March 6, 2002: Dick Cheney has been ordered by a judge to hand over the papers for his energy policy committee -- the one that took its instructions from Ken Lay. He hasn't yet handed them over. A second judge has ordered more papers to be handed over by six different federal agencies. They have 60 days, and the Department of Justice is promising compliance. We'd better move the shredders to another building for that period...
Meanwhile, Jeff Skilling claims that Enron should be seen as a canary in a coalmine by Wall Street, that any number of other big companies might be swallowed up by the same mysterious forces that sucked Enron under. He would have us believe that Enron's end had nothing to do with trying to run the company on nothing but hype, bribery and fraud...
Some have tried to blame Wall Street analysts for not seeing through Enron's lies (especially if this helps take pressure off the White House). They eventually did, prompting the final collapse. But according to this article, the analysts kept ranking it "buy" up through October, and bond rating services were pressured or bribed into postponing negative gradings -- not just by Enron, but by its banks.
Here's a story saying that Enron's corporate culture was one of constant greed and gratification with no rules. (There are rumors on the net of videotapes of orgies...) I've heard similar things said about Microsoft... that it's full of people who have no restraints on their personal behavior, because they're allowed to get away with anything they do. George W. Bush and the other Bushes, of course, are no strangers to that kind of milieu; they've also been protected lifelong from all consequences of personal behavior.
I mentioned earlier that Enron had bribed some journalists.
Here's a list of some who took their money: William Kristol (editor,
Weekly Standard); Lawrence Kudlow (host, CNBC / columnist, National Review);
economist Paul Krugman (columnist, New York Times); Irwin Stelzer (contributing
editor, Weekly Standard / columnist, Times of London); Peggy Noonan (columnist,
Wall Street Journal). Krugman, interestingly, has been an effective
anti-Bush gadfly, and the only liberal in the group, so naturally, those
on the right have singled him out as the one particularly tainted by taking
the money, even though he's the only one of the bunch who mentioned ahead
of the scandal that he'd been paid by them (for "consulting") and he took
none in 2000 or 2001.
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