Friday, March 03, 2006

Enron - the Evil Doers

Has the name of the White House changed yet ?

Perhaps all the promoters, profiteers and pimps of war can find some body armor for their slave army.

Over 16,000 soldiers have now been maimed in a war with COUNTLESS civilian casualities where a country (with no airforce) and little in the way of ground defense ..was bombed in a highly advertised "shock and awe" campaign of TERROR.

Have the American people won anything from this blood bath? Have the Iraqi people won anything?

How about Bush and his cronies.... ?????

The unaccountable, criminal president who will seemingly say anything and expect us to believe it. Things like ..."the USA does not torture" ...while the photographs of children being raped, screaming...while the stories of harmless, men being beaten to a sadistic, psychopaths of the American army..all under order from George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, the unaccountable
thugs and dead enders holding America hostage. AND it is hardly new...America under George W. Bush Senior developed the School of Americas where terror and torture are taught. Ya see it really is the hypocrisy of American "democracy" that makes us crazy.

Check out:

"Texas Sen. Phil Gramm announced his retirement earlier this year and everybody said nice things, especially about the fact that he was walking away from his Senate seat while still in his prime. Now congressional committees investigating Enron?s collapse are wondering whether his decision to leave the Senate had anything to do with potential conflicts of interest. Gramm?s wife, Wendy, was on Enron?s board of directors while her husband chaired the Senate Banking Committee, whose oversight responsibilities should have caught Enron?s troubles."

--Eleanor Clift

Enron's Money Trail In Bush's Texas


The report catalogs the major Texas recipients of Enron's largesse (George W. Bush, Gov. Rick Perry, John Cornyn, the state Supreme Court, Carole Keeton Rylander, etc.) and sketches some of the main purposes of all that political generosity. Some telling excerpts:

"The chief mourners of Enron's demise -- apart from the investors and workers that it deceived -- are the legions of lobbyists and politicians whom Enron fed. Enron spent $10.2 million in the last two election cycles (1997 through 2000) influencing Washington politicians. During this period, Enron moved $1,003,273 to Texas PACs and state candidates, as well as spending up to $4.8 million on 89 Texas lobby contracts. ..." Bush's greatest gubernatorial gifts to Enron were deregulating state electric markets in 1999, indulging "grandfathered air polluters," and promoting laws that protect businesses from lawsuits.

The next-largest chunk of Enron money went to Gov. Perry, the report states. Perry appointed former Enron de Mexico President Mario Max Yzaguirre as Public Utility Commission chair in June 2001. Was it sheer coincidence, then, that, according to reports, Enron CEO Ken Lay gave Perry a $25,000 campaign contribution the very next day? Now, in the midst of controversy over Perry's choice to fill the PUC post, two Democrats on the Senate Nominations Committee have urged the governor to reconsider Yzaguirre's appointment. The committee has postponed considering his confirmation because Perry named his choice after this year's legislative session. As things stand, Yzaguirre doesn't appear to be a shoe-in for the job, especially in light of new developments regarding his and Perry's withholding of information about Yzaguirre's past.

Additionally, there are concerns that Yzaguirre's past work with a private utility would present a conflict of interest in his role as head of a state regulatory commission. Said TPJ's Craig McDonald in a statement: "Both the governor and attorney general have benefited greatly from Enron's political contributions. [Cornyn and Perry] both have a conflict of interest with respect to any Enron-Yzaguirre cover-up in the governor's office." He called on either the Travis County district attorney or the Legislature to investigate the matter. --Michael King.

Under Cover Of War: Will Bush Skate On Enron?

by Michelangelo Signorile

Under cover of war, and with the help of a pathetically soft media, Bush and company’s slippery maneuvers continue. Caving in to Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott and other Republican Neanderthals, Bush has broken his promise to give $20 billion in aid to New York, and has eluded much criticism for it. He conveniently pulled out of the ABM treaty with Russia on the same day that the White House released the newest bin Laden tape, which of course dominated the media. And as the fallout from the Enron collapse continues, the Bush administration may be teetering on the edge of a scandal that makes Whitewater look like a bake sale. But so far, you wouldn’t know it.

Much thanks for that needs to go to the Tom Brokaws of the world, so enamored with themselves, so blindly patriotic, so wrapped up in Greatest Generation propaganda, they’ve given Bush a pass on just about everything. Maybe it’s the influence of the higher-ups who own these media companies–the execs up at GE and Disney/Capital Cities and AOL Time Warner–who know what’s best for themselves as the recession comes into sharper focus and they look to the administration’s future corporate-friendly policies and corporate welfare schemes. Or maybe nobody wants to take on a president with such high poll numbers–if the pollsters are right I’m probably going to be stoned on the street, Taliban-style, just for writing this column.
Whatever it is, the war coverage seems to have strained the media’s resources to the point where much else is being left by the wayside. Last week it was announced that a staggering three-quarters of all HIV cases in the U.S. are resistant to drugs to fight the disease, a story with dire epidemiological implications and one that would have created front-page headlines in the past. The New York Times didn’t cover it at all. Even O.J. mania can’t jar the media crowd: Simpson’s house was raided in a drug-smuggling investigation, but the story was mostly relegated to the annoying ticker on the bottom of your tv screen. O.J. chase scenes are small potatoes when you’re hunting down Osama bin Laden.

The home video of bin Laden and his murderous friends sitting around talking about the terrorist attacks was played so many times that I started memorizing it–in Arabic. I can’t recall how often I heard tv pundits or read newspaper columnists opining that the tape proved just how evil bin Laden is, as if we didn’t already know how evil he is. If anything, the tape showed that these people are rank amateurs when it comes to murder and mayhem. The Mafia are professional killers–you better believe they don’t make home videos of themselves sitting around giggling about their latest hit. Bin Laden and his pals come off like a bunch of frat guys talking about some prank they pulled off that turned out to be even cooler than they thought it would be. The tape doesn’t further show how evil they are as much as it shows how absolutely stupid they are.

Though the war has wound down and the Taliban is for all practical purposes conquered, rather than give us more coverage of some of the pressing domestic concerns that have been neglected, the corporate media–who’s sunk a lot of dough into sending correspondents and news teams to the region–is intent to soak this thing dry, like addicts who can’t get enough. CNN has been focused ad nauseam on the "American Taliban," a dumb kid from the California suburbs who is being treated like he’s the next Jonathan Pollard. You get the feeling that editors and news producers are sitting around praying for the invasion of Iraq, something to really sink their teeth into during the postholiday news lull.

Meanwhile, John Ashcroft, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and other figures behind Bush are easily pushing through their shadowy agendas and covering up their shams. Right-wingers accused Clinton of using military strikes on rogue states as a way to distract from Whitewater, the Lewinsky affair and every other scandal that emerged. But there’s no question that Bush and company are doing precisely that, successfully using this war to divert attention from the Enron disaster. Thousands of Enron employees watched their retirement accounts dry up as the stock of Enron tumbled, due partially to top executives’ risky ventures, bringing on the largest corporate collapse in American history. Just before filing for Chapter 11, Enron gave $55 million in "retention incentives" to 500 high-level employees.

The Bush administration’s fingerprints have been all over this mess–and it is this aspect of the Enron collapse that the media has on the back burner. Bush’s good friend, ex-Montana Gov. Mark Racicot–just installed by Bush as Republican National Committee chairman–worked for Enron (and will continue his job as a corporate lobbyist while he is RNC chairman). White House adviser Karl Rove owned up to $250,000 in Enron stock–which he sold back when it was $50 a share (it’s now 36 cents a share). Enron’s CEO, Kenneth Lay, is a buddy of Bush’s, and he and other Enron execs donated almost $2 million to Bush’s campaigns over the last eight years. Lay and other Enron officials were also in on meetings Cheney held to map out energy policy. Rove was in on those meetings too, which occurred back when he was still a shareholder. It’s hard to believe that people high up in the Bush administration weren’t privy to indications that Enron was in trouble well before the rest of us found out–and well before it was known to the company’s employee-shareholders, many of whom even took their Christmas bonuses in company stock, now worth practically nothing.

Cheney now refuses to disclose what contact he had with Enron executives in recent months and won’t make public the transcripts of any meetings of his energy task force, which included meetings with Enron executives. Why not release the documents if there’s nothing incriminating? Wasn’t that the question that the right always threw at Bill Clinton, saying that if you have nothing to hide, then come clean? Maybe the chickens are coming home to roost. It would be nice if the media cracked this wide open in 2002, though I’m not holding my breath.

....more at the link


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