Michael Moore gives his long awaited Enron rant.
February 1, 2002 11:55 PM   Subscribe

Michael Moore gives his long awaited Enron rant. No wonder Cheney wants to keep things under wraps. That is if you believe all of Moore's accusations.
posted by skallas (45 comments total)
 
Its so deliciously scathing I had to read it twice.
posted by skallas at 12:02 AM on February 2, 2002


Oh so that was the evil axis referred to in the State of the Union address. George Bush, Ken Lay, and Dick Cheney
posted by onegoodmove at 12:25 AM on February 2, 2002


Even with the required Michael Moore Huge Grain Of Salt™, that's a lot of really damning stuff.
posted by joemaller at 12:46 AM on February 2, 2002


I’m a Dick, he's a Bush, we’d do anything for a Lay.
posted by raaka at 1:12 AM on February 2, 2002


I heard Mr. Moore speak at the University of Oklahoma some years back. The same night George Will had come to give a talk. I wish I had heard Mr. Will instead.

(Was Mr. Moore as outraged during some of the Clinton-Enron deals? I doubt it.)
posted by alethe at 2:18 AM on February 2, 2002


Alethe: we're not talking about Clinton here. We're talking about the specific charges levelled at Bush, so stop trying to derail the thread.

Bush, at the very best, is too incompetent to be President. At the worst, he is too corrupt.
posted by salmacis at 3:18 AM on February 2, 2002


salmacis: the previous administration was involved with Enron as well, so asking if Moore is biased in this regard and therefore a less credible source of information is a perfectly legitimate line of questioning, I think.
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:32 AM on February 2, 2002


I wish Enron critics would make up their mind. Either Enron was (in their opinion) wrong to avoid paying corporate income tax or Enron was wrong to hide the fact that it wasn't making any income.
posted by Real9 at 6:27 AM on February 2, 2002


ok, even if only a TENTH of the accusations are true...

if even one TENTH of the links pointed at legitimate news sites...

any person smart enough to put on their shoes by themselves, and moral enough to not molest things without consent of both parties, should be absolutely, completely, unable to state that they side with Bush in anyway whatsoever.

so, who here could possibly like the puppet head, and what the hell is wrong with you?
posted by jcterminal at 6:31 AM on February 2, 2002


Great link, though as usual Moore shoots himself in the foot with hyperbole, claiming Bush will be removed from office in a few months.

I can't believe this item, from one of Moore's links, has escaped the notice of the Enron-obsessed media:

"Mr. Lay and other Enron officials interviewed several candidates to fill vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates Enron's main markets."

Source: New York Times

It certainly puts to the lie the oft-repeated GOP claim that the Bush administration did nothing for Enron. They let the company participate in the selection of the people who were supposed to be its watchdogs, both at the energy commission and the SEC. It's like letting Mullah Omar select the director of homeland security.
posted by rcade at 6:46 AM on February 2, 2002


If you're looking for more damning evidence that Enron got a lot of government favors for its donations, look here. The Whitehouse connection is just undeniable.
posted by Real9 at 7:07 AM on February 2, 2002


so, who here could possibly like the puppet head, and what the hell is wrong with you?

Questioning the veracity of a demagogue does not equal excusing wrongdoing by the Bush administration. I'd like to see the investigative process started by Congress and the Justice Dept. run its course rather than getting my facts from a partisan grandstander like Moore who's bread is buttered by writing these kinds of mean-spirited, one-sided rants. Perhaps the outcome of these investigations will reek just as much of partisanship, but at least it'll be examined from both sides of the aisle so perhaps the political posturing will cancel out leaving a bit of unvarnished truth in it's wake. I can dream, can't I?

Yes, there's plenty here that has the stink of impropriety, if not outright wrongdoing, but I certainly didn't need a heavy-handed Michael Moore diatribe to tell me that; the mainstream press has covered all of his assertions, and in a much more evenhanded way, despite his claims that the press has rolled over. In his view, rolling over seems to mean "don't see it my way".
posted by MrBaliHai at 7:10 AM on February 2, 2002


Of course, one of the things that I've always admired about Michael Moore was that his criticism is usually nonpartisan when it comes to pointing out the links between money and politics. Many Democrats hate him for his scathing criticism of the Clinton administration during the last election campaign.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:14 AM on February 2, 2002


rcade: actually, it's sort of like letting the American Bar Association make recommendations as to who is or is not qualified to be a federal judge, isn't it?

Oh, wait, they've done that for decades.

No, I don't think they should. No, I don't think Enron should have either.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:19 AM on February 2, 2002


"I'd like to see the investigative process started by Congress and the Justice Dept. run its course rather than getting my facts from..."

me too, but who watches the watchmen?
posted by jcterminal at 7:27 AM on February 2, 2002


It amuses me that people are complaining over the fact that businesses use money to try to sway government officials/agencies in their favor, but not over the fact that so many government officials/agencies have the power to interfere in the market in the first place.

NoLobby: To take money out of politics -- take politics out of money.
posted by dagny at 7:27 AM on February 2, 2002


yeah, i think there's plenty of blame to spread around, like you might even say enron just happens to be the most visible aspect of undue corporate influence on legislative and regulatory policy. i'm reminded ot this billionaires for bush or gore table of various cos' and industries' "return on investment."
posted by kliuless at 7:31 AM on February 2, 2002


...flew around America on the Enron company jet
Yawn. Politicians on both sides of the aisle do this all the time. I seem to remember they have to count the price of first class airfare as a donation.

fly back to Houston for the Astros opening day at the new Enron Field
The governor of a state attended the opening of a Major League Stadium in his own state!? Shocking!

Now, I have a very good relationship with my mother-in-law, but then, I never told her to put $8,000 of her money into a company my administration knew was going belly-up.
Bush never told her to invest a dime. She had already, and when the admin was first notified enron was in trouble it was AFTER Enron had dropped a major earnings bomb on wall street. Had he told his mother in law he would have done something unethical.

The whole rest of the article relies on two assumptions.

1) That the legislation and federal oversight that allowed Enron to do this was the result of the Bush administration. (I think you will find this is not the case)

2) That no one who ever worked for/with/near Enron could ever work for the govn't without being an Enron puppet.
Where I work the supervised interview people who are going to be the supervisor all the time. This is not an unheard of practice. The ABA has made judicial nominations for years, I guess turnabout isn't fair play?

I, for one, do NOT find it surprising that the Governor of Texas had political and business contacts with the largest company in that state and the seventh largest in the nation.

Why on earth do you think that George knew how corrupt the company was when it's own employees couldn't figure it out!?

The whole thing is rather pointless to discuss until we get all the facts. But at this point it looks about as pertinent as the bundle of half-witted innuendo that whitewater was. We'll see what happens...you guys have your fun while it lasts. I haven't seen an accusation that really is worthy of my time yet.
posted by revbrian at 7:34 AM on February 2, 2002


dickless in d.c.
posted by quonsar at 7:47 AM on February 2, 2002


kliuless: it's funny, I don't see the trial lawyers on that list. Or the unions. I wonder why they aren't on it?

Don't you wonder, too?
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:48 AM on February 2, 2002


if even one TENTH of the links pointed at legitimate news sites...

so the toronto star, the independent, newsday, the detroit news, and the guardian aren't 'legitimate,' in your eyes?

are you a member of that pro-gannett lobby i'm hearing so much about?
posted by maura at 7:59 AM on February 2, 2002


maura: it was hypothetical. maybe i should of said 'if only one tenth...'

the only lobby i'm part of is the 'no lobby' lobby. :P
posted by jcterminal at 8:03 AM on February 2, 2002


if even one TENTH of the links pointed at legitimate news sites...

i agree with maura. most of those things have been reported in the mainstream news... just not in a long list of abuses like this.

but i don't think he's going to resign... it would take something more -- some hard evidence of his involvement -- or some democrat taking him on and really holding this stuff up in his face. americans don't like scandals that much, and even clinton's impeachment never would have gone as far if it hadn't been for the slightly insane persistence of kenneth starr...

i don't think the democrats have a ken starr. maybe gore will take on bush. that'd be a sight to see... plus he's a bit bulldoggish himself...
posted by techgirl at 8:23 AM on February 2, 2002


This article is a lot of smoke, little fire. But, as the Clinton impeachment showed us, smoke is all you really need! Full steam ahead!
posted by Ty Webb at 8:23 AM on February 2, 2002


Prediction: If at the end of the day there is any political fallout for Enron, only Paul O'Neill and maybe Cheney will be fined/censured/removed (step down) within the administration. Bush will escape untouched.
posted by owillis at 8:24 AM on February 2, 2002


i agree slithy_tove, the site just happened to be billionaires for bush or gore :) i think part of the compromises they were talking about for campaign finance reform was to also limit union influence. i don't know about trial lawyers, i think they were behind nader!
posted by kliuless at 8:30 AM on February 2, 2002


That was so beautiful, I also read it twice.

Brutal, but George will walk away from this untouched. The media don't want him like they wanted Clinton. Bush gets a free ride.

Again.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 9:03 AM on February 2, 2002


Compared to blowjobs and pardons, its all way over the heads of the public in its complexity. So it'll all blow over. And thats why the bush admin is ignoring it all.
posted by BentPenguin at 9:29 AM on February 2, 2002


owillis: I agree completely. Bush is far too disciplined about cutting loose his "friends" as soon as they become political liabilities. Hell, if anyone ever has the temerity to arrest one of his daughters, I bet he'll let them rot until Laura goes to bail them out.
posted by electro at 9:41 AM on February 2, 2002


How bizarrely written...what was all that IKEA stuff about??
posted by rushmc at 10:02 AM on February 2, 2002


I'm just wondering if conservatives will still be blaming everything on Clinton in ten years. Suggesting that we look at Clinton (the ex-president) instead of Bush (the current "president") is kinda like suggesting we start taking a close look at the nefarious dealings of Gerald Ford.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:15 AM on February 2, 2002


Slithy_tove: A professional association like the American Bar Association is nothing like a corporation, and there's not much the ABA could do to help itself by suggesting a judicial nomination.

Enron, on the other hand, got to interview its own prospective watchdogs before Bush made a choice. That's a repugnant abuse of the public trust.
posted by rcade at 10:32 AM on February 2, 2002


I'm just wondering if conservatives will still be blaming everything on Clinton in ten years.

Considering liberals are still blaming Ronald Regan for a myriad of stuff 20 years later - I'll go out on a limb and say yes.
posted by schlyer at 11:05 AM on February 2, 2002


I tend to agree that the Bush administration (or individuals within) did something bad. But, what I can't stand is this attitude from Mr. Moore that the people on the other side of the aisle are any better. Both the Repubs and dems are whores, they just blow different clientel. So enough of the self-righteous attitude already.
posted by jbelshaw at 11:05 AM on February 2, 2002


.But, what I can't stand is this attitude from Mr. Moore that the people on the other side of the aisle are any better. Both the Repubs and dems are whores, they just blow different clientel. So enough of the self-righteous attitude already.

Mr. Moore is most definitely a Democrat, as anyone who saw him schill for Nader can attest to. In fact, in the article link too, he points out that Dems take dirty money too, they're just not as good at it as the republicans.

I'm suprised i haven't heard a mention of comparing this scandal to BCCI, which has Bush involvement during the late '80s.
posted by drezdn at 11:31 AM on February 2, 2002


I love this statement from Michael Moore: "Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California--these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!" --Michael Moore, Michaelmoore.com, September 12
posted by Mack Twain at 11:43 AM on February 2, 2002


How did shilling for Nader make him a Democrat?

And BCCI is way to big and deep to even talk about. There are lots of subjects the media just doesn't touch.
posted by euphorb at 12:03 PM on February 2, 2002


Indeed. BCCI was a mess. I'm not so sure our society will make it if it keeps permitting unaccountability of that variety and magnitude. How many Enron bankruptcies does it take to sink the ship?
posted by sheauga at 2:12 PM on February 2, 2002


[aside]
quonsar funny
[/aside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:42 PM on February 2, 2002


Alethe: we're not talking about Clinton here. We're talking about the specific charges levelled at Bush, so stop trying to derail the thread.

I don't think I'm derailing anything. If we're to look at the ties of Enron to the government we should include any other dealings with previous administrations. What we must do, if we are truly outraged, is to look at all the facts and the cluprits.

Conservatives don't need to blame anything on Clinton - the ex-president did enough to fill in the facts himself. And if it is proven that Bush had anything to do with Enron's fall/income failures, then he should be looked at as well. But the facts so far do not point to any illegalities.

Now, if that is so and it still outrages people, write your congressman to lobby to get whatever laws changed so you won't be outraged anymore.

All I was asking was where was Moore's outrage regarding Enron during the Clinton years, as there were dealings during his time.
posted by alethe at 1:10 AM on February 3, 2002


When Moore makes this claim:

"Imagine, if you will, what would have happened to our precious Social Security funds had they been invested in Enron stocks as you, George, suggested be done during your campaign as yuppies everywhere clucked along in agreement over that genius idea."

I remember Bush suggesting the investment of Social Sec funds in the market during his campaign but did he ever specifically suggest investing in Enron?
posted by gfrobe at 1:44 AM on February 3, 2002


[A professional association like the American Bar Association is nothing like a corporation, and there's not much the ABA could do to help itself by suggesting a judicial nomination]

Please tell me you aren't naive enough to believe this.
posted by revbrian at 7:43 AM on February 3, 2002


How come Michael Moore is a .com? Had michaelmoore.org gone already?
posted by kerplunk at 12:43 PM on February 3, 2002


As is customary for large corporate entities, I think you'll find that Enron contributed fairly equal ammounts of money to both parties and candidates on both sides of the political fence. Lay and company had far-reaching political tenticles; their ability to shape policy significantly bolstered by cozy relationships with Republicans and Democrats.

I don't think Dubbya or Cheney knew anything more than the fact that brokering power (an Enron brainchild) was a clever way to increase the ol' profit margin, but nonetheless, a pretty fast and loose interpretation of FERC regulations.

Knowledge beyond that would amount to political suicide---and it doesn't take an oil man to smell the crude stench of his own demise....
posted by Tiger_Lily at 12:00 AM on February 4, 2002


I suppose some perspective on this wouldnt hurt anything. Being Canadian kind of precludes me from really saying much about it in general but I will say this:

As bad as the current political scene is, as corrupt and bent as we find it to be it is on the whole better then the alternatives.

That fact that we are even able to speak about this freely speaks volumes about the things that ARE right in the system.

I would never downplay whats occured but I've long believed we only get a small percentage of the truth which makes real opinions hard to form. So in lieu of all the facts, all that can be hoped for is some accountability for what's happened and the idea that even when we see this stuff its important to take a few moments and step back and appreciate what we do have.
posted by ruzz at 4:30 PM on February 4, 2002


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