One question..

…about this Slate article: is there, um, any other reason Bechtel and Halliburton might have been favored for contracts, other than the specific dollar amount of their political contributions?

I don’t know if the writer has a point vis-a-vis the specific CPI report he’s critiquing, but I do have a problem with this bit:

If the corruption argument is true, then the size of campaign contributions should be strongly and positively correlated with the size of government contracts.

Well, yes — if the size of the campaign contribution were the only factor, if longstanding personal ties and even personal gain were not also potentially involved.

Which they are, as any politically aware adult American should reasonably be expected to understand. Rumsfeld goes way back with Bechtel, and Cheney is still receiving “deferred compensation” from Halliburton. And those companies are the top two on the reconstruction contract list.

But hell. I’m just a simple uneducated cartoonist.