Enron Described As
'Whitewater In Spades' For Bush
From Anita Sands Hernandez

Syndicated columnist Bob Scheer on the Bush-Enron connection:
Enron is Whitewater in spades. This isn't just some rinky-dink land investment like the one dredged up by right-wing enemies to haunt the Clinton White House--but rather it has the makings of the greatest presidential scandal since the Teapot Dome.
The Bush administration has a long and intimate relationship with Enron, whose much-discredited chairman, Kenneth L. Lay, was a primary financial backer of George W. Bush's rise to the presidency.
It was Enron that provided the model that gives the fat-cat corporate hotshots everything they want in return for bankrolling political campaigns.
What did Enron get in return for its contributions? It got its way on deregulation, for one thing. Remember when the administration refused to assist California and other states during the energy crisis, and consumers paid the steep price?
So greedy was Enron that it locked its own workers into a pension plan based on inflated company stock values and suspect hidden partnerships, while the top leadership led by Lay made out like bandits.
* Here's the wit and wisdom of Molly Ivins writing about the Bush Administration's assault on American liberties since 9/11 --
While Operation Enduring Freedom continues in Afghanistan, enduring freedom is not looking so good here at home - -
Ashcroft's urpily named PATRIOT Act permits government agents to search a suspect's home without notification. In J. Edgar Hoover's day, this was known as "a black-bag job." Ashcroft's `secret searches' provision can now extend to all criminal cases and can include taking photographs, the contents of your hard drive and other property. This is now a permanent part of the law, not subject to any `sunset review' by Congress."
Many of our tough-minded brethren, to whom it is perfectly clear that less freedom equals more security, have dismissed complaints by saying, after all, these measures only apply to non-citizens, and besides, the worst parts of it will sunset in four years. Wrong. This means you, fellow citizens - if you happen to know someone whose brother-in-law rented a garage apartment to a guy who knew someone who might be a terrorist.
The government can now delve into personal and private records of individuals even if they cannot be directly connected to a terrorist or foreign government. Bank records, emails, library records, even the track of discount cards at grocery stories can be obtained on individuals without establishing any connection to a terrorist before a judge.
Ashcroft and Co. essentially say, "Trust us, we won't misuse these new laws." But in fact the FBI and the CIA have repeatedly violated such trust to spy on everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to Jean Seberg. That's why the checks were there to begin with.
Lest you think our only attorney general does not care about rights, I point out that when it comes to the 550 he has "detained" since September, without evidence, without charges, without identification and without legal counsel, he so fully respects the Second Amendment rights of these non-citizens that he has reversed the Justice Department's previous stand to forbid the FBI to check on its gun- purchase records in order to protect their privacy. Also, Ashcroft fully believes in the rights of the unborn. The born are on their own.
* Thirdly, a tax windfall to the corporate giants while the needs of record numbers of unemployed workers and their families are ignored.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Noting low consumer confidence, postponed business investments and concern about the retail holiday season, Sen. Jean Carnahan, D-Missouri, said that "Congress should act now," but House Republicans are trying to push through a bill -- with President Bush's support -- that won't help those who need help.
Carnahan said, "It would be a windfall for the wealthiest among us, but offers almost nothing to working families." He accused the Republicans of "ignoring the advice of economists" and ignoring a "bipartisan agreement" on a set of principles for any stimulus package.
The White House, however, calls a Democratic-backed Senate bill "nothing more than a Democrat spending proposal." The House bill backed by Bush contains about $100 billion in tax cuts.
"Congress approved $15 billion to bail out the airline industry, but did nothing for the workers," said Carnahan, who has sponsored a bill in the Senate to provide economic benefits, job training, and health coverage to airline industry workers who were laid off as a result of the attacks.
* And in the nuclear arena, columnist Arianna Huffington says Bush is actually supporting China's aggressive nuclear arms build-up in order to justify his silly Star Wars II boondoggle --
So just how far is the White House willing to go to build support across the globe for its missile defense shield obsession? Further than any sane person would imagine.
According to recently published reports, the administration is prepared to wink at a Chinese nuclear buildup in exchange for China's acquiescence to Bush's Star Wars fantasy. So, to make the world more "safe," we're going to make the world less safe.
Even Republicans are aghast -- but not aghast enough. Arlen Specter, a leading Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, called the strategy to offset Chinese objections to the U.S. missile shield "much too soon." He should have called it "much too insane." How else would you describe igniting an arms race in Asia and ending a 30-year ban on nuclear testing?
Power-worship blurs political judgement because it leads, almost unavoidably, to the belief that present trends will continue. Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible. -- George Orwell (1903-50)
This Site Served by TheHostPros