www.nettime.org
Nettime mailing list archives

<nettime> Welcome to Enron, the biggest corporate disaster in recorded h
Paul D. Miller on Wed, 16 Jan 2002 00:35:39 +0100 (CET)


[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Welcome to Enron, the biggest corporate disaster in recorded history


Well... here it is. One view of Enron...  fractal politics in a 
democracy of images... welcome to the 21st century.


more info at:
  http://www.softskull.com/cgi-bin/mojo/mojo.cgi?list=softskull-announce


Paul a.k.a. Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid



>
>Enron's End Run
>Sander Hicks of White Collar Crime Reports on
>The Bush White House's Brewing Scandal
>
>respond to Sander {AT} softskull.com
>
>The Washington Post once referred to Kuwait as an "oil company with 
>a flag." Perhaps this is what the Bush White House once thought the 
>USA should be. This administration was intimate with the Enron 
>Corporation, now in ruins of potential scandal and alleged fraud. 
>This slowly emerging scandal leaves us with questions, but one 
>thing's for certain: L'Affaire Enron will build, and haunt the White 
>House for years to come. The Senate's newly announced investigation 
>has a lot of work ahead of it. Will the White House survive intact? 
>Will it sacrifice key officials to appease a Special Prosecutor?
>
>Welcome to Enron, the biggest corporate disaster of recorded history.
>
>When Enron filed for Chapter 11 on December 2, 2001, practically all 
>of its 21,000 employees were unceremoniously relieved. At its peak, 
>Enron stock's total value was $70 billion, capital many people 
>relied on in their retirement plan investments. Today, the total 
>loss in equity value is hard to gauge, because before throwing in 
>the towel, Enron was forced in November to restate its real earnings 
>for years 1997, 1998 and 1999. Enron had hidden a lot of debt in 
>"special purpose vehicles," i.e. front companies it created to hide 
>losses off the books, so its previous earnings reports were 
>meaningless.
>
>Like the dot-coms, a lot of Enron's value as a business was based on 
>the "trust" that people placed in it, as it traded intangible bits 
>of risk in its myriad of speculative trades in energy. When that 
>trust was lost, a lot of people got burned. Today, Enron faces two 
>Congressional investigations, a high profile Senate inquiry, a class 
>action lawsuit from angry shareholders, and the threat of a suit 
>from the General Accounting Office. The union bank Amalgamated  is 
>already on the warpath. They are suing on behalf of the pension 
>funds damaged by Enron's $70billion implosion.
>
>The fiasco's intimacy with Bush may bode badly for the President's 
>future. The White House and Enron have at times seemed 
>interchangeable, both financially and politically. Vice President 
>Cheney and Bush's ruthless campaign advisor Karl Rove have consulted 
>Enron Chair Ken Lay on energy policy. Lay's suggestions to Rove on 
>government appointments were followed. Enron and the White House 
>have shared a revolving door of personnel: five former Enronians 
>work in the White House and Cabinet. (Secretary of the Army Thomas 
>E. White was a Vice Chairman, Economic Adviser Lawrence Lindsey , 
>U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, were both advisors, and 
>Senior Staffers Karl Rove and Lewis "Scooter'' Libbey, owned serious 
>amounts of Enron stock.)
>And of course, the flow of money since the Reagan years has been 
>colossal and reciprocated. Enron donated almost $2.4 million to 
>federal candidates, and $2 million to Bush alone. They were in turn 
>rewarded with legislation that allowed them to profit off the 
>deregulation of state-run power industries. Enron has made 
>contributions to 71 of 100 U.S. Senators and about half of congress. 
>Enron is the #1 career contributor to President George W. Bush.
>
>On Thursday, January, 3, the Senate Government Affairs Committee, 
>headed by possible Presidential hopeful Joe Lieberman announced it 
>would launch a serious investigation into just how much Enron was 
>affecting decisions in the executive branch. It was high time. 
>Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) has been asking Vice President Dick 
>Cheney and advisor Karl Rove for these answers for six months and he 
>has been treated like an unwanted guest at a wedding. On January 8, 
>the White House announced that the meetings with Enron had indeed 
>been extensive. As Part of Vice President's Cheney's Energy Task 
>Force, the White House admitted Enron executives had visited "six 
>times." But with the stubbornness of a Richard Nixon, the Vice 
>President still refused to release the complete attendance lists for 
>all meetings of his Energy Task Force.
>
>Comparisons to Teapot Dome and Watergate are not untoward. The media 
>is beginning to feel the symbolic importance of Bush's Enron 
>scandal. The Nation and UK's Indpendent on Sunday both recently 
>suggested we are seeing Enron becoming Bush's albatross. Both called 
>it a "cancer on the presidency," a phrase that recalls John Dean's 
>early warning to President Nixon.
>
>Bush is still strong in the polls, with approval ratings in the low 
>90s. But analysts have been pointing out that not capturing Osama 
>bin Laden might come back to haunt the administration, just as the 
>sparing of Sadam Hussein was partly responsible for Bush Sr.'s 
>defeat following the Gulf War. Poll experts point out that wartime 
>presidents usually experience a return to pre-war approval ratings 
>eight months after a war's peak. Just as the May 2002 midterm 
>elections heat up in congress, Bush might not be able to help fellow 
>Republicans keep the House.
>
>
>A Brief History of Enron
>
>The pas-de-deux between Enron and the Bushes goes a long way back 
>(almost as far as the relationship between the Bush and bin Laden 
>families.) Under Ronald Reagan, Vice President Bush led a task force 
>to deregulate finance and energy.  In February 1993, the Bush White 
>House announced that two former Cabinet members, Secretary of State 
>Baker and Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher, had agreed to help 
>what later became Enron secure natural gas projects overseas.
>
>In 1995, Enron was officially created out of two regional natural 
>gas companies by Ken Lay. In seven short years, Enron become the 7th 
>richest company in the US, ranked by revenue. Chairman Lay soon 
>became intimate with both Bush Presidents, the younger granting him 
>the pet name "Kenny Boy." In an increasingly deregulated market, 
>Enron made a transition from selling natural gas to speculating on 
>aspects of the power industry, issuing glorified lottery tickets in 
>the form of derivatives. Derivatives are chances, or "financial 
>instruments" to take bets on the future value of a share price or 
>commodity based on its current value and external  market forces. At 
>its peak,  80% of Enron's business was from trading.
>
>  Enron began acting less like an energy company and more like an 
>investment bank. Eventually, they even sold derivatives that bet on 
>changes in the weather.  Among other things. CFO Andrew Fastow 
>mysteriously told Business 2.0 that "Enron has 1,217 trading ‘books' 
>for different commodities. We don't want anyone to know what's on 
>those books. We don't want to tell anyone where we're making money." 
>Another Enron executive told The New York Times the company's goal 
>was to create "a regulatory black hole" in order to be "to be the 
>first mover into a market and to make money in the initial chaos and 
>lack of transparency."
>
>As the night began to permanently close in on Enron, there was a 
>brief glimmer of hope against hope that the "smaller, scrappier" 
>Dynegy company would acquire the ailing giant. Perhaps the lesser 
>competitor wasn't Enron's size, but it wasn't so small to hand Enron 
>$1.5 billion cash as a calling card, as merger talks opened in 
>November. But by the end of the month, the deal was practically 
>dead. In Dynegy CEO Chuck Watson's conference call with Enron 
>management on December 3, he asked why cash-on-hand in the recent 
>10Q was $1.2 billion? Where was the $3 billion he had been 
>expecting? Well, that nice $1.5 billion present had been burnt 
>through. What's worse, Enron couldn't account for it. "Neither the 
>treasurer nor the CFO could explain where the cash went. The 10-Q 
>destroyed any remaining confidence and credibility."
>
>Dynegy might have realized it was buying a big mess, and then 
>purposely released language in a Nov. 21 release that sent a 
>"lukewarm" signal. This scared the institutional investors even 
>more. Simultaneous with this, Enron's credit rating was downgraded, 
>and they were thus bound to pay out $690 million to a creditor. 
>Whoops, there goes another half of cash-on-hand. Now Enron was down 
>to $510 million. The investment banks downgraded Enron's stock even 
>lower, giving Dynegy an excuse to scuttle the deal.  Their gentleman 
>caller leaving town, Enron sued Dynegy for backing out of the 
>marriage.
>
>With no one left to screw over, Enron ate their own flesh. After 
>they were abandoned by Dynegy there was no way Enron could recover, 
>so management decided to do the most professional thing possible: 
>they stuck their own workers with the tab. They had already planned 
>for this a month and a half in advance: on October 17, when the 
>S.E.C. announced it was investigating Enron, top brass deliberately 
>switched 401(k) administrators. Their employees' retirement funds 
>were already dedicated to holding only Enron stock. This move locked 
>their employee's pensions into this stock as it began to nosedive. 
>Enron executives unloaded their own equity on the market, and ran 
>for the door stuffing their pockets with $600 million in cash. Enron 
>robbed their common employees of their life savings. Sick employees 
>were left without health insurance; the transitional health care 
>system COBRA was a mess of unfinished paperwork. Overseas employees 
>in Moscow and the UK were told "find your own way back." An 
>anonymous ex-employee who until recently helped run generators in 
>the Generation Control Unit stated "none of Enron's laid-off H1B's 
>[temporary overseas employees] have been given their expense funds 
>to return home, something Enron is required to do by law." In 
>Houston, he states, "Rich White Republicans remain above the law."
>
>A close association with Enron may spell the end of Bush's honeymoon 
>at the polls. In the first week of the New Year, a poll from 
>Time/CNN showed that Americans have become more concerned about the 
>economy than terrorism. Even when Bush's pre-war approval ratings 
>were middling around 55%, issues of corporate partisanship were 
>haunting him. In April 2001, an ABC News poll found that only 28% of 
>Americans believed Bush "cares more about protecting the interests 
>of ordinary working people" more than the "interests of large 
>business corporations" The American people are not blind. 60% said 
>they felt Bush cared more for big business.
>
>
>The Favors
>
>After researching the Bush/Karl Rove/Enron connection since June, I 
>don't believe there has ever been a complete list of exactly what 
>favors the Bush White House did for Enron. 60% of ordinary Americans 
>already have a hunch that Bush's priority is to help out big 
>business; they won't be shocked. But to get us all on the same page, 
>here are some of the paths the Senate should pursue in its upcoming 
>investigation:
>
>1. Nora Brownell: Hand-Picked by Enron, Nominated by Bush
>
>Bush's Karl Rove took the advice of Enron's Ken Lay about a 
>prospective appointee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
>(FERC). Nora Mead Brownell, (also known to her detractors as "Nora 
>Mead Brownout,") was appointed by Bush and confirmed by the Senate. 
>A childhood friend of Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, at 
>the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Brownell had helped 
>Enron enter Pennsylvania's newly deregulated energy markets.
>
>The law was most likely snapped in two. When Rove consulted with Lay 
>over Brownell, Rove owned $68,000 worth of Enron stock at the time. 
>Normally, a White House official needs to apply for and receive a 
>waiver to clear this kind of conflict of interest. When Congressman 
>Henry Waxman asked why Rove had not sought the proper waiver, The 
>White House curtly replied that Rove was not within the jurisdiction 
>of that law.
>
>Before her appointment to the Pennsylvania Public Utility 
>Commission, Brownell had no experience in public utility management. 
>She was a banker. Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs at 
>Meridian Bancorp in Philadelphia, she did receive high marks for 
>opening up housing loans to minorities. But her first decision in 
>Pennsylvania, on wholesale phone rates, was criticized as 
>"anti-consumer." The opening stanzas of her testimony to the Senate 
>opens with this breathy libertarian posturing, "In the interest of 
>full disclosure, I believe in free markets."
>
>On May 25, 2001, the Senate confirmed Ms. Brownell. Simultaneously 
>that day, in a move that can't be coincidental, U.S. Senator Dianne 
>Feinstein (D-CA), a leading member of the committee that confirmed 
>Brownell, called for hearings into the possibility of an improper 
>relationship between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and 
>the energy industry. In her Press release, Feinstein cited the day's 
>New York Times report that FERC Chairman Bob Herbert had been 
>contacted by Ken Lay, and offered "support" if he would change his 
>policies to be favorable to Enron. Senator Feinstein noted "FERC is 
>a $175 million a year agency charged with regulating the energy 
>industry, and it would be unconscionable if any of the nation's 
>electricity traders or generators were in a position to be able to 
>determine who chairs or becomes a member of the commission."
>
>Today, Nora Mead Brownell remains a defender of Enron's integrity. 
>To her, Enron's spectacular crash was not the product of deceit or 
>hubris, as many Wall Street analysts find. The government's 
>"regulator" is far more forgiving than even the most bullish critics 
>in the marketplace. To Nora Brownell, Enron's fatal flaw was simply 
>a lack of restraint. She told the Washington Post, "In my mind, it 
>is a classic case of a company growing very fast and not putting in 
>place the financial controls and management depth that was needed." 
>Unregulated markets were not at fault, of course, no, "In fact, the 
>market has worked pretty efficiently." She dismisses the accusations 
>of criminal fraud and chalks it up to the wild west nature of the 
>"free market." In a forgiving voice, she recently told PBS, "When 
>you don't have a Ten Commandments, it's very hard to have a sinner." 
>Enron should hope to find the Senate so understanding. Does the 
>killing of over 20,000 jobs not prick Brownell's conscience? Does 
>the vaporizing of $70 billion in value not strike her as bad for the 
>pensions and economy of average, hard-working Americans?
>
>2. Enron in the California Energy Crisis:
>How Could Ken Lay Learn Nothing?
>
>In 2000, Enron's annual revenues surpassed the $100 billion mark, 
>more than doubling its revenue of $40 billion in 1999. Critics on 
>the West Coast charged that Enron earned such grosses partly by 
>exploiting the hungry, under-supplied, deregulated California market.
>
>Enron's Ken Lay would later blame his lack of willingness to supply 
>new plants on a lack of full deregulation: "When the governor put on 
>price caps back in October, we, along with another company, 
>cancelled the construction of a couple of big power plant peaking 
>plants, which would have been available for this summer, because we 
>couldn't justify making those big investments in peaking plants, 
>which will just run a few days during the year. Price caps do not 
>solve the problem, but price caps just require the politicians to 
>decide who's going to be curtailed."
>
>But its ironic that Enron complains about public policy in 
>California. The company played a role in the writing of the 
>California deregulation law that eventually stuck consumers with a 
>$40 billion bill. In 1996, former B movie actor and CA State Senator 
>legislator Steve Peace lead the legislature on a 18-day "death 
>march" that often worked past midnight to cobble together 
>incomprehensible legislation. At the time, Enron was eager to enter 
>the California market, and was influential through lobbyists like 
>D.J. Smith of the California Large Energy Consumers Association. 
>Eventually, Peace's energy deregulation law was passed in Sacramento 
>without a dissenting vote.
>"There was a blind adherence to free-market ideology that couldn't 
>possibly work," former utility securities analyst Eugene Coyle later 
>told the SF Chronicle "There were poorly thought-out specifics."
>
>And today in the Bush White House, the lesson of California has been 
>lost. As recently as this Spring, Karl Rove and the Bush White House 
>rejected California Gov. Gray Davis' plea to impose price caps on 
>electricity, which, among other things, would have been costly to 
>Enron. (And remember, at this time, Rove was still a shareholder in 
>Enron.)
>
>As reported in a May 17, 2001energy industry newsletter, Governor 
>Davis is currently so frustrated with deregulation Texas-style, that 
>he threatened to use the laws of eminent domain to seize the power 
>plants of Houston-based Reliant Energy. "He warned that actions 
>taken by Reliant and other independent generators this summer will 
>determine whether he signs a windfall profits tax bill or, in the 
>extreme, commandeers the electricity produced by a plant or seizes 
>the facility itself." Later, the Governor addressed President Bush 
>directly, "Mr. President, runaway energy prices are not just a 
>California problem. With all due respect, I once again urge you to 
>stand up to your friends in the energy business and exercise the 
>federal government's responsibility to ensure energy prices are just 
>and reasonable."
>
>
>3  Enron Holds Itself Above the Law?
>
>Today, the California Legislature is recanting its death march 
>toward deregulation. In June, it was seeking to discover whether 
>power-generating companies willfully manipulated electricity supply 
>in order to drive up prices last year. After being subpoenaed, Enron 
>refused to appear or provide information. The Legislature found them 
>in contempt.
>
>This is similar to the way that Chairman Ken Lay declined to show up 
>at the first Congressional investigation of Enron. On December 11 
>and 12, the House Financial Services Committee held a Joint Hearing 
>on "The Enron Collapse: Impact on Investors and Financial Markets."
>
>However, the CEO of accountant Arthur Andersen, Joseph Bernadino, 
>did testify on behalf of Enron, a company Andersen both consulted 
>for and audited. His testimony was followed by the AFL-CIO's Richard 
>Trumka, who accused Arthur Andersen, Wall Street, and Enron's 
>management of defrauding consumers, workers and shareholders. In 
>clear, angry language, Trumpka described, "a story of people so 
>shameless and greedy that literally as the bankruptcy papers were 
>being drawn up they were still passing what remained of the firm's 
>cash out to themselves--$55 million on the last working day before 
>they filed for Chapter 11."
>
>According to Trumpka, Arthur Andersen was giving important business 
>advice "including, many believe, advising Enron on the structure of 
>the special purpose vehicles" that were used to hide debt. "The 
>financial statements themselves contain proof that the auditors were 
>aware of each of the transactions that led this company to grief-the 
>self-dealing with the CFO, creating partnerships to trade in the 
>company's own stock, other partnerships whose purpose seemed to be 
>to generate dubious revenues, hide liabilities and otherwise 
>bookable derivatives positions from the investing public."
>
>Part of the problem was Enron's Board of Directors, a body commanded 
>by SEC law to be independent of the company. But according to 
>Trumpka, this board was actually dependent on Enron management 
>through political and investment relationships. "Is it any wonder 
>that when the crisis began and shareholders needed desperately to 
>hear from outside directors, all they got was silence?"
>
>It should be noted that Trumpka is by no means an angel himself, and 
>is not unsullied by a scandal of his own. Accused of laundering cash 
>to aid the reelection campaign of Teamsters President Ron Cary in 
>1996, Trumpka is a lifelong union bureaucrat and attorney. A brief 
>was filed on September 15, 2000 by the union-watchdog National Legal 
>and Policy Center to have Trumpka disbarred in the State of 
>Pennsylvania.
>
>4 A Free Market in Derivatives, Thanks to the Paid Services of Congress
>
>Enron's investments in Capitol Hill have paid off. In a 2000, 
>Congress passed a law that exempted its energy derivatives business 
>from regulation. Today, in 20/20 hindsight, many analysts state that 
>Enron's reliance on unregulated derivatives business is reminiscent 
>of Long Term Capital Management, the high risk megacapital hedge 
>fund that also almost took the entire economy with it when it went 
>under in 1998.
>
>Analysts report that your proximity to Wall Street often determines 
>whether you will be bailed out. A Goldman Sachs insider recently 
>noted, "With Long Term Capital Management  they were so integrated 
>with the Wall Street dealer community and the Fed, that their 
>bailout was quick and concerted. " Compare this to "The demise of 
>Drexel Burnham. As a Street competitor, they were ripped apart. Alan 
>Greenspan did not even return the calls for help of Fred Joseph, 
>their CEO. Similarly with Enron, the Street has kept a distance, not 
>least because of their involvement in funding and /or helping to set 
>up Enron's offshore special purpose vehicles."
>
>
>
>5 Enron Air Quality
>
>In Texas, Enron influenced public policy time and again while Bush 
>was Governor, including the infamous "grandfathered plants" deal, 
>which allowed plants to "self-police" their emissions. As a result, 
>Texas has some of the worst air quality in the Union.
>
>As the late Bush biographer Jim Hatfield put it in his last press 
>conference in Chicago, June 2, 2001, "We go to Houston, and my kid 
>can't even breathe."
>
>
>Enron Workers Respond by Organizing
>
>As the country saw after September 11, Americans have a great 
>capacity to band together to weather common adversity. In Houston, 
>this took the form of a website for displaced employees, 
>www.enronx.com, which created a message board to air grievances and 
>help Enron workers find a job. Created "in one day, December 5" by 
>José Lazzo and former C.O.O. assistant Anthony LastNameTK, EnronX 
>quickly had 5,200 members sign up and use the site. Today, it gets 
>11,000 page views a day.
>
>On EnronX, I met the power generator worker mentioned earlier who 
>preferred to remain anonymous. We'll call him "Clifford."
>
>When Enron Management made $600m cash unloading their shares, who 
>did they sell to? It couldn't have been the open market , which 
>would have severely depressed the share price even more, in a time 
>of scrutiny. Clifford has an explanation about how management pulled 
>their liquidation scam, "Ever wonder who was buying Enron stock in 
>November, as it was tanking and as anyone with a clue knew it was 
>insolvent/worthless? Smart people were selling, of course, but we 
>now know the buyers were the pension funds of government employees 
>in Florida, New York and Texas, states with the Republican governors 
>closest to George Bush. Florida lost $300 million, and Texas and New 
>York $100 million. Can't you just hear the conversation at Fidelity, 
>etc: ‘Gotta dump this P.O.S.: find me someone we can screw with it- 
>there's the government fund's managers over there- have the Boss 
>give him a call. Florida, Texas and New York. What a f***ing 
>coincidence!"
>
>When Enron was still in business, Clifford had the honor of shaking 
>hands and speaking briefly with the future GOP head Mark Racicot.
>
>  "He came by my office at Enron and we chatted a bit-what a whore he is."
>
>Mark Racicot is the former Montana Governor who also deregulated his 
>own state's energy. Later, in the Missoula Independent, George 
>Ochenski protested: deregulating Montana's electricity had created, 
>"Rather than the promised reduction in cost, electricity price 
>spikes [that] have created a disposable work force of Montanans who 
>may or may not have a job depending on the day-to-day cost of 
>electricity." Marc Racicot, is an Enron lobbyist with Bracewell & 
>Patterson. He vowed to keep lobbying for Enron and other clients 
>even while working at the G.O.P. chair. Of course, to his credit, he 
>announced he would forsake the G.O.P. chair's traditional paltry 
>salary of $150K. What largesse. The real money for Racicot remains 
>in lobbying.
>
>Upon probing, Clifford related the full story on meeting Racicot. 
>"Yes, what Enron wanted was the deregulation and (certainly not a 
>bad idea) federal eminent domain for power lines from east to west 
>(what he [Racicot] and I briefly chatted about). Of course, the 
>Mountain-Mormon Republicans then killed that bill, once again 
>begging the question just what the Republican Party ever did for any 
>working man, even those here at Enron below the 50th 
>floor....Anyway, the story is the Republican Party-nothing at Enron 
>was ever about anything else. I mean, if Whitewater was a story, 
>then what in the hell is this?"
>
>Good question. Since June, fringe voices on technology and political 
>websites have been saying as much. With the New Year, the Senate has 
>taken up this burning question, first posed by plastic.com, "This 
>event probably would have qualified as a scandal if Clinton's chief 
>strategist had done such a thing, but is that sufficient reason to 
>apply the same unreasonable standard to the Bush administration? Of 
>course it is! Payback's a bitch, ain't it?"
>
>In a similar way, both armchair and professional political experts 
>are speculating about how the President might extricate himself from 
>this growing scandal. Is it possible that his colorful but 
>controversial advisor, Karl Rove, might be turned into a sacrificial 
>lamb? After all, it was Rove who most flagrantly broke the conflict 
>of interest laws, working in the White House on policy that affected 
>Enron while he was an Enron Shareholder. In fact, on June 4, 2001, 
>when he finally agreed to sell the entirety of his shares in 
>companies with interests that conflicted with the goal of good 
>government, Rove became $5.6 million richer. In addition to Enron, 
>for his first six months in office Rove held onto stock in Pfizer 
>Inc., General Electric Co., Boeing Co., Cisco Systems Inc., American 
>Express Co., Sallie Mae, Intel Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., and Johnson 
>& Johnson. Rather than follow the law, Rove stated that he'd rather 
>wait to sell as to avoid a capital gains tax. The White House at the 
>time stated that there was no rush, after all, it's common knowledge 
>that Bush owed Rove most of the credit for a (semi)-successful 
>Presidential campaign.
>
>Further pressed, Rove claimed that it was a paperwork issue, and 
>that he had applied at the federal Office of Government Ethics for 
>the "certificate of divestiture" needed to divest from his holdings. 
>But when asked, an ethics office spokesman said Rove hadn't 
>submitted the request for such a document, and that when he did it 
>would only take only a few days to process. Just in case anyone 
>smelled something here, the White House's Anne Womack was there to 
>sweep the dust under the rug. As Bloomberg News dutifully reported 
>Womack's specious claims, "In the meantime, Rove said he's been 
>skipping discussions that could have a direct impact on his stocks. 
>He told me, ‘There have been conversations I just walked away from,'"
>
>The bare falsity of this statement is proved by the White House's 
>own statement 21 days later. On Friday, June 29, the White House 
>admitted that Rove "participated in meetings on the administration's 
>energy policy while he owned stock in energy companies such as
>Texas-based Enron Corp." according to a bulletin from ABCnews.
>
>This time, White House lawyer Alberto Gonzales claimed that the 
>meetings were general enough to prevent a crossing of the 
>conflict-of-interest lines clearly spelled out in the Federal Code. 
>Yet the White House still refuses to release the attendance lists of 
>their Energy Task Force lists. What are they hiding?
>
>
>In closing, I'm reminded of the words of Jim Hatfield, a friend of 
>this reporter, who wrote one of the best, most balanced books on 
>young Bush, but was vilified through the cagey destructive tactics 
>of Karl Rove and the hypnosis of a compliant Bush-friendly media. 
>Before Jim took his own life this past July, he gave an interview to 
>the lefty website Buzzflash.com.
>
>With his trademark, smart-aleck irony, Jim commended Bush thusly, 
>"He made a campaign promise ‘to do for America what I have done for 
>Texas.' And he sure as hell is trying his best to honor that pledge 
>with tax breaks for the rich that will eventually consume the 
>surplus, turn the country into a toxic waste dump, push a 
>conservative agenda through the legislature, and screw the poor and 
>middle class."
>
>The Conclusion
>
>Some day, Enron executives and the entire ruling class will have to 
>face justice. But that day is not today. We hope that the U.S. 
>Senate will deliver justice, but 71% of this same Senate has 
>received Enron money in the past. No, the only way we're going to 
>see justice in this country is after we have a workers revolution. 
>We need to use everything we have, our politics, our history, our 
>art to rip the pigs from power and create a just world.
>
>
>
>
>
>Who is Sander Hicks?
>
>	Founder of Soft Skull Press, see www.softskull.com
>
>	Here is an excerpt from the recent interview in
>www.ActionAttackHelicopiter.com:
>
>"I think this country needs a revolution more than it needs a better 
>president. The entire system has to be dismantled from top to bottom 
>and a new political system needs to be put in its place. I'm a 
>Marxist, so I believe that economics impact every aspect of society. 
>The core values of society are based on economic values. So, to 
>really dismantle the state, you have to create a whole new economic 
>ethos or core principle. I voted for Nader, but I don't think Nader 
>would even begin to be the solution that we need. It's a sad state 
>of affair when reform doesn't even work. Even today at dinner with 
>Aunt Phyllis I had a moment of clarity because she's a big admirer 
>of McCain even though she's more of a Democrat and I talked to her 
>about Karl Rove and how he spread the rumors of McCain's temper 
>after McCain won New Hampshire. Rove was able to scuttle his 
>campaign through outspending him and also spreading rumors about his 
>supposed temper that comes from being locked up in Vietnam. ...I was 
>telling Aunt Phyllis that it's a sad state of affairs when the 
>system cannot reform itself. When you have a charismatic leader come 
>out and say that we need campaign finance reform and this guy is not 
>necessarily a left-wing political thinker....[but] he sees that the 
>system is oligarchic and corrupt and not fair. It's not fair when 
>someone can't run on the strength of their ideas, but they also need 
>a huge chunk of capital. I said that if the system can't reform 
>itself, then we need new methods. We need direct action, general 
>strike and we need revolution. And that means militant revolution."
>
>Who is White Collar Crime?
>
>"Hicks jumped across tables and lassoed chairs with a microphone 
>cord and sipped other people's beer while starring down 
>nonbelievers. When he called for revolution--at the time he was 
>spinning from a ceiling fan--the band clicked immediately into tight 
>punk cabaret and a friend turned to me and said, ‘this is the best 
>band ever.'"
>	--Brandon Stousy, Prose Acts Festival, Buffalo, NY, October 2001



============================================================================
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe 
they are free...."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Port:status>OPEN
wildstyle access: www.djspooky.com

Paul D. Miller a.k.a. Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid

Subliminal Kid Inc.

Office Mailing Address:

Music and Art Management
245 w14th st #2RC NY NY
10011

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net