash grants.
This, of course, is designed to help businesses and religious schools at the
expense of the poor and jobless. The Meese plan also calls for rezoning New
Orleans and suburbs as "Opportunity Zones," capitalist free-for-all
playgrounds where capital gains, 2004 and 2005 business income taxes, and estate
taxes are eliminated and environmental (including the Clean Water and Clean
Air Acts), anti-predatory lending, health insurance portability and accountability
(HIPAA), public education, equal opportunity housing, minimum wage (Davis Bacon
Act), anti-securities fraud, pension protection, and civil rights laws and regulations
are suspended or abolished.
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