The BuzzFlash Mailbag
July 25, 2002
Vacation Time! BuzzFlash Mailbag will be on hiatus from Monday, July 29, until Tuesday, August 6, 2002.
Subj: Who will tell the People?
Who cut veteran retirement pay from 50% of base pay to 40%?? Reagan.
Who restored it to 50%? Clinton.
Who will tell the veterans and active military their current commander-in thief was a Draft Dodger and Deserter from his post in wartime?
Scream it from rooftops.
For anybody out there who doesn't think that the Bush Administration wasn't actively doing everything within their powers to help Enron before it went belly up, they should have tuned in to the Thomas White hearings up on The Hill.
You had to pay very close attention to what White was saying concerning the Enron stock that he was forced to get rid of. It was revealed that he made 77 phone calls to Enron insiders, just old friends that he was missing of course, prior to divesting himself of $12,000,000 worth of stock. Even though Barbara Boxer was all over this obvious insider activity, White was truly dismayed that he had to sell the stock when he did. That begged the question -- why would he want to retain stock in a teetering conglomerate? The answer is that he was certain that it would not only be rescued, but that it would also in all likelihood, increase in value.
What was happening behind the scenes that would save Enron? There were the lucrative government contracts that White was in a position to send in their direction. There was the quarter of a billion dollar cash infusion from the proposed elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax. There was also those meetings on the national energy policy with Dick Cheney that would have been very beneficial to Enron. But there is likely more to those meetings on the energy policy, as well as one more initiative, which just may turn out to be interrelated.
It always puzzled me as to why Cheney wouldn't even release the names of the individuals with whom he met while devising the energy policy. It may be eventually found out that those meetings weren't all with good citizens trying to share some unvarnished advice on what is best for America. Rather we'll likely come to find out that some of those Enron folks were individuals involved with another wing of the company. A division that specifically dealt with convincing Cheney to get an idle Enron electrical plant in Dabohl, India on line. Is this possibly the division from which the now deceased Cliff Baxter hailed?
In Dabohl, Enron tried to pull a similar rip off like the one that was pulled in California. Enron attempted to charge the Indians seven (7) times more for energy than they were already paying from other sources. Of course the Indians were smarter than that, and unpolitely told them what they could do with their electricity and inefficient power plant. The only chance for Enron to get reimbursed for their $3 billion dollars tied up in the project was to somehow find a cheaper energy source. Enter the trillions of metric feet of natural gas in Turkmenistan, the negotiations with the Taliban for a pipeline to convey this resource that fell through, and eventually the plan to topple the uncooperative government in Afghanistan. Remember this key phrase -- "a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs" -- the offer that negotiated away 3,000 American lives and started a war without end.
This scheme would neatly explain why there was a plan of attack to invade Afghanistan sitting on George W. Bush's desk prior to September 11th. White knew that there was going to be salvation in that plan, and the salvation would come from cheap natural gas being piped from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan, and eventually to the multi-billion dollar, energy plant situated in Dabhol.
Bear in mind that it wasn't an oil pipeline that was being proposed, it was a natural gas pipeline. That's what was so perplexing when stories first surfaced about the pipeline war -- why were we so interested in a natural gas pipeline? To help Unocal, a multinational corporation with modest U.S. ties -- although Halliburton and the Bin Ladens were standing ready to build the project -- but this didn't seem compelling enough of a reason to take over a country. Was it to fulfill our energy needs? We thirst for oil and not for natural gas, heck we have enough natural gas reserves to last us for the next century, if not longer. To get cheap energy down to Pakistan? We were barely on speaking terms with Pakistan leaving no reason for us to assist them in this matter. So why the push and urgency for this pipeline?
Logic brings us back to Dabohl, and the fact that Enron was desperate. If Enron's middle management knew in August of 2001 that the company was in trouble, then the principles had to know months before that, probably around the time that the meetings with Cheney were occurring. It was common knowledge that Cheney was pressuring the Indians to make good on the Dabohl project. Just think, you bail out your biggest contributor, bolster a floundering presidency, and seize absolute power through the already conceived Patriots Act in one fell swoop. Maybe this was the real trifecta that Bush regularly references?
In any event, White's reluctance to sell his stock only solidifies my belief that September 11th was a byproduct of the insiders bailing out Enron. This is what the real 9/11 investigation will reveal, and getting to the truth is the most compelling reason why the Democrats must regain Congress this fall. Otherwise, the biggest travesty in our nation's history will remain an incident involving a bunch of freedom-hating evildoers taking planes for joy rides.
Subj: Barbara's Daily Buzz
I always so enjoy and agree with Barbara. Today (7/24/02) she talked about attacking Iraq - she mentioned two factors, revenge and competition between poppy and dim son. Both very good points, however, I have something to add to the mix.
The other day I was watching a show with two pundits discussing the war with Iraq and how that war could badly affect our already shaky market and economy as oil prices would surely rise, thus creating further havoc. The Republican pundit, replied without batting an eye "No problem, we would immediately take over Iraq oil fields." In my humble opinion, once again I believe oil is a major factor for which our brave soldiers and innocent babies will lose their lives. I really do hope I'm wrong as the thought is dreadful.
Thanks again for all your hard work.
August is fast approaching & just like last year, the Bush Administration is taking the whole month of August off. Last year while they dallied, terrorists set in motion the final plans to attach our great nation. One has to wonder, if the Bush Administration had actually been working rather than vacationing, would there have been more bureaucratic responsibility? Would the underlings have paid more attention? There's an old expression that says "When the cat's away, the mice will play." It takes some kind of gall to take a month long vacation after being on the job for 6 months. Now, we are in the middle of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression & what does the Bush Administration do? Go on another month long vacation - of course! They see absolutely nothing wrong with this.
Far be it for me to point out that in the midst of a crisis the President's job is to be working for the nation.
Shortly after the Supreme Court made that horrendous decision - you know, the one that I'll NEVER get over -- I predicted that the stock market would crash. I also stated at that time that there wouldn't be a recovery until, we, as a nation, address what happened when the Supreme Court selected the President. I know, many people, didn't believe me (the same ones that laughed when I said Bush wanted a war) but everything I said keeps coming true. Why do I think we need to address what happened & why do I think that affects the economy & the stock market?
Well, much of our economy & stock market are funded by people from other countries, people in Britain, Japan, Germany, in fact all over the world. Our press, by & large have fooled the American people, but the rest of the world isn't quite so naive. They saw our election corrupted, they witnessed Bush throw his little tantrums & pull out of every meaningful treaty around, he has bullied other nations, they have watched him say one thing & do another. They are not so enamored with him as our press is, so the people in other countries get the news, the facts. With these facts they have determined that America has been taken for a ride & rather than risk their money, they have been withdrawing it from our economy & our stock market over the past year or so.
We need to address what happened in December of 2000 because it affects all of us, it affects the whole world, because that day in December 2000, America ceased being a democratic government & each day, each week that goes by we lose more & more of the rights that made this such a great country. We can not just sweep this under the rug. It has to be dealt with otherwise it will just fester until it finally erupts. It is in the back of people's minds -- all the time. Just because the Repugs have said "get over it" does not mean that people just forgot about the whole thing. Every time there is a crisis it bubbles back up to the surface because we have never dealt with it. It wasn't a minor issue, in fact it is probably the most significant thing to happen to this country since the civil war & just saying "get over it" won't work. It's kind of like Bush's Harken stocks -- he gets upset that it keeps coming up, but it will keep coming up until he comes clean on it. We have to deal with it at some point in time & sooner is probably better.
When I am reading about this latest harebrained idea of a citizen spies, I keep seeing parallels with the Salem Witch Trials. Neighbors turned on neighbors. One of the "victims" reported, 12 years after they had hung my ancestor for being a wizard, that the whole thing was a scam so the sheriff could confiscate the good property. My ancestor was John Proctor, his sister Abigail was my 8th great-grandmother. Now I read that Bush wants to use the military for policing! There is only one reason he wants this -- martial law -- nothing else makes any sense. When his poll numbers get too bad will he just cancel the election?
A few weeks ago I read that Britain had relaxed it's pot laws & that Canada is thinking about doing this as well. I wonder if it's Iraq & then Canada? The way Bush has defined terrorism, we could easily put Canada on the list, especially if they do something like legalize pot against our wishes. Never mind that Canada is a sovereign nation, they are evil for thinking about legalizing pot & besides they have lots of clean water -- another resource we have squandered.
The poll numbers are encouraging this week. I read in the Boston Globe where they had interviewed several people about Bush's handling of the economy. The typical Repug response was "well, he's doing pretty good considering all of the headaches he inherited." Say what?? I guess that's the latest propaganda from Rush. Headaches? Oh they must mean the great economy, low interest rates, low unemployment & low crime rates that were present when Bush marched into Washington. It still amazes me at how fast he has decimated this country -- it's just been 18 months & look at us! We have what 30 more months to go?
Well, I hope the pResident has a great vacation -- maybe if his poll numbers go down some more he'll just stay there.
As an immigrant who had lived as a boy in Germany under Hitler, I am again as frightened as I was then. You see, we were told to report conversations held by our parents and/or their friends which were critical of the government. It was supposed to be "our patriotic duty." People who received mail from foreign countries were always under suspicion and closely watched. Now our government wants people in certain positions (longshoremen, truck drivers, postal mail carriers etc.) to report "suspicious activities." This will open the door to all kinds of denunciations. If I look like an Arab -- am I closely watched? Will I be detained in camps as the Japanese-Americans were in WW II? If I criticize the actions of the government: will Mr. Ashcroft jail me as one who "helps the terrorists"? Well, we rightfully condemned the police state of the Nazis, but it looks like we are on the way to just such a police state! I was so happy, that my new country did not make me do what the Nazis wanted me to do --and now TIPS! I am frightened again.
Gustav A. Pohlig
How The Law Deals With Arrestees: Jackson vs Rigas (a cost/punishment analysis)
Here's a loaded argument: compare the arrests of Jackson (the guy who was roughed up a little by Inglewood, CA officer Morse) days ago, and John Rigas today, July 24.
Jackson was suspected of auto theft? Let's generously assume that he stole a $600,000 car. That would be an extremely rare, museum-quality, one-of-a-kind car. Let's also assume that he fought against officer Morse, and did grievous injury to the officer (scratched him and grabbed his nutsack,) and Morse was later compensated in a civil suit for, say, $60,000,000. That would be a world-class, record-busting judgment (which of course Morse could never collect; can't get blood from a stone.)
So the total estimated dollar value of Jackson's perfidy is, very generously, $60,600,000. That's a lot of money! For that, he gets thrown on the hood of a car and punched.
Now today, John Rigas (among others,) gets busted for an estimated $60,000,000,000 in scams. Finally, after so many months of freedom, the whole time his culpability has been crystal-evident, he gets handcuffed, perp-walked to a car, and gently inserted; bails out before dinner.
$60,000,000,000 Vs $60,600,000. 1,000 Vs 1. Gentle escort Vs slam'n'punch.
Now THAT'S a loaded argument!
If one of your staff would like a really interesting story, I would suggest going to Opensecrets.org and tallying the amount of contributions given to the republican party by Adelphia communications as opposed to the amount given by the other corporations hit by scandal. It is very interesting indeed. Evidently Adelphia was by no means a heavy contributor to either party, a perfect pawn for indictments by the Bush justice department. No protection needed here.
Gary Carrier Bristol, Tennessee
The arrest of the Adelphia executives is a good start to addressing this problem. But, one has to wonder at the spectacle, the "perp walk" and why these particular men were arrested. Don't get me wrong, if they are guilty of fraud they should pay with extensive jail time and have to lose a large portion of their assets. The question I have is why ONLY these men? Why didn't I see "Kenny Boy" Lay on a perp walk? Arthur Andersen got hammered for their Enron dealings and yet no one from Enron has been arrested.
Could it be because Adelphia did not contribute heavily to the Bush campaign that they are basically "outsiders" and not entitled to the protection afforded Bush's pals? Could it be the Bush administration is sending a message to other corporate execs -- "pay up or this could be you". This administration has acted like a mob family so that would not be surprising. Don't be fooled by this token arrest. When I see a parade of CEO's that includes Ken Lay, Worldcom execs and a host of others that have ties to this administration, then I will believe it. I won't hold my breath, however.
If Bush is serious about cracking down on corporate crime he must provide more than lip service:
1) Release ALL pertinent records concerning Harken Energy. He can't be trusted and has NO CREDIBILITY if he continually refuses to release information. If the SEC truly cleared Bush then why won't he release the records? It's just like the CEOs who said they did nothing wrong and then exercised their fifth amendment rights.
2) There has now been some backpedaling on the issue of CEOs swearing to the truthfulness of their books. Bush has a fondness for executive orders. Let's see him sign one that forces CEOs to attest to the validity of their books.
3) Appoint independent counsel to investigate corporate corruption, specifically Cheney and Halliburton. Harvey Pitt may be "brilliant," "talented" and all that but he is also something else -- "connected." He can in no way be objective. If he was, HE would have released the Harken Energy documents on his own.
4) Bush said to look at the director's minutes of Harken meetings if we had questions and then no one would provide said minutes. Fortunately, the Center for Public Integrity has those minutes and they are posted at www.public-i.org.
Unfortunately, I think Bush's answer to this problem will be to attack Iraq in order to divert attention away from the inadequacies, incompetence and outright corruption of this administration.
Tony Blair was accused of "stonewalling" yesterday after being questioned by Labour MPs who suspect that British troops will be sent to war with Iraq while Parliament is on its summer break. Officially no decision has been made regarding an invasion, but MPs' suspicions were heightened by a remark from Mr Blair in the Commons yesterday. He said "when" rather than "if" it is decided to move against Saddam Hussein. His spokesman suggested that the Prime Minister had made a slip of the tongue.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Did you see it? Last night on that moron O'Reilly show, O'Reilly asked Dick Morris what Bush should do about dropping in the polls and Dick Morris said he should go to war with Iraq! He said when the first bomber leaves the ground everyone will forget the stock market!
Sixty of us in Fl.
Although I haven't read this anywhere in the media, the question comes to mind, is Harvey Pitt using:
1) The public demand for a crackdown on corporate corruption and
2) The "potential" for an SEC investigation revealing misconduct by our VP while at Halliburton
as a form of blackmail in his demand for a Cabinet Rank and a pay raise? If so, seems the chickens are coming home to roost...
A BuzzFlash Reader
Relevant excerpts from: http://www.gopteamleader.com
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: So what did the White House tell Pitt to do about Enron and Halliburton?
"Pitt has told friends that the White House's strategy was to forestall new legislation with a three-pronged approach: The president would issue his 10-point plan for cracking down on corporate executives, the Justice Department would prosecute Arthur Andersen on obstruction of justice charges stemming from document shredding, and the SEC would issue tough new rules under its existing legal authority to strengthen oversight of accountants and of stock analysts."
otherwise noted, all original