mimics earlier scandal
Commentary by PAT
Washington wags say, members of Congress usually have only two basic
postures on issues — they either point with pride or view with alarm.
viewing with alarm — the collapse of Enron, the energy giant, and the
fleecing of thousands of employees’ pensions.
this happen, congressmen cry?
familiar this sounds.
It was just
less than than 20 years ago when Washington was abuzz with the same
anxious question, as savings and loan associations throughout the country
went belly up, leaving the public treasury stuck for tens of billions of
dollars in bailouts, plus criminal charges filed against S&L
and S&L failures had the same basic ingredients — greedy executives,
cooked books, auditors that didn’t do their jobs, congressional
oversight committees that didn’t oversee, regulators who didn’t
top brass might’ve counted on trouble-free going because Enron founder
Kenneth Lay is a crony of presidents Bush I and II and one of the Bushes’
most prodigious political campaign fundraisers.
convenient, too, that Enron’s board of directors also includes Wendy Lee
Gramm, wife of Sen. Phil Gramm, who serves on committees that regulate and
farce is about to begin anew: months of congressional investigations into
the Enron scandal, ending with the same predictable, wordy reports from
Democrats and Republicans as after the S&L investigations that
promised reform to prevent another corporate scandal under noses of
regulators and Congress.
next one, that is.
age has made it easy to check out unfamiliar words for meaning and
Merriam-Webster dictionary website (www.m-w.com) not only finds words and
provides definitions, but has an audio feature that pronounces words over
and over with a click of the mouse.
quick to accuse the FBI of "cover-up" — such as after the Ruby
Ridge fiasco in northern Idaho with the Weaver family and the Branch
Davidian inferno at Waco, Texas — suddenly have clammed up when there’s
actually a cover-up.
General John Ashcroft has convinced President Bush to claim
"executive privilege" and refuse to cooperate with Congress
investigating corrupt FBI practices in New England — termed by the
Republican-chaired House Government Reform Committee as "the greatest
failing in federal law enforcement history."
Congress wants to know is why an FBI official wasn’t charged for taking
money from a gang; why the FBI allowed a man it knew was innocent serve a
30-year prison term, and why the FBI gave immunity to a gangster known to
have committed 10 murders, for which he’s now standing trial.
suspect one reason for the "executive privilege" is to protect
FBI Director Robert Mueller, who was the Justice Department’s U.S.
attorney in Boston for awhile and probably knew of the FBI’s history of
hanky-panky dating back several presidents and did nothing.
one Republican conservative is beside himself. New York Times columnist
and speech writer for President Nixon, William Safire, writes that
"(Bush’s) popularity breeds contempt. When you’re sailing up
there around 90 percent, your advisers tell you that wartime is the
perfect time to put those Congressional pipsqueaks of both parties in
another mistake that will come home to haunt the Bush presidency."