The Hightower Report

Democracy confronts Karl Rove, and CEOs tout offshoring

Democracy Visits Karl

Poor Karl Rove. He's had a bad few weeks and ... well, Karl is cranky.

One of the people Karl has been trying to slime in recent days is Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism expert who has blown the whistle on our toy-soldier "war president" – and the slime is not sticking. In fact, it's Karl and his client-in-chief who have ended up with slime blowback all over them.

So Rove was already in a foul funk when, on an otherwise serene Sunday afternoon in his swank Washington neighborhood, several hundred protesters suddenly showed up on his lawn. These were low-income folks from the Midwest who had come to their nation's Capitol to be heard on a bill that would provide educational opportunities for their children – a bill that Rove was keeping bottled up.

They had requested a meeting, but he refused even to reply, so they came to him for a surprise Sunday session, chanting, "Karl, Karl, come on out! See what the DREAM Act is all about!"

This threw Karl into a hissy fit. "Get off my property," shouted the public servant to the public. The crowd shouted back in unison, "Karl Rove ain't got no soul." They waved signs at him through his locked windows as he summoned the Secret Service to "save" him from his public. Finally, he agreed to meet with two of the protesters if all the rest left. They did – and Karl opened his garage door for a two-minute "meeting" during which he mostly screamed at them, closing it off with, "Don't ever dare to come back!"

Yeah, Karl, what do those people think this is ... a democracy? If you want to meet with Karl, make a campaign contribution and hire a corporate lobbyist, like everyone else he knows.

Pounding the Pulpit for Offshoring

The offshoring of U.S. jobs is good for you! We know this is so because the Powers That Be keep telling us so ... and they've never been wrong, have they?

The latest assertion of offshoring absolutism comes from two peers of the economic establishment. First, let's hear from John Snow, the former CEO and corporate downsizer who is now George W.'s treasury secretary. Asked about the issue of corporations shipping out America's middle-class jobs, Snow was downright cheerful about the move: "It's one aspect of trade," he said, "and there can't be any doubt about the fact that trade makes the economy stronger."

Hmmm, "can't be any doubt," John? You might check with some displaced workers about that. But Snow is way too busy cheerleading to talk to workers: "You can outsource a lot of activities and get them done as well, or better, at a lower cost," he marveled. Excuse me, but perhaps it's time to outsource his activities.

Then comes supertechie Marc Andreessen to lecture us rubes. He's the former honcho of Netscape, who now runs an outfit that makes software to help CEOs offshore jobs. "It is a hugely, hugely positive trend. Absolutely positive," he raves.

Hmmm, "absolutely," Marc? One doesn't get the feeling that he's talked to many of the displaced, either. But he's also way too busy for that, since he's now spreading his theoretical absolutism through a one-man media campaign to extoll the joys of offshoring. By sending our jobs abroad, he says, those foreign workers will be able to buy Apple computers, Nike shoes, and other goodies from U.S. corporations.

Excuse me, Mark, but, one, those workers are not being paid that well, and, two, while those corporations have American names, they make their products abroad, too. Sorry to be so untheoretical here, but the grubby bottom line of offshoring is that big global investors get richer ... and America's middle-class workers get schtooked.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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public policy, Karl Rove, George W. Bush, Richard Clarke, John Snow, Marc Andreessen

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