"It just hit me... they won't be contributing any more money, will they?"
January 23, 2002 11:54 AM   Subscribe

"It just hit me... they won't be contributing any more money, will they?" Abruptly changing his tone about a company that heavily contributed to his political campaigns, President George W. Bush now says that he was "outraged" that Enron Corp. misled its employees and investors, including his mother-in-law, who he said lost more than $8,000 when the energy firm's stock collapsed.
posted by o2b (20 comments total)
Good thing you added that fictitious quote, the article wasn't nearly biased enough.
posted by revbrian at 11:59 AM on January 23, 2002

The liberal bias of the NY Times reporter and you, o2b, unfortunately over-rides how Bush & his administration have handled this (IMHO). There is, as of yet, no evidence that the admin did anything to help Enron out of it's mess. "Mr. Bush also strongly defended how members of his cabinet handled calls for aid from Enron's top executives, summarizing their message to Enron's leadership as "no help here." I take that at face value, and I am happy with their inaction. And as far as "abruptly changing his tone", what has Bush said to defend Enron in this situation? I think all I've heard is silence from W.
posted by msacheson at 12:12 PM on January 23, 2002

the article wasn't nearly biased enough [written sarcastically]

And the straw men are flying...

An independent observer might humorously point out the duplicity of either a Democrat (Clinton) or a Republican (Bush) -- but the word "bias" only seems to show up if that politician is a Republican

Not saying that NYT or o2b isn't unbiased... but don't try to divert attention away from Bush when he acts like any other common politician.
posted by Llama-Lime at 12:25 PM on January 23, 2002

umm.. when did i say that he tried to help enron?

however, i think that the fact that he has only now become "outraged" has been help enough.

and since when is bias a punishable offence? my bias is based on my exposure to the world and recent events. it's called 'opinion'.
posted by o2b at 12:35 PM on January 23, 2002

Llama-Lime, you're right and I don't want to divert attention from the actions/inactions of Bush (and any other politician) just by talking about the typical liberal-biased media. I just wanted to point it out, but I'm happy to discuss Bush's involvement with Enron-gate on the merits of the issue.

BTW, I classify myself as a Democrat, voted for Gore, but approve of Bush's job so far dealing with terror attacks, Afghanistan and Enron. Also, I was a journalism major, so I have a sharp sense of 'smell' for media bias (right or left) and editorial comments in the text of news stories. Opinion slips into 'news' more than most people notice/admit.

o2b, you're right that you didn't say he tried to help Enron. I just wanted to state my opinion about media bias and Enron-gate, just as you stated an opinion that he (Bush) has only now stated 'outrage'. We're all entitled to opinion.
posted by msacheson at 12:40 PM on January 23, 2002

Does a companies downfall depend on who sits in the White House? As much as Clinton's DOJ tried to take down Microsoft, it seems Enron's was more of it's own problems and mismanagement. Sure, donations are supposed to win some gov't support, when things turn sour, but to some how associate Bush and Co. running the offshore holdings, giving the tax breaks, and shredding the documents is a joke. Most of this Enron, AA, and the SEC's fault, not the POTUS.
posted by brent at 1:10 PM on January 23, 2002

his mother-in-law, who he said lost more than $8,000

the horror! if only she had wealthy relatives who could help her out. tough luck, ma'am, them's the way the capitalism chips fall.
posted by tolkhan at 1:13 PM on January 23, 2002

I have from the get go assumed that both parties are culpable in what has turned out to becoming the Great Scandal of the century in our country, depriving many many Americans of money they thought secure in pensions. As for Bush and what he didn't do, try this for what his folks did do:

Okay, let's take the Bush administration at its word, however mutable that word may be. Let's say only a handful of officials--the commerce and treasury secretaries, and (according to a subsequent clarification) several lesser officials at Treasury, and (oh, yes, we forgot) White House Chief of Staff Andy Card--knew about Ken Lay's phone calls imploring the administration to do something that would head off Enron's impending bankruptcy. Let's say that none of these presidential confidants thought to tell George W. Bush or Dick Cheney--or Karl Rove, for that matter--that the largest donor to the Bush family, the dominant corporation in W.'s hometown and home state, the seventh-largest company in the United States, was about to go belly-up and that Ken Lay was cold-calling half the federal registry looking for help.

Let's further concede, if only for the sake of argument, that the Bushies played it by the book, that their collective sentiment was "We could help Enron, but that would be wrong." (Translation: We're into them so deep that they're radioactive.) In other words, let's assume that there's no scandal involving the administration's trying to help Enron avert bankruptcy.

That still leaves the scandals of trying to help Enron do just about everything else. To begin with, there's the scandal of inviting Enron to formulate the administration's energy policy in closed-door meetings with Cheney, and of Ken Lay effectively selecting the regulators charged with overseeing Enron's conduct. And it wasn't just the administration that did Enron's bidding. The energy bill passed by the Republican House contained a cozy $3.5-billion tax break for natural-gas extraction and distribution, not to mention an exemption from taxes on revenue from selling, buying, or operating a power grid. Enron was hardly the only beneficiary of these provisions, but it certainly was a mega-beneficiary. What's more, the stimulus bill that passed the House (and, like the House energy bill, is stuck in the Senate) provided Enron with a $254-million rebate as part of the retroactive repeal of corporate taxes.

Now, far be it from me to suggest that the House Republican leadership etc etc etc (via Amrican Prospect)
posted by Postroad at 1:25 PM on January 23, 2002

Why o why did I waste my daily post on this pap? Anybody want this article from MSNBC on a new Irish invention that puports to provide free energy? I know most claims of this type are still more pap, but what if it's true?
posted by o2b at 1:44 PM on January 23, 2002

o2b, that 'free energy' story was covered yesterday. And what's 'pap'?
posted by msacheson at 1:48 PM on January 23, 2002

Doesn't it seem a little late for him to be having a reaction? He came to this opinion now? It took him this long to figure out that he didn't like what happened with Enron?
posted by xammerboy at 2:20 PM on January 23, 2002

his mother-in-law, who he said lost more than $8,000

That's like me losing a quarter. boo hoo
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 2:29 PM on January 23, 2002

xammerboy - no, it took him this long for his advisors to train him to be this upset about it (after checking public reaction first, just to, ya know, take the most PR-advantageous position). [no, nothing against Bush - anybody in his position would do the same, unfortunately. As indicated in other FPP's today, media-zation of the US government is the ultimate in RealityTV.]
posted by yesster at 2:31 PM on January 23, 2002

talking about the typical liberal-biased media

msacheson, not to pick on you (you said it first), WHAT TYPICAL MEDIA BIAS! This is one of the most inane and widespread myths there are. It is a dangerous and effective way for those, both of right and left leanings, to divert attention away from actions, ideas and scandals. It has been said before, but with the constant downsizing and media mergers, the “news” is a commodity. The president of CNN went to Washington DC and met with top republican leaders in an effort to try to better understand Republicans and help them get there story out. If the roles were reversed, who would be calling fowl?

Hell even Pat Buchanan says, “The truth is, I've gotten fairer, more comprehensive coverage of my ideas than I ever imagined I would receive." He further conceded: "I've gotten balanced coverage and broad coverage -- all we could have asked… For heaven sakes, we kid about the liberal media, but every Republican on earth does that."

1 | 2 | 3 [bad graphics but good info]

Thread hijack over
Rant over

posted by plemeljr at 2:47 PM on January 23, 2002

"Truth is just the name for what it is impossible for a person to doubt."- Oliver Wendell Holmes
posted by onegoodmove at 3:05 PM on January 23, 2002

People with money in pensions are, for the most part, not out any money at all -- the biggest pensions affected are owned by governments, and they'll make up the shortfall by taxing everyone else.

The retirees are fine. It's the rest of us that are screwed. Well, not really. There are a lot of Enron assets to be sold, and that will go into the pensions of quite a few teachers and state workers.

This is why my 401k was diversified. Enron's hit was moderatly balanced by a few other companies doing well.
posted by dwivian at 3:11 PM on January 23, 2002

The retirees are fine

What color is the sky on your planet?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:37 AM on January 24, 2002

Kinda of a mottled grey, but we've had fog and rain.

The retirees pensions are protected money. That's why the states are filing for first dibs on Enron assets. No retiree, as yet (I'm watching and googling the news), has gotten a reduced check, with the exception of Enron employees. They're shafted, but they may have recourse through the bankruptcy. I don't know.

Still, they are by far the lowest number of the impacted.
posted by dwivian at 8:11 AM on January 24, 2002

BTW: pensions != 401(k)

entirely different beasts
posted by yesster at 9:06 AM on January 24, 2002

I know -- I have both at my company. The pension is invested on your behalf, and has a set payout amount based on years of service. 401k's payout is based entirely on what you put in (plus any employer match) and how it grew.

That's why I said that a pension is protected money. The only way it can go away is if the holder goes away. Thus, I have always hated pensions held by the service company.
posted by dwivian at 1:17 PM on January 24, 2002

« Older Stanley Marcus Dies at 96   |   Qutoes from Correctional Institutions Offered... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments