HIGHTOWER: Bill Gates' Best Buddy

There he goes again: Newt Gingrich, the Loudspeaker of the House, prancing out into the countryside to speak out for one of America's most downtrodden citizens: Bill Gates!Yes, the richest man on the planet, the head honcho of the monopolistic computer corporation, Microsoft. But even gabillionaires get the blues, and poor ol' Bill Gates has been in a deep pout over the fact that the Justice Department has called him on the carpet for antitrust violations.When you're down, it helps to have a pal, and Newt has traveled all the way to Microsoft's home territory in the Seattle area to declare himself Bill's best buddy. Such a buddy that, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencier, Newt recently came to town to castigate the dastardly Justice Department for daring to stand-up for consumers by picking on Gates' little computer company.The Newtster was in such a state of high outrage that he even gave our Constitution a curious corporate twist. In his speech, Gingrich blurted out his belief that [quote] "The purpose of the American government is to strengthen American companies in the world market." Oh? And here I thought government's purpose was, as the Constitution says, "to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty." But who knows, maybe Microsoft has become so powerful that it has now rewritten the U.S. Constitution.Interestingly, Newt had traveled to Microsoftland to raise campaign funds for Republicans. Now, call me a cynic, but I suspect that his fulminations against enforcing America's anti-trust laws just might have been fueled by the smell of campaign cash. After all, Gates and Microsoft had already given the Republicans $200,000.This is Jim Hightower saying . . . The Bill Gates philosophy is that if you need a friend . . . buy one!

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