Friday, August 8, 2008

McCain's Braintrust

This week, Sen. John McCain met with city officials in Lima, Ohio, to talk about the closing of a DHL shipping plant in nearby Wilmington, which will put about 8,000 people out of work.

I found out about this via Robert Reich's blog. Basically, the plant was run by Airborne Express, until Airborne was bought by the German company, DHL. DHL then began giving some work to UPS, which cost them less than it did to ship out of the Wilmington facility, until eventually DHL, decided to save lots more money by simply closing the entire plant. To hell with the thousands of people whose livelihoods depended on that Airborne, then DHL facility. DHL has no emotional or social ties to Ohio or any other U.S. state, so why should they care?

This could have been avoided, Reich believes, if foreign companies were barred from owning American shipping and airline companies. And due to security concerns in this day and age, Congress and the White House can actually stop foreigners from buying American airlines and shipping companies. DHL knew when they wanted to buy Airborne that they'd have to work to get the deal OK'd, so they hired a Washington lobbyist to lobby Congress and get the deal approved.

"Who, exactly, did the lobbying for DHL?" Reich writes. "According to the Associated Press, it was none other than McCain campaign manager Rick Davis."

Incredible. Unfortunately, some other quasi-political story will be all over the news for the next 48 hours or so. And people who could find themselves in the same position as those Airborne/DHL workers in Ohio, or them even, may very well wind up voting for McCain because the Republican fear campaign (fear of "terrorists," fear of two-bride or two-groom weddings, fear of "higher taxes," fear of unpatriotic Americans, fear of a black planet, etc., etc...).

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